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PERRLA
#1
Has anyone here used PERRLA (www.perrla.com)? If so, do you recommend it?

For those unaware, it is an application, available as both an online service and a desktop app that integrates with MS Word, and helps students manage references, citations, and academic styling according to APA 6 or MLA 7/8. The online version also helps with research, outlining, and a bunch of other things.

While I consider myself pretty strong in my understanding of APA and MLA, and don't really find it that hard to manage my references or citations, Perrla is recommended as a "must have" for any grad student or anyone who is expected to write a lot of papers. Supposedly it makes things much easier than using the word tools (or leveraging a third-party citation generator manually).

I just signed up for a 30-day free trial for the online service (since the desktop app apparently doesn't work with Word 365 yet) and I'm going to use it to write my first MBA paper, but I'm curious if anyone else here uses it too? I see people chatting about it all the time on the WGU Facebook and Reddit sites, but I didn't know about it until recently.

Any thoughts?
Working on: Debating whether I want to pursue a doctoral program or maybe another master's degree in 2022-23

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BSBA (Computer Information Systems), 2019, Thomas Edison State University
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#2
When I did my capstone, I just used MS Word, and it was very easy to manage everything and it basically put my paper into APA mode, and I easily did everything I needed without having to pay extra for something. If someone thinks Word is difficult, then I'm certain a more robust system would be even more difficult. If you don't think MS Word is difficult, than you don't need a more robust system.
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#3
Most online research databases will automatically generate properly formatted citations for you. For the sources that came from elsewhere, I used the free version of http://www.citationmachine.net/. If I was doing LOTS of this kind of thing, I could see a paid app being helpful, though.
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#4
I used citation machine for web site bib autogeneration. I also used this site for books just typing in ISBN numbers:

https://www.ottobib.com/
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#5
I started using it last night and got through about a third of my first paper in a couple of hours. While it's still too early to have a serious impression of the tool, I can attest that it is far quicker and easier to set up a new paper once you get it set up, and it takes care of all the important stuff like the title page, table of contents, footnotes, and references/citations. The outlining system is interesting but I didn't end up using it for this paper. I haven't played around with the research tool or any of the other stuff yet.

I normally use citefast for citation autogeneration, but since the first two sections of the paper don't require citations I haven't had much of a chance to play around with PERRLA's citation engine. I'll have more chance to do so once I get to section 3.
Working on: Debating whether I want to pursue a doctoral program or maybe another master's degree in 2022-23

Complete:
MBA (IT Management), 2019, Western Governors University
BSBA (Computer Information Systems), 2019, Thomas Edison State University
ASNSM (Computer Science), 2019, Thomas Edison State University

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#6
(03-19-2019, 04:11 PM)Merlin Wrote: I started using it last night and got through about a third of my first paper in a couple of hours. While it's still too early to have a serious impression of the tool, I can attest that it is far quicker and easier to set up a new paper once you get it set up, and it takes care of all the important stuff like the title page, table of contents, footnotes, and references/citations. The outlining system is interesting but I didn't end up using it for this paper. I haven't played around with the research tool or any of the other stuff yet.

I normally use citefast for citation autogeneration, but since the first two sections of the paper don't require citations I haven't had much of a chance to play around with PERRLA's citation engine. I'll have more chance to do so once I get to section 3.

Have you not used Word for all of that?  I used it and it did all of that for me as well.
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#7
Does PERRLA pull citations from Google Scholar?

For those writing a thesis, dissertation, or anything else that will require an enormous number of references, manually entering them in Word will be tedious and slow. I purchased EndNote because it pulls references from Google Scholar and formats them. EndNote is also better for organizing a large number of references. The problem with the software is that it's not user-friendly. So, I'm looking for alternatives.
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#8
(03-19-2019, 10:03 PM)sanantone Wrote: Does PERRLA pull citations from Google Scholar?

For those writing a thesis, dissertation, or anything else that will require an enormous number of references, manually entering them in Word will be tedious and slow. I purchased EndNote because it pulls references from Google Scholar and formats them. EndNote is also better for organizing a large number of references. The problem with the software is that it's not user-friendly. So, I'm looking for alternatives.

In addition to the manual entry, I've found the Word doesn't properly format APA citations for some types of sources. It's fine for books and journal articles, but seems to be off for webpages and videos (though perhaps I'm just using it wrong).

Merlin, I'm anxious to hear what your experience is with PERRLA.
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#9
(03-19-2019, 09:50 PM)dfrecore Wrote:
(03-19-2019, 04:11 PM)Merlin Wrote: I started using it last night and got through about a third of my first paper in a couple of hours. While it's still too early to have a serious impression of the tool, I can attest that it is far quicker and easier to set up a new paper once you get it set up, and it takes care of all the important stuff like the title page, table of contents, footnotes, and references/citations. The outlining system is interesting but I didn't end up using it for this paper. I haven't played around with the research tool or any of the other stuff yet.

I normally use citefast for citation autogeneration, but since the first two sections of the paper don't require citations I haven't had much of a chance to play around with PERRLA's citation engine. I'll have more chance to do so once I get to section 3.

Have you not used Word for all of that?  I used it and it did all of that for me as well.

I used Word for all my undergrad writing and I used citefast to create my references for which I created my citations manually. My intention was to use Word for all my grad school writing as well, but since Perrla is recommended and I could test drive it for free, I figured why not? It isn't taking me any longer to create my papers than it would if I used Word directly. In fact, it is simplifying all the configuration and automating a lot of the manual steps I had to take with Word, which is nice. Is it worth an annual subscription fee for someone who already owns a copy of MS Word? Based on what I've seen so far, I don't think so, but once I get further into the tool and start to use the research functionality, for example, my opinion may change. Right now it is a nifty tool that saves me a bit of time, but not enough to spend money on it.

(03-19-2019, 10:03 PM)sanantone Wrote: Does PERRLA pull citations from Google Scholar?

For those writing a thesis, dissertation, or anything else that will require an enormous number of references, manually entering them in Word will be tedious and slow. I purchased EndNote because it pulls references from Google Scholar and formats them. EndNote is also better for organizing a large number of references. The problem with the software is that it's not user-friendly. So, I'm looking for alternatives.

I'm passing familiar with EndNote, but I don't know if it works the same way or not. I've read reviews where people favorably compare Perrla to EndNote and Mendeley, so I assume it does some similar stuff.

I know Perrla handles all the reference and citation management, including annotations, formatting, and tracking (including pointing out when references are included but not used and ensuring you do not create a citation for an absent reference). I also know that Perrla has a citation database that allows you to create and cross-reference massive reference libraries for use in dissertations and thesis'. As yet I haven't had a need to play around with those features so I can't offer a comparison yet.

(03-19-2019, 10:59 PM)mysonx3 Wrote: In addition to the manual entry, I've found the Word doesn't properly format APA citations for some types of sources. It's fine for books and journal articles, but seems to be off for webpages and videos (though perhaps I'm just using it wrong).

Merlin, I'm anxious to hear what your experience is with PERRLA.

I found mistakes with Word's built-in reference and citation tools as well, which is why I always used an external reference manager and created the citations manually myself. I am interested to see if Perrla does a better job. From what I've seen in the videos it appears to work well and supposedly understands how to reference pretty much any type of source (like 2000 different types) where Word only handles the common ones.
Working on: Debating whether I want to pursue a doctoral program or maybe another master's degree in 2022-23

Complete:
MBA (IT Management), 2019, Western Governors University
BSBA (Computer Information Systems), 2019, Thomas Edison State University
ASNSM (Computer Science), 2019, Thomas Edison State University

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WGU Ambassador
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#10
So, I have been working with Perrla for a while and I was about to recommend that folks take a look at it, but I just ran into an issue that is making me rethink that.

At least I think the online version may not be ready for prime time as yet. I just a big chunk of work due to some glitch. I was done with all but the last section of my paper and logged in tonight to finish it up and start on the next one when I discovered the last 3 sections that I completed, plus all the edits and other work I did, are now gone. As if I never worked on them at all. It's in the same state where I left it yesterday. Since I'm using the cloud version, it saves like ever 5 minutes so it isn't a matter if not saving.

I've got a ticket open with them but in the meantime I'm going back to Word.
Working on: Debating whether I want to pursue a doctoral program or maybe another master's degree in 2022-23

Complete:
MBA (IT Management), 2019, Western Governors University
BSBA (Computer Information Systems), 2019, Thomas Edison State University
ASNSM (Computer Science), 2019, Thomas Edison State University

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