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Category Archives: Students

How do I change my initials in Word 2007, 2010 and 2013?

Your name and initials appear in the File Properties of your Word document, and also in any comments that you make on a document, plus in the text that appears when someone hovers over text that you’ve added or deleted. So it’s important that it’s right – usually Word pulls this over from your registration details, but you may wish to change it, for example if you want to add a general company or team name and initials rather than your own. Here’s how!

You will find the option to change your initials and name in Word Options. Word Options are accessed slightly differently in Word 2007, 2010 and 2013, so I will break this down by the version of Word that you’re using:

How do I change my initials in Word 2007?

Access Word Options by clicking the Office button at top left, then Word Options at the bottom:

1 word options 2007

Your Word Options box will open on the Popular tab and you can now change your name and initials:

1 2007

How do I change my initials in Office 2010?

Click on the File tab and select Options:

2 word options 2010

Click on Options, and you can change your name and initials:

2 2010

How do I change my initials in Word 2013?

First click on the File tab:

3a word options 2013

Select Options at the bottom of the list (use the arrow in a circle at the top left to get back to your document):

3b word options 2013

Click on Options and change your initials and name:

3 2013

This is part of my series on how to avoid time-consuming “short cuts” and use Word in the right way to maximise your time and improve the look of your documents. Find all the short cuts here

Do let me know if this has helped you – and do share with the buttons at the bottom of this article.

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2013 in Copyediting, New skills, Students, Word, Writing

 

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How do I access Word Options in Word 2007, 2010 and 2013?

Word Options is the place where you customise the look of your Word document, how it corrects your words as you type away, the spell checker, your initials on any comments and the document properties, etc. It’s a great place to explore and enables you to customise Word and get it exactly how you want it.

However, it does work slightly differently in the three most commonly used versions of Word for PC: Word 2007, Word 2010 and Word 2013, so here’s a quick guide to how to access Word Options in these different versions of Word.

How to access the Word Options in Word 2007:

Click on the Office button in the top left of the screen, then click on Word Options at the bottom of the box:

1 word options 2007

Your Word Options box will now display:

1b word options 2007

How to access the Word Options in Office 2010:

In Word 2010, click on the File tab and then select Options, one up from the bottom of the list on the left hand side:

2 word options 2010

Once you’ve clicked on Options, your Word Options box will appear:

4 trust center

How to access Word Options in Word 2013:

In Word 2013, click on the File tab:

3a word options 2013

This has the effect of making your screen disappear, but you will get a list of things to do, out of which you select Options at the very bottom of the list (you can click that left-pointing arrow in a circle at the top left to get back to your document):

3b word options 2013

Clicking on Options will bring up the Options box:

3c word options 2013

This is part of my series on how to avoid time-consuming “short cuts” and use Word in the right way to maximise your time and improve the look of your documents. Find all the short cuts here

Do let me know if this has helped you – and do share with the buttons at the bottom of this article.

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2013 in Copyediting, New skills, Students, Word, Writing

 

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Help – my Word comment box initials keep changing

comment balloonI had a query about this issue the other day and found there were no blog posts about it. Now there are.

My correspondent was busy adding comments to a document. Each time he did so, his initials appeared in the comment box, as they do (I will post soon on how to change your initials in your comment boxes). But each time he pressed Save, the initials changed back to “A”. Why?

Well, I went to look and it took me and a friend searching to find a rather obscure help forum that explained what was happening! So here’s what you do to stop the initials in your comment balloons changing by themselves in Word 2007, Word 2010 and Word 2013.

Why do the initials in my comment balloons keep changing every time I press Save?

The reason for your own initials disappearing is that Word is carefully applying a rule called “Remove personal information from file properties on save”. The properties are details attached to your document about who created and edited the document. And how do you change this?

Go into Word Options.The way into this differs for Word 2007, Word 2010 and Word 2013, although fortunately all of these routes end up in pretty well the same place, so …

Accessing Word Options in Word 2007:

Click on the Office button in the top left of the screen, then click on Word Options at the bottom of the box:

1 word options 2007

Accessing Word Options in Office 2010:

In Word 2010, click on the File tab and then select Options, one up from the bottom of the list on the left hand side:

2 word options 2010

Accessing Word Options in Word 2013:

In Word 2013, click on the File tab:

3a word options 2013

This has the effect of making your screen disappear, but you will get a list of things to do, out of which you select Options at the very bottom of the list (you can click that left-pointing arrow in a circle at the top left to get back to your document):

3b word options 2013

Accessing the Trust Center

The Options screen that will now come up is very similar in Word 2007, 2010 and 2013, so I’m going to use screenshots from Word 2010 as a middle way from now on – the others differ slightly, but you will still see the same options to choose from.

4 trust center

From here, click on Trust Center and then Trust Center Settings:

5 trust center settings

Now select Privacy Options, and you should find an option “Remove personal information from file properties on save”. Note that if this is enabled, it will be ticked and you will be able to untick it. Here, it’s greyed out, but you can see where you can find it:

6 privacy options

Once you have unticked this box, your initials will remain on your comment boxes however many times you save or close and open your document!

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Why not take a look at these related topics, which should help you with any other comment box issues?

What to do if your comment boxes go tiny in Word

What to do if your comment boxes start running from right to left

Changing the language in your comment balloons

Customising Track Changes

This is part of my series on how to avoid time-consuming “short cuts” and use Word in the right way to maximise your time and improve the look of your documents. Find all the short cuts here

Do let me know if this has helped you, saved your bacon, etc. – and do share with the buttons at the bottom of this article.

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2013 in Copyediting, New skills, Students, Word, Writing

 

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Choosing a proofreader – student edition

track changesIf you’re starting an undergraduate, Master’s or PhD course and you think your writing in English might need some help, it’s a good idea to look for a reputable proofreader to help you. You might be using English as a second or other language, or have a different issue to deal with such as dyslexia or needing to use voice-recognition software. Your tutor or personal tutor might have recommended that you find someone to help you, or you might choose to try to improve things yourself. But how do you choose a reputable, genuine proofreader when there are so many companies and people out there? Here are some tips.

Be careful

The first thing I will say here is be careful. Obviously, all proofreading companies want to make money. But some of them do profit from students, in particular, not knowing what to look out for. I have heard a lot of horror stories in my time: students having their work “checked” when it’s just been run through a spell-checker, companies that don’t care about plagiarism, companies that will sell you an essay to use. Just like any other service or product, there are good and bad companies out there. Be just as careful as if you were buying a designer handbag or a car. After all, your academic mark and reputation might be at risk here.

Check with your tutor / university

Some tutors ask their students to get their work proofread, sometimes before they see it, sometimes afterwards. Universities often have policies on proofreading. For example, one university I work with has a form I must complete and sign each time I work with a PhD where I promise that I have only suggested changes in spelling, grammar, etc., and have not rewritten or otherwise changed the content of the work.

If a student comes to me and says their tutor has asked for their work to be substantially rewritten, I will ask for a scanned, signed letter on headed paper from the tutor to confirm that. So, if your tutor wants more than usual to be changed, get something in writing from them first.

Check the proofreader’s credentials

Any company or individual should state what their training and background is. A company should have a page about the kind of proofreaders that they use. An individual proofreader should have a page detailing their experience, qualifications and background.

It’s good for your proofreader to …

  • Have a degree
  • Have experience in your subject area
  • If you have a particular aspect of your language which needs to be addressed, e.g. working with voice-activated software or dyslexia, to  have experience with similar requirements
  • Be a native speaker of the language in which you are writing
  • Have a qualification from an official body (the Society for Editors and Proofreaders or the Publishing Training Centre in the UK) OR have extensive and documented experience

Check what service the proofreader offers

Check what the proofreader says that they will do – exactly.

Good things to look for:

  • Do they mention using Track Changes to mark up your work?
  • Do they mention making a note of any unclear areas?
  • Do they mention coaching students through a degree or Master’s?

Bad things to look out for:

  • Do they mention helping you to avoid getting caught for plagiarism (see section below)?
  • Do they say that they will rewrite your essay for you?
  • Do they say that you can buy an essay that someone else has written from them?
  • Do they mention compiling your bibliography for you?

These are all red flags: red for danger. If a company is offering to help you to plagiarise, avoid them. This will contravene your university’s regulations.

Ask for references and testimonials

A good proofreader / company will offer references and testimonials on their website.

Things to look out for:

  • References from people who are doing the same sort of thing as you (Master’s Dissertation, PhD, etc.)
  • References including full names rather than Mr D and Ms Y (note that not all of them will have the full name, but at least some should)
  • References should not all be identical. They should look like they were written by real people.

Check your proofreader’s policy on plagiarism

Plagiarism is a serious offence. If you plagiarise and get caught, you could get kicked off your course. At the very least, if you get caught, you will lose marks. Even if you don’t get caught, plagiarism – passing off someone else’s work as your own – is unethical and wrong. If you plagiarise, you are also not learning what you should be learning from your course.

I found a student proofreading company the other day that boasted of rewriting students’ work so that they will not get caught by plagiarism software. This is a bad thing to do. I would advise you never to go near a company that offers such services.

Another student proofreading company, and the only one I work with myself, has FAQs on their website. These strictly state that you cannot expect them to write your essay for you or to paraphrase sections of your work that you have taken from other books or essays. This is a good thing to do and I would advise you to look for this kind of statement.

I have a statement on plagiarism in my Terms and Conditions. Other places you might find it are in the FAQs or Services or Notes. If you can’t find something on a proofreader’s website, ask them. If they don’t have a plagiarism policy, or they can’t tell you what their policy is, avoid using them.

Regarding bibliographies – your proofreader should not compile your bibliography for you. Putting together a bibliography is one of the central academic skills that you are being tested on when writing your dissertation or thesis. A proofreader will check that all of the relevant entries are there (if you ask them to) and will certainly check for commas out of place and the odd mistake, but they should not write or format it for you from scratch (see more on bibliographies here).

Check that the proofreader is asking a fair price

Many proofreading companies seem to ask for a very high price for their work. I’ve checked and this year prices from proofreading companies for working on a standard student essay, dissertation or thesis in the UK is around £6-£10 per 1,000 words. This increases if the work is urgent.

Individuals often charge a little less – say about £5-£10 per 1,000 words. They may charge by the hour instead.

This is a rough estimate based on searching across websites and should not be taken as anything except a loose guideline. Fees vary according to the location of the proofreader.

If someone is charging a lot less than this, do check their credentials very carefully. It is likely that the work is being outsourced to people who might not be skilled or have English as their first language.

If someone is charging a lot more than this, check what extras they are offering and whether this is worth the extra money.

Check who will be doing your work

This is very important if you’re planning on submitting more than one piece of work to the proofreader. Although the English language does have rules, personal preferences do also come in, and one proofreader may work on a text slightly differently from the next. Therefore, if you’re going to be submitting all of your Master’s coursework or your whole PhD but in separate chapters, it makes sense for the same person to deal with all of your documents.

This is more common with individual proofreaders. But a company will work with many proofreaders and may be able to offer this for you.

It can be very useful and rewarding to work with one proofreader throughout your course. They might be able to pick out certain mistakes you make and help you to work on those for the next essay. This may help you to write well and clearly in English independently of your proofreader in the end.

Book in good time

You should know at the beginning of an undergraduate or Master’s academic year when your main deadlines for the year are. If you’re doing a PhD, you should know soon when you will need to submit reports and updates, and you should schedule time for writing up.

Especially if you’ve been working with someone all year on your Master’s course, book in to have them proofread your dissertation as soon as you know the date. No proofreader minds being booked in advance – and most of us don’t mind if things slip a bit, as long as you keep us informed. But we’re all humans, and sometimes, if you leave it too late to book, we won’t be able to fit you in. That’s when panic sets in, and you might make a bad choice.

Note: If your favourite proofreader can’t book you in, they should be able to recommend other people to try. I always offer a list of alternatives out of courtesy if I can’t fit an enquirer in.

Individual proofreader or proofreading company?

You can use an individual proofreader or a proofreading company. They both have pros and cons:

An individual proofreader:

  • You can talk to them direct
  • They can guarantee to work on more than one document for you
  • They might get busy or ill and not be able to do your work or book you in

A company:

  • Should have enough proofreaders to ensure availability even at busy times
  • Might not be able to guarantee the same person to do every job for you
  • You are unlikely to be able to talk to the proofreader direct

I think you are more likely to find an ethical person among the individuals, but it’s always worth checking all of the points above.

My recommendations

As I’m fully booked at the time of writing this post (and heavily booked most of the time), you can see that I’ve written this post for you, the students, and not to get more work for myself!

I do offer a small list of personal recommendations. I cannot guarantee their availability, price or service, of course. You enter into a discussion with them at your own risk, and you can find them on my Links page. You can also use the SfEP directory to find someone to help you.

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In this article I have shared some tips on how students can choose a good and reputable proofreader.

If you’re a student, you might be interested in more posts for students on this website. Do click through and have a look. And best of luck with your studies!

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2013 in Ethics, proofreading, Students, Word, Writing

 

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What to do if your comment boxes are too big in Word

I have already published a range of posts on issues with comment boxes or comment balloons, including ones on comment boxes suddenly going tiny, or comment box text running in the wrong direction, changing the language in your comment balloons. Thanks to my colleague, Laura, I realised that I needed to post an article on what to do if your comment box size, or the general comment box area, is bigger than you want it to be.

Help! My comment box margin is too large!

This is the problem that my friend, Laura, had. Her comment box margin was somehow spreading across almost the whole page. Although it doesn’t encroach on the text area on the page, it makes your total page really wide. It looked something like this:

1 too wide

Even on my wide monitor, if the comment box margin is too wide, you get the choice of being able to see all of the text, as above, or all of the comment, as below – not very helpful!

2 too wide

How do you resolve this issue? You need to pop into Track Changes (in the Review tab) and click on the little arrow at the bottom to give you the Track Changes Options. Right at the bottom, you’ll find options for making the comment review pane / margin smaller (and moving it to the left or top if you so desire).

The default is 6.5 cm but if you like to have your page of text bigger but still see your comments, change this to a smaller size.

Note, that like everything in Track Changes, this only changes the view on your computer – whoever you are sending the document to will see it however they’ve set it up.

Help! My comment box text is too large!

Are you experiencing this problem:

3 too big

To change this to a normal size, we need to access the Styles dialogue box, by either

  • Pressing Control + Alt + Shift + s simultaneously
  • Going to the Home tab and clicking the little arrow at the bottom right of the Styles menu

This brings up the Styles dialogue box.

Click the right hand button at the bottom: Manage Styles. When you first open this next window, the sort order is As Recommendedclick on the down arrow to change it to Alphabetical:

Find Balloon Text (note: not Comment text) and it confirms how you have your text set up (blue circle).

Click the Modify button … to change your font and font size. You’ll notice lots of other options (blue circle) to change the spacing, etc.

The standard size for balloon text is 8 or 10 so choose that and you’ll have a nice tidy balloon again!

Press the OK button, and carry on pressing OK buttons until you get back to your document. Now, your comment will appear in the style you have chosen.

Again, these changes will only affect your computer.

These related topics should help you further:

What to do if your comment boxes go tiny in Word

What to do if your comment boxes start running from right to left

Changing the language in your comment balloons

Customising your comment boxes – everything you need to know

Customising Track Changes

This is part of my series on how to avoid time-consuming “short cuts” and use Word in the right way to maximise your time and improve the look of your documents. Find all the short cuts here

Do let me know if this has helped you, saved your bacon, etc. – and do share with the buttons at the bottom of this article.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Copyediting, New skills, Students, Word, Writing

 

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Why has my proofreader not edited my bibliography?

editsWhen you hire a proofreader to work on your thesis or dissertation, you can expect them to make suggestions on changes to layout, consistency in headings, capitalisation and titles, grammar, spelling, word forms and sentence structures, up to a point (past that point being considered plagiarism). But in a few cases, you will find that your proofreader has not worked on your bibliography.

I’ve written this article to explain why I might not have worked on your bibliography. Different proofreaders / editors will go to different extents to work on your content. I tend to have a light touch, because I want to protect myself – and you – from any whisper of a hint of possible wrong-doing. Passing someone else’s work off as your own is the basic definition of plagiarism (whether that’s not referencing a quotation from a source or asking someone to rewrite your text considerably), and unfortunately, some bibliographies need an amount of work which, if done by your proofreader, would constitute them doing work that you should be demonstrating you can do.

PhD theses and Master’s dissertations are not just assessed on their content and novelty. One of the things the student needs to demonstrate is that they are able to create references and a bibliography which has the requisite amount of detail and is consistent in its presentation of that detail. So, if I change too much in your bibliography, it will appear that you understand and have applied knowledge that you actually haven’t done.

We all know that bibliographies are a bit of a pain to get right. But you need to demonstrate that you can get it right, and if I get too much of it right for you, it’s not you that’s done the work at the end of the day.

It can be hard to understand the rules of creating and laying out a bibliography. Of course, it’s the last thing you want to mess about learning at the end of however many years of study and writing up. That’s why I don’t leave my clients stranded – I will tidy up 1-5 pages of the bibliography and provide guidelines on how to make the rest of it consistent, so that it’s your work that shines, and not mine.

I want to protect my clients and myself from any accusation of plagiarism, so if I find I have a very inconsistent set of entries in front of me, and I’m going to need to change something in more than about 1 in 5 entries, I will send the bibliography back to you unedited, with notes explaining why and what you need to do (and now, linking to this article). I don’t do this because I’m running out of time, or I’m lazy, but to make sure that you’re showing your abilities to your examiners in the best light possible, to make sure you get the result at the end of your postgraduate course that you deserve.

Related posts on the Libro blog: On plagiarism, Referencing, Referencing for academic writing, Resources for students

 
 

Tips for coping with writing up a PhD

mugsI have worked with many PhD students and have several friends who are in the middle of the process at the moment, or about to start off (exciting!) so here are some top tips for how to cope with the dreaded end stage: writing up, gleaned from my experience over the years.

Think of this like a chat over a cup of tea. I’m here to help, to reassure you that everyone goes through the same stuff – and that you WILL get through it.

Yes, it’s difficult, so don’t beat yourself up

Not everyone gets to do a PhD. It’s an achievement to get onto the course, it’s an achievement to gather all your data, do all your literature review stuff, grapple with statistics … and then start to write it all up.

Hopefully, nobody said it would be easy. Because it’s not. But if it was easy, everyone would be doing it! A big achievement like a doctorate isn’t worth it if there isn’t a struggle. No one’s goes smoothly, even if they say it is. I have worked with lots and lots of PhD candidates. Even the most organised and seemingly perfect person has underlying panics, lost texts, confusions, chapter sections that just won’t go right …

If you accept that it’s difficult, that it’s going to be a struggle, that it’s a major achievement you’re aiming at, you can get your head down and bite away at chunks of it until it’s done.

Everyone goes through the same stuff

I thought this one was obvious, then I realised that not many people are privileged to work with and know so many people starting off on their research career. Almost every time I tell a student that what they’re going through is what everyone else goes through, they’re incredibly relieved.

  • It’s not just you
  • Everyone gets through it
  • There is normal life at the end

It’s a bit like when I’m doing the Birmingham Half-Marathon, which I do every year. At a certain point, around Mile 10 (of 13), you start to look around and see the pain, slight sicky feeling and effort etched on everyone’s faces. But then you see the finishers walking back down the route with their medals and silver foil cloak things and you know that the end is in sight!

You will experience this

From my experience with PhD students, I can pretty well guarantee you will experience one or more of these phenomena:

  • You will get quite a lot fatter or quite a lot thinner
  • You will get paler and a bit bug-eyed. This is because
  • You will go outside less and less
  • A frown will start to etch itself on your forehead (this will go)
  • Your hair will get really long (boy or girl. Haircuts? No time! I could write a paragraph in that time!)
  • You will eat odd things
  • At odd times
  • You will get no sleep and wake up tired
  • Whenever you get a slight break (you’ve handed in a chapter!) you will sit down and fall asleep
  • You will make excuses not to see friends
  • You will see friends and end up in a frenzy of self-flagellation about not being at your desk
  • You will wake up with heavy eyes and a feeling of dread
  • Everything about the entire document will be wrong
  • You will sit down and be unable to write anything
  • You will feel like your supervisor either hates you or pities you so much – either way, they’re sending you coded messages not to continue via the comments they make (they’re not)
  • You will feel that your supervisor doesn’t care / understand (they do: they’ve seen it all before so they’re not panicking because they know you can get through it)

I can guarantee you that everyone in the whole world of research experiences many if not all of these phenomena. You are not alone!

What can you do?

This is going to sound boring, but when I tell people to do this, and they listen and do it, it does, honestly, make it better.

  • Eat as healthily as you can. Accept that offer of a casserole or a vat of soup from your housemate or friend. Take an evening to make up batches of good sauces that you can freeze and re-heat. Keep healthy snacks around.
  • Take breaks. No one can work for more than about an hour solidly without needing to refocus their eyes, get up, stretch, and think about something else for a few minutes. This will NOT eat into your writing-up time: it will make it more productive. Every hour, stand up, stretch, look out of the window.
  • Get outside – at least once a day, in the daylight. Even if you just go into the garden and jump around a bit – but preferably get off the premises and go for a walk around the block. Again, this will NOT eat into your writing-up time: it will make you more productive.
  • Take some exercise. If you are a runner or a gym bunny, keep it up, even if you have to do shorter sessions than normal. This is not the time to take up a new sport or activity, but even a good, brisk walk is great. You need to keep your body active as well as your mind. This will help you sleep better, too.
  • Give yourself a treat. Once you’ve finished a chapter or achieved something specific, have a chocolate bar, a read in the bath, an evening off. Simple things can mean a lot at this time and really help.
  • Don’t just start at one corner and work your way round. Oh, hang on: that’s ironing a shirt. Anyway, have a plan for how to write up, don’t just start at the beginning and try to write it straight through. Set up the headings and fill bits in as you go, sure, but have those headings and structures in place so you can do that (see my post on top tips for dissertations and theses for more on this).

These seem both dull and obvious, but they are obvious because they work. They work in all sorts of contexts, actually: they’re quite similar to my Home Working Rules, for example. But when you’re concentrating on a big project, you do need to be reminded of these!

No one is superhuman, no one can just sit down and write the thing, and the more you look after yourself, the more you will get done.

Get help

It’s not weak to ask for help. If you need help, ask. People will be happy to help you, and for some of this stuff, you can help yourself, too.

  • Your supervisor – if you’re really struggling or panicking, talk to your supervisor. They might act like they’ve seen it all before, but then they have. But they do care about you: they have a professional duty to you, if nothing else, and they can’t help you if you don’t tell them you’re struggling!
  • University resources – the chaplaincy, departmental support services, University support services, services for foreign students, drop in sessions at the Library – use them.
  • Proofreaders and other professionals – if you’re struggling with your writing, whether you are using assistive technology (e.g. dictating rather than typing), have issues with dyslexia, or are writing in a language that’s not your native language, there are people who can help you. If the issue is to do with your need for technology or extra support, you may be able to talk to your department about defraying part of the cost. Note: research this carefully, try to make sure you’re talking to the real person who’ll be working on your document, and get references and examples. People like me won’t look down on you: even if English is your native language, you’re fluent and have no issues it’s easy to make mistakes when you’re mashing sentences together and mixing things around. We’re here to help.

In addition, it’s worth setting up the following at the beginning of the writing up process and during the first stages.

  • Know how to use Word – I can’t say this enough – if you don’t know how to do these things as a minimum, find out before you start writing up. You do not want to be in a big pickle about this at the end of the process when you’re rushing to hand it in. I talk about lots of these in my handy Word tips blog posts and there are lots of other resources around, too.
    • Setting up headings levels
    • Automated contents pages
    • Tabs and margins
    • Page breaks and section breaks
    • Placing images in text (if you have images or figures)
    • Tables
    • Spell checking
    • Track changes (if you are going to get the document proofread)
  • Get used to saving your work regularly
    • Press that Save button all the time. Better to save too much than lose it
    • Make multiple back-ups – on a pen drive or whatever. Save the most up to date copy each time
    • Version control – if you want to keep previous drafts, number your versions so you know which is the most up to date, which has been checked by your proofreader, etc.
  • Sort out your referencing. I have a post on this for you to read. Whatever you do:
    • Keep a note of what you refer to
    • Use a notebook, Excel, Word, a specific referencing system – but keep it all in the same place
    • Record ALL the information – book publisher details; journal page numbers
    • If you’re unsure of how to reference something, do a Google search and find out how others have done it (this particularly applies when you can’t tell which is the first name and surname of an author – easily done!)
    • Find out what referencing system your department uses and learn about it now, not right at the end. You should be given information on this at the beginning of your course. If not, talk to your library rep or supervisor
  • Make a style sheet for yourself. Stick it all down on a note pad or Word document. This seems like a fussy thing to do now, but it will make everything consistent and save you having to decide each time. If you don’t use a proofreader, this will make your examiners exclaim over your tidiness and organisation. If you do use a proofreader, it will save them (and you) time.
    • Decide what kind of spellings you’re going to use (ise / ize).
    • Decide how you’re going to number figures and tables (1, 2, 3 throughout, or 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2 per chapter – I recommend the latter)
    • Decide how you’re going to number headings if you decide to do that
    • Decide how you are going to refer to common words and phrases – initials with a key at the beginning?
    • Decide what you’re going to capitalise
    • Decide if you’re going to use footnotes or in-text citations
    • Decide how you’re going to format longer quotations and make a note (e.g. 2 cm left and right margins, italics)

You can do it

If you’re at writing up stage, you will get there. I admire you, and so do lots of people. Remember …

  • It’s not easy but no one finds it easy
  • Everyone goes through the same stuff
  • Get outside
  • Seek help when you need it

Good luck!

If you’ve found this post useful, please share it using the buttons below, and/or make a comment – I love to get feedback about my posts. Also, if there’s something I haven’t covered here or a top tip for this stage, do add a comment. Thank you!

You might find these useful: Top tips for students and Word users

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2012 in New skills, Organisation, Students, Word, Writing

 

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