Choosing a writing tool

What software to use depends on discipline and type of text. In the Humanities and Social Sciences, word processing tools like Microsoft Word or online versions such as Google Docs are common, whereas many writers within, for instance, Science, Technology and Theoretical Linguistics prefer typesetting systems like LaTeX.

Students are advised to consult their teachers regarding the use of writing tools, as preferences and requirements may vary.

Free downloads for LU students (click to expand/contract)

Free download of software is available for LU students via the Student Portal:

LaTeX templates

Writers using LaTeX often use templates provided by the publisher. On the IEEE website, for instance, there are templates for IEEE publications as well as comprehensive information about the use of such templates:

For further reading: LaTeX (click to expand/contract)

The following articles deal with the use of LaTeX in Science writing:

  • Whang, A.D. (2009). Writing in the Age of LaTeX. Notices of the American Mathematical Society, 42, 878-882. [Access via CiteSeer]
  • Wright, C.H.G. (2010). Technical writing tools for engineers and scientists. Computing in Science & Engineering, 12, 98-103. [Access via LUB Search]

For further reading: Do you look at the keyboard or the monitor? (click to expand/contract)

In a study on the ways in which text production differs depending on whether the writer looks at the keyboard or on the monitor while typing, Johansson et al. (2010) show that "monitor gazers [...] produce more words per minute (wpm) and spend less time on the writing task" (p. 846).

The study, which was carried out in the LU Humanities Laboratory at the Centre for Languages and Literature, suggests that "monitor gazers need to call less upon their working-memory resources to perform the actual typing process" (p. 846), and it is therefore assumed that "monitor gazers can devote a larger share of their working-memory resources to higher-level processes, such as planning and revising, in parallel with text production" (p. 847).


  • Johansson, R., Wengelin, Å, Johansson, V. & Holmqvist, K. (2010). Looking at the keyboard or the monitor: Relationship with text production processes. Reading and Writing, 23, 835-851. doi: 10.1007/s11145-009-9189-3 Access via Springer Link