NOTE: This article only applies to APA 6 and MLA 8 in PERRLA Online. Click here to see these instructions for APA 7 in PERRLA Online.
PERRLA Online makes writing perfect APA and MLA papers easy. Really!
OK - here's how it works.
Create a Paper
There's a green button for creating new items at the top of every page in PERRLA Online. You can use it to create any new item in PERRLA Online.
- Hover over the Create New button at the top of the page
- Click Paper
- Enter your paper's information
- Click Create
That's it! We'll open your new Paper in the Editor tab (where you write your paper).
Open an existing Paper
If you need to keep working on an existing Paper, that's easy too.
The Dashboard in PERRLA shows your next 5 upcoming papers. However, you can find all of your Papers by clicking Papers in the sidebar.
Alternatively, you can search for your Paper using the PERRLA search icon in the top right corner of every page.
Everything you can do in a Paper
PERRLA Online gives you all of the APA/MLA tools that you've come to expect from PERRLA. But, it also does so much more!
The Overview tab gives you a high-level look at your Paper and contains three sections: Details, To-Do, and Paper Plan.
The Details section lets you view or update any of your Paper's details. When creating your Paper, you only have to enter the Paper's Title, Start Date, and Due Date. This works out great for short papers, but for larger papers, we recommend filling in a little more information.
The To-Do's section of the Overview tab shows you any of the active To-Do's you have for your Paper. You can create new To-Do's by clicking the green + Create To-Do button. To-Do's are a great way to break down large papers and keep track of everything you have to do.
The Paper Plan is built from the Start and Due dates you entered for your Paper when it was created. We break your paper down into 12 manageable steps. The Plan is just a recommendation, so you can use it or ignore it as you need.
Researching and organizing your ideas is a huge part of writing a good paper. The Outline/Organize tab makes it easy to take and organize all of your Paper's research.
This tab is split into two views: Research Notes and Outline.
Research Notes are where you can add References to your Paper and then take down the research you find useful in them. You can create Research Notes for quotes, ideas, or even rambling rabbit-trails. If the Note is referring to material in the Reference, be sure you add a Citation to the Research Note.
You can drag and drop your Research Notes to organize them. Drag them straight into your Outline (on the other side of the tab) or in the Editor tab, drag them from the Research Notes panel directly into your paper. No matter where you drag your Research Notes, their Citations stay with them. So – create your Research Note & Citation once for your entire paper!
The Outline lets you organize your paper as much or as little as you'd like. It can hold Research Notes, headings, thoughts, ideas, or even whole paragraphs. Whether you like to outline every sentence of your paper or just put your Research Notes in line, the Outline makes it easy to give your paper the structure it needs.
Once you've added some cards to your Outline, you can drag and drop them to organize it. Your entire Outline is also available in the Outline panel inside the Editor tab. You can drag it into your paper line by line, or add it all with a single click.
The Editor tab is PERRLA's online paper editor. It's where you write the body of your paper. You'll spend the majority of your time in this tab and it's where you'll be taken when opening a Paper in PERRLA.
The Editor is broken down into three parts: the menu bar, the side panel, and the text area.
The menu bar in PERRLA holds all of your word-processing tools and all of the custom PERRLA tools for managing the various APA/MLA parts of your paper.
The top row contains the normal word-processing features: Save, Print, font type, font size, styling (bold, italics, etc.), bullets, numbering, alignment, search, and full-screen.
The second row contains the PERRLA functions: text style/headings, blockquote, insert tables & figures, page count, table of contents preview, error checker, and panel buttons.
The side panel in the Editor is open by default, but you can re-open it using the panel buttons in the menu if it's closed. It contains three views: References & Citations, Research Notes, and Outline.
The References & Citations panel lets you add References and Citations to your Paper. You can create new References or add existing ones from your PERRLA Library. Once added, a Reference will appear in the panel. There you can add Citations for that Reference.
The Research Notes panel shows you any of the Research Notes you created in the Outline/Organize tab. You can add all of them at once or drag and drop them into your Paper one at a time. Notes with Citations will add the Citation to your Paper as well.
The Outline panel shows you the Outline for your paper (if you made one in the Outline/Organize tab). Just like Research Notes, you can add the entire Outline to your Paper or drag and drop them one at a time.
The text area is where you will actually type the body of your paper. While it doesn't look like a traditional text editor (like a sheet of paper), it has almost all of the same functionality. When you export or print your Paper from PERRLA Online, we'll do all of the formatting for you. You always end up with a perfectly formatted APA/MLA Word document or PDF.
This is the last step in any paper – turning it in. You can export, download, print, or email a version of your Paper using this tab.
Just select the parts of the Paper you want to include, how you want to receive it, and then click Export or Print.
When you export your Paper, you can also mark it complete in PERRLA Online. When you mark it complete, it will remove the Paper from your Dashboard.