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LaTexLearner
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Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:06 am

What to Do First? Learn Structure or Content?

Postby LaTexLearner » Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:43 pm

Which would you suggest I do for a long project?
  • Type out all the code/content first, then go back through it and structure it.
  • Learn to manage the complexity of the project first, then type the content within that.

I found this link that gives an introductory explanation on how to manage multiple files, preambles, etc. How much more complex does it get than that?

For those who don't know, I am developing materials on fractions for students, using LaTeX. Right now, my "content" is mostly in draft form in hand-written paper notes or a ton of MS Word documents, and a little bit of it is just in my head, etc.

The book(s) will be quite long. Here is an outline. For those who have never worked with math-hating students who also deal with serious socioeconomic/health challenges, it may be hard to believe this, but they need, say, part (1a) to be broken into such small steps that it will probably be about 35 pages. (If you like I can send you the MS Word/PDF file that shows the breakdown.)

  1. \documentclass{article}
  2.  
  3. \begin{document}
  4.  
  5. \begin{enumerate}
  6. \item Fractions are Numbers
  7. \begin{enumerate}
  8. \item Point on a Number Line
  9. \item Length on a Number Line
  10. \item From Number Lines to Areas
  11. \item Discrete Sets
  12. \item Multiple Representations
  13. \end{enumerate}
  14. \item Estimation, Comparison, and Equivalence
  15. \begin{enumerate}
  16. \item Estimating Magnitude
  17. \item Comparing 1: Mental pictures, comparing numerator and denominators, and benchmarks.
  18. \item Equivalent Fractions 1: Mixed and Improper
  19. \item Equivalent Fractions 2: Factors of Numerator and Denominator
  20. \item Comparing 2: Comparing with Equivalent Fractions
  21. \item Comparing 3: Choosing an Efficient Method to Compare Numbers
  22. \item Intervals Without a Diagram
  23. \end{enumerate}
  24. \item Fractional Arithmetic
  25. \begin{enumerate}
  26. \item Representations: Whole Numbers to Fractions
  27. \item Estimating and Sketching
  28. \item Conceptual Questions
  29. \item Calculating Efficiently and Exactly
  30. \item Applications
  31. \end{enumerate}
  32.  
  33. \end{enumerate}
  34.  
  35. \end{document}


So, what would you say I do first: Learn how to structure it all or just get started on content?
Last edited by LaTexLearner on Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Stefan Kottwitz
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Postby Stefan Kottwitz » Wed Sep 16, 2015 11:44 pm

You got a big project. A challenging task like this gets easier, if it's divided into manageable parts. So, I would organize a structure first. But do like it it works for you - if structuring would be a bit hard, postpone it, and get content things done.

Rough structure, working on content, refine structure, refine content, ... it grows.

Stefan
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LaTexLearner
Posts: 139
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:06 am

Postby LaTexLearner » Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:28 am

Stefan_K wrote:... if structuring would be a bit hard, postpone it, and get content things done...



Heh, I don't know how hard it is to learn to structure documents. How much more is there than this?

One thing I've found is much of what I thought would be terribly hard has proven to be not so hard (e.g. basic TikZ diagrams) and other parts that I thought would be trivially easy have proven incredibly hard (e.g. changing fonts throughout a document).

How hard is it to learn to structure the kinds of document I'm making?

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Stefan Kottwitz
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Postby Stefan Kottwitz » Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:43 am

It is easy, don't worry.

Another classic post: Structuring Large Documents. It's similar. Not much to learn. Like 2 or 3 basic commands.

When there's a challenge, just let us know. :-)

Stefan
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LaTexLearner
Posts: 139
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:06 am

Postby LaTexLearner » Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:55 am

Stefan_K wrote:It is easy, don't worry.

Another classic post: Structuring Large Documents. It's similar. Not much to learn. Like 2 or 3 basic commands.

When there's a challenge, just let us know. :-)

Stefan



Ok, I'm going to give learning structuring a shot now. Thanks!


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