MAPACA

Mid-Atlantic Popular &
American Culture Association

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Entering text with Markdown

The MAPACA website allows you to enter text that’s both human- and machine-friendly, without the need for you to learn HTML, and without the hassles of using a rich-text editor on the website.1

What mapaca.net uses, instead, is a text-formatting system called Markdown, which will produce clean, valid, semantic HTML where needed, while remaining completely readable to the human eye.

If you’re familiar with Markdown, feel free to use it on any text field or text area across the website, including e-mail forms. The system will take care of displaying correct HTML if and where necessary.

A few simple rules

If you aren’t familiar with Markdown, here are the few simple rules you’ll need to learn to submit formatted text to the website.2

Text styles

Emphasis (italics): *example* becomes example Strong (bold): **example** becomes example

Paragraphs

To create new paragraphs, hit return twice, leaving an empty line before the new paragraph. If you hit return only once, the text will continue in the same paragraph. Example:

This is the first paragraph.
[empty line]
This is the second paragraph.

becomes:

This is the first paragraph.

This is the second paragraph.

Block quotes

Type “>” + white space + any text.

Imagine you had to quote the first few paragraphs of Lewis Carroll's *Alice's Adventures in Wonderland*, following a normal paragraph like this one:
[empty line]
> Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, "and what is the use of a book," thought Alice "without pictures or conversation?"
[empty line]
> So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.
[empty line]
> There was nothing so *very* remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so *very* much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, "Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!" (when she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually *took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket*, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.

becomes:

Imagine you had to quote the first few paragraphs of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, following a normal paragraph like this one:

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice “without pictures or conversation?”

So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.

There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, “Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!” (when she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.

Numbered lists: type “1.” + space

1. Ordered list item
2. Ordered list item
3. Ordered list item

becomes:

  1. Ordered list item
  2. Ordered list item
  3. Ordered list item

Bulleted lists: type “*” + space

* Bulleted list item
* Bulleted list item
* Bulleted list item

becomes:

  • Bulleted list item
  • Bulleted list item
  • Bulleted list item

  1. Using rich-text editors (also known as WYSIWYG editors) may seem like a good idea, especially if you’re used to word-processing tools like Microsoft Word. However, due to the variety of devices we’re supporting on this website, rich-text editors can be unreliable, heavy to load, and, above all, don’t usually produce standards-compliant, semantic HTML. ↩︎

  2. Markdown is actually more complex than this, but we want to keep things simple. ↩︎

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