Before university, you may have been able to submit handwritten essays.  Once you start your university course your essay has to be typed on A4 paper.  If you haven’t started to get to grips with computing software that improves the essay format, then now is the time to learn about Word.  By learning just a few commands you will have enough information to type up your essay, save it and print it.  Here are a few notes on Word 2007 to help you put your essay in typed format.

Essay Format

When you open Word, the software will automatically open a new document.  In the top left hand corner of the screen you will see a round button (known as the Microsoft Office Button).  Clicking on this button will give you a number of options.  Most important to you at the start will be:

  • New – To open a new document.
  • Save/Save As – To save your essay.  You will want to work on your essay over a period of days and you don’t want to leave the computer on nonstop all term!  Try saving documents and finding them again, before you start work on your important assignments.

If you are using a college computer for essay writing, you will want to save your work onto a USB stick.  Keep the stick safe!  It is wise to make several copies or email yourself a copy of your essay when it is getting longer.  Accidents do happen!  Prepare for everything that could possibly go wrong and then if you do lose a USB stick you will have a back up copy.

  • Open – To open a saved document.
  • Print – In some cases you won’t need to print your assignments – you will simply be asked to email it to your tutor or the department.  However for longer and more important assignments the college or university can ask for both an electronic copy and a printed one.
  • Landscape/Portrait – If you want to print some of your material (for example, bar charts or tables) in landscape view, go to page Layout/Orientation, to switch between Portrait and Landscape settings.

Essay Writing Skills – Touch Typing

Learning to touch type is a huge help – not only at university when you have long essays to type, but also in the world of office work.  Local vocational colleges often have well-priced typing courses, or you can teach yourself using typing tutorial software like Mavis Beacon.

Did this help?  If you are just learning Word, let us know about any issues you may experience.  Leave a comment below.