Formatting your dissertation in Word

Complete online Microsoft courses on using Word and other Office programs are available through our subscription to the Micrososft Imagine Academy. See our Microsoft Imagine Academy webpage for a list of available courses and instructions on how to access them.

We have compiled a brief guide to help you format your dissertation more efficiently, see the link in the Documents panel. Please read on for a description of what it contains.

Long text documents, such as dissertations, can be difficult to control and format correctly. It is far easier as a task, as well as far less likely to go horribly wrong, if you have a methodical approach to both the formatting and document structuring from the start.

The key to effective formatting in Word is the use of Styles. A Word Style is a pre-defined set of formatting instructions that can applied in a single operation. The styles that are particularly useful for structuring long documents are the Heading styles as so many of Words powerful tools are based on them. Using styles to format your document lends consistency. It also makes maintaining the document easier as changes to the style definition are applied globally across the document. In addition to styles, there are many other features and tools in Word that will aid in producing a long complex document such as a dissertation. A downloadable tutorial guide has been created to help make you aware of some of these features.

This short guide, Formatting your dissertation in Word, is not intended as a comprehensive training tutorial, but gives tips and basic information on these important features and includes links to online Microsoft resources where you can learn more. The topics contained therein should benefit anyone starting to format their dissertation and will also give pointers to those that are having trouble managing an existing document by highlighting features that you may want to address. The guide is based on Word for Windows but most of the features are equally applicable to Word for Mac 2016.

Topics included are:

  • Using document styles
  • Working with the navigation pane
  • Create distinct document sections by using section breaks
  • Insert more advanced headers, footers, and pagination
  • Create a Table of Contents
  • Create a Table of Figures
  • Favourite Keyboard Shortcuts

Download the guide from the links in the Documents side panel above.