Cite to Write

Stop Trading Effectiveness for Efficiency and Leverage the Power of Discourse Graphs to make Synthesis a Breeze*

*and contribute to Science in the process!

I was sitting at my desk at University, looking at the huge stack of papers I had printed the last couple of days. Double-sided, two pages on one, and I was still looking at a foot and a half worth of printouts weighting on my desk.

And my mind. I had been grinding to read all the literature in my field, and yet I felt like I knew less than before. And there was new stuff coming in, waiting to be added to the pile, every day.

Now, it was interesting what I got to read, that wasn't the problem. It was just too much. Even more so because I had to distill all of this down into something manageable that I could actually use in my dissertation proposal. The deadline for submission was still a bit off, but it felt like it was approaching faster every day.

If you've ever been in a similar situation, you know what I felt like.

Effectiveness vs Efficiency

One of the choices that was constantly on my mind then was whether I should read more, faster, or whether I should take more in-depth notes that would hopefully make synthesis later easier.

How do you make that choice?

And it wasn't that I didn't have a good note-taking system either. I had built my own custom stack of Markdown files and text editor extensions together for years, and taken notes for my MA and BA theses.

What I was missing was a way to truly connect what I was reading in different sources and make sense of it as a whole.

Enter Discourse Graphs

When I discovered Roam two years ago, I was immediately convinced it was the solution to my problems.

With blockreferences and automatic backlinks taking and connecting notes was suddenly much easier and much more powerful than before.

Since then, I've done all my PhD note-taking inside Roam and couldn't live without it.

But the biggest game changer was yet to come.

And I wish I'd had this two years ago already.

The Discourse Graph extension for Roam is the perfect tool for anyone who takes note-taking seriously.

With this extension, adding meaningful connections between your notes is two keystrokes away.

You can clearly differentiate between what someone claims, what evidence they cite, and pull it all together for smooth and satisfying synthesis.

The Promise of Cite to Write

Over the next four weeks, I will teach you the complete academic process from start to finish, using Roam and the Discourse Graph extension.

We'll cover how to find scientific sources to answer your questions, how to manage these sources, and how to get them into Roam.

We'll cover how to read and take notes for easy synthesis later, building a powerful discourse graph where any new note compounds the value of all previous notes.

And we'll cover how to synthesize what you've read, write it up, and get a nicely formatted Word or PDF document with perfect citations that you can send to others.

You will also get access to the recordings of four live workshops where we discuss the video lectures and where Prof. Joel Chan, who invented the discourse graph extension, joined us.

Note: Cite to Write is free for Roam Scholars. Please contact Roam's support for a special link.

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Foundation I – Reference Management

Questions, Sources, and Citekeys
Questions, Sources, and Citekeys
Installing Zotero, BetterBibTex, and Zotfile
Installing Zotero, BetterBibTex, and Zotfile

Foundation II – Getting Started With Roam

The Daily Page in Roam
Creating Links, Tags, and Pages
The Tree Ways to use Blocks in Roam
Even more about Blocks in Roam
Useful Shortcuts
Math and Formulas in Roam

Foundation III – Extending Roam

Setting up zoteroRoam
Setting up zoteroRoam
Setting up SmartBlocks
Setting up SmartBlocks
Setting up the Discourse Graph Extension
Setting up the Discourse Graph Extension

Literature Loop I – Gathering Sources

Of Questions, Claims, and Evidence
Of Questions, Claims, and Evidence
Question Pages
Question Pages
Tools for Literature Search
Tools for Literature Search
Setting up Source Pages

Literature Loop II – Reading for Synthesis

Active Reading
Preventing Highlight Dementia
Inspectional Reading
Analytical Reading
Syntopical Reading
Demo: Reading and Processing a Paper
Keeping up With the Field

Literature Loop III – Synthesis

Source Claims vs. Literature Claims
Demo: Synthesis on a Question Page

Writing and Export

Eliminating Writer's Block
Writing Papers in Roam
Brainstorm, Outline, Draft, Squint, Write
Exporting from Roam
From Roam Export to Finished Draft
Incorporating Reviewer Feedback


Niky, Student

Cite to Write offered me a clear and methodical way to both understand and leverage the power of Roam in order to produce the necessary outputs for robust academic research! For someone who is just starting out in academia and Roam - this has been a real gift!

Jennifer, Professor

"I am grateful for how the Cite to Write course significantly lowers the barrier to entry to so much of Roam's potential for deep thinking. It is so much clearer than most available explanations/explorations and so much easier to access than fast-forwarding through productivity guru channels on youtube that can't address the level of breadth, depth, and "thought management" that academic writing and research requires!"

Stephanie, Student

"Most of the Roam courses out there appear to be aimed at blog writers or youtubers. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it makes your course even more special for what it is: a Roam course for researchers and those exploring academia. I love the care and attention you give towards citations and how your notes are clearly differentiated between copied-from-the-book material, Quotes, Comments, etc. Not only can I learn more about Roam, but I can learn more about the fundamentals of research and serious (journal) writing as it applies to Roam and Roam workflows.

René, Senior Researcher

"Wow, I was blown away by your course! The reason I like this course so much is that you show great examples and explain in detail what you are doing and why. Your system covers everything - I think this could be incredible for the academic Roam community!

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I'm Lukas, and over the last two years I've taught well over a thousand people how to use Roam Research and how to leverage it for research.

In November 2021 I'll defend my PhD Thesis, a work that was in very large parts researched and written in Roam.

I've been a note-taking nerd for over 10 years now, and I can't wait to share everything I've learned in that time with you.

Hope to see you inside the course!

– Lukas


I'm not in academia. Is this course still right for me?

Depends! If it's important for your work where your information originates, if you need to trace that information to its original source, this course is definitely for you. If you want to have a start-to-finish workflow that covers reading, thinking, writing and publishing with Roam at its core, this course is absolutely for you too. If you just want to get started with Roam and explore it yourself, there's tons of free material out there! This course and I will be here when you're ready to take the next step and level up.

Do I need to know how to use Roam to take this course?

Not at all! I'm going to take you by the hand and show you Roams fundamental features, helping you go from zero knowledge to having a solid foundation without frustration and confusion.

Why should I take this course instead of figuring Roam out myself?

For new users, Roam can be incredibly confusing - the onboarding is not very intuitive and it's hard to figure out what's possible by yourself.

What if I'm not happy with the course?

If you are unhappy with the course for any reason, I have a 30-day money back guarantee.

I'm using a different tool than Roam, like or Obsidian. Can I still take this course?

Possibly! If you're interested in a solid workflow for academic note-taking and writing, you'll get a ton of value from this course. But do be aware that one of the center-pieces of this course, the discourse graph extension, is currently only available for Roam and no other tool.

I've taken other courses on using Roam, should I take this course too?

Possibly! This course focuses on the use of Roam in academia or research-adjacent fields. If it's important for your work to trace the origin of ideas or claims, critically evaluate what you read or you want a start-to-finish workflow for reading, thinking, writing and publishing with Roam at its core, you should definitely take this course.

How much time will this take?

The pace is up to you! You can speed-run through the whole course material at 2x speed in a couple of hours, but I would encourage you to take the time to actually implement the lessons and make them fit your needs. If you join for the workshops, you'll also get four 1-hour Zoom workshops with Q&A at the end that you can attend or watch the recordings if you decide to skip.

I already have notes in a different app, like Evernote, Notion or Bear. Should I take this course?

Absolutely. Before discovering Roam, I spent 8 years hacking my own Zettelkasten-like systems using different apps and collected thousands of quotes and notes. I even wrote a program that printed these notes on cards in an effort to build a real-world Zettelkasten. As you can imagine given that I'm now teaching this course, switching to Roam was well worth it for me and I think it will be for you as well.

Comes with my no-questions asked, 30-day money back guarantee

If you don't LOVE this course, I want you to email me and ask for your money back. And you'll get it, 100%, and here's why.

I invite you to try these techniques and approaches and work one paper into your Roam database. Work through 10 papers. Work through 20. All I ask is that you watch what happens when you do. I'm confident you'll be impressed.

I worked on this system throughout my PhD, and built a prototype of my process long before Roam Research was available. I've tested it thoroughly, and there's nothing like this out there for building an academic process with Roam as its backbone.

This course isn't just about note-taking or a mere tutorial of Roam's features (although it does cover both). It's about building a process for academic research from start to finish, with systems that mesh like well tuned gears in a machine. And more than that, it's about dissecting the academic process, laying out its parts, and by doing so enabling you to re-assemble it so that it fits your needs and enables you to do your best research yet. And if I can do make your writing easier...your understanding deeper...find new connections in your research...I consider that a job well done.

So, here's my simple offer: If you don't LOVE this course, I insist that you get 100% of your money back. It's simple: Join the course and see for yourself.

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