Writing Guide and Document Template
How to use a Microsoft Word template with your assessed essay, dissertation or research paper. This template should be used in conjunction with Writing an Assessed Essay by Professor Robin C A White (PDF) or Writing a Research Paper by Professor Robin C A White (PDF) for research students and undergraduate dissertation students.
Download the template
Using the File
Delete the sample text from each template (select all, Ctrl + a, and Delete). The templates are designed with spacing built in; you do not need to press the return key twice after each paragraph to add space!
The template uses 'Styles' which are a collection of formatting attributes such as font, font size, line spacing, etc.
The default style of the document is 'Normal' and will form the main body of your essay. To format a heading, instead of changing the font and other attributes manually, we apply a heading style. There are different levels of heading for main-headings, sub-headings and alike. For main-headings we will use 'Heading 1', for sub-headings we will use 'Heading 2' and so on.
To apply a different style, say 'Heading 2', type your heading text, position the insertion point anywhere in the paragraph or line you want to change and choose 'Heading 2' from the style box (see above). If you cannot see the required style, use the right-hand downward arrow to scroll through the list of available styles or press 'Ctrl + Shift + s' to show the 'Apply Styles' box (see below) and type the name of the style you want.
The commonly used styles from the template are:
- Normal (this is the default style, you do not have to apply it)
- Heading 1 (main headings)
- Heading 2 (sub-headings)
- Heading 3 (sub-sub-headings)
Tips and Common Problems
- Save your work regularly
- Have at least 2 working backups. Make sure one is networked; use My Documents on CFS, email the file or use an online service such as Dropbox, Google Docs, Skydrive, etc.
- If you have lost control of your formatting, re-apply the Normal style
- Word count includes footnotes
- Use informative file names, not 'document1.docx' but 'evidence-confessions.docx'. Append or prepend the date where you have multiple backups 'evidence-confessions-08-nov.docx'
- If you have too much space between paragraphs or titles, you have added extra paragraph returns. Click the Show/Hide button to see where these are and delete them