How to use ConText
Click “Start Reading” from http://context.montpelier.org.
Browsing the Text
Browse the text by using the “Next” and “Previous” commands on the bottom navigation bar (or use the right and left arrows to navigate forward and backward, respectively.)
Where an icon with a letter appears at the end of a paragraph, there is a corresponding note in one or more commentary pane. Each letter corresponds to a different commentary category:
H — Historical
E — Current Events
T — Theoretical/Philosophical
I — Constitutional Interpretation (this includes discussion of relevant court cases)
O — Other Commentary (also, when your particular column view does not show all available columns, commentary from “hidden” columns will appear in the “Other” pane)
When you see an icon indicating there is associated commentary, single left-click on the paragraph. The paragraph will highlight and automatically bring up the associated commentary in the appropriate pane. Roll your mouse over the “i" next to each submission in the commentary pane to view the author and contributing authors of each note.
Changing Your Column View
You may choose which commentary panes you view on your screen and in the order you prefer by clicking on the wrench icon at the top of your screen. From this “Choose Column Layout” function, you can choose to view four commentary panes along with the document text, only two commentary panes with the document text, or the document text only.
Table of Contents
To jump to a particular chapter in the text, or day in the Constitutional Convention, click the “TOC” icon at the top of the screen. This will bring up links to each chapter of the text. Single left-click on the chapter heading to jump to the chapter you would like to read. To quickly jump to the Table of Contents, click the letter “Q” on your keyboard.
When a word or phrase is underlined with a dotted line in the text, there is an associated “Document Encyclopedia” entry. These entries will show you the biographical information or glossary definition of the underlined word. To quickly jump to the Document Encyclopedia, click the letter “E” on your keyboard.
Searching the Text
To search for a particular word or phrase in the text or in the added commentary, enter your term in the Search box at the top of the screen and hit “Enter.” To jump to one of the search results, click on the text of the result. To quickly jump to the search box, click the letter “S” on your keyboard.
To view the keyboard shortcuts at any time, click the white square with the arrow at the top of your screen.
To Log In
Only registered users will be able to add commentary to the main document. To create an account, go to http://context.montpelier.org/user/register. If you have already registered for an account, go to http://context.montpelier.org and click “Login” in the upper right hand corner. If you have forgotten your password, click “Request New Password” and enter your username or email address, and click “Email New Password.”
Once you are logged in, click the Center for the Constitution logo at any time to return to the home page: http://context.montpelier.org. From here, click “Start Reading” to enter the document and commentary interface.
Begin by reading the “For Readers” section above.
To Add Commentary
Navigate using the search function or bottom navigation bar to the paragraph to which you would like to add commentary. To add a note, click on the paragraph. It will highlight, and the option to “Add” will appear directly above the paragraph. Click “Add.”
Enter the note you would like to add into the “Content” section. You can bold or italicize words by highlighting the appropriate word, and clicking the “B” (for bold) or “I” (for italics) at the top of the “Content” section. You can link parts of your text to other web pages by highlighting the text you would like to link and clicking the link button at the top of the “Content” section (it looks like a globe with a chain link). Enter the URL to which you would like to link in the “URL” box and click “OK.”
Next, choose which commentary panes should hold your comment:
Historical — This section should illuminate historical circumstances, background information, and historical facts, but not biographical information
Current Events — The Current Events section should highlight how the text is relevant to the contemporary world.
Theoretical/Philosophical — This section should shed light on the theoretical and philosophical frameworks that shape the discussions within the text.
Constitutional Interpretation — This section should focus on various ways in which the Constitution has been interpreted through time. This section should include discussion of relevant court cases.
Other — If you feel your comment does not fit in one of the above categories, choose “Other.” Also, when your particular column view does not show all available columns, commentary from “hidden” columns will appear in the “Other” pane.
You may choose more than one commentary category for your note(s).
Next, choose appropriate “tags” for your commentary. Tags allow you to categorize or assign subjects to your text that may not appear verbatim in the document or your commentary. Tags are similar to keywords, and will help those searching for category-specific information later.
Now enter the reference for your note. Please cite your sources as extensively as possible and in standard MLA, APA, or Chicago citation styles. Include the full reference.
Press “Submit Content.” Be sure to proofread your entry carefully before submitting.
To Add Document Encyclopedia Entries
To add an entry to the Document Encyclopedia, click SHIFT+E on your keyboard. This will bring up a window in which you can enter content. Choose your Document Encyclopedia keyword(s) very carefully, as all instances of the words you choose will be automatically linked the content you enter.
Use the Document Encyclopedia to enter any information that will remain the same throughout the document. This includes but is not limited to biographical information for Convention delegates and glossary terms.
Approved scholars will also be granted advanced access to the site, which includes the ability to edit existing commentary. With scholar-level access, a pen icon will appear at the end of each note in the commentary panes. Click on the pen to edit text within each note.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or suggestions for improvement.