Using word to help write a thesis

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Writing my thesis

Workshop Formatting Your Thesis or Dissertation is a presentation that provides important information about the formatting process and live links to details. Word Tutorial Website — A helpful collection of 25 walkthroughs that cover everything from text basics to working with templates. Please note, however, that if you create a TOC or LOF in this manner you will need to modify the heading styles so that they conform to the IUP Thesis-Dissertation manual and whatever style guide you are using i.

Be sure to use clear headings throughout the document so that the table of contents is easy to navigate. Remember, the reader will see the table of contents before reading and understanding the rest of your dissertation.

An Introduction to Dissertation Formatting in Word 2013

You should include all appendices in your table of contents. Whether or not you include tables and figures depends largely on how many there are in your dissertation.

If there are more than three figures and tables, you might consider listing them on a separate page. Otherwise, you can include each one in the table of contents. Learn more about lists of figures and tables. You do not include the acknowledgements , abstract or table of contents itself on the contents page. The first two are located before the table of contents, so the reader has already seen these pages when they reach this section. To automatically insert a table of contents in Microsoft Word, you must apply heading styles throughout the document.

There are two steps to apply heading styles in your document. First, you must set the style for each heading level. To allocate the formatting for each heading throughout the rest of the document, highlight the headings in question and click the styles you wish to apply. We advise students to update their table of contents as one of the final tasks before submitting or printing their dissertation, as text can move during the final revision process and it is vital that the page numbers are accurate.

For instance, you have to manually insert references, and the styles in which you can output your references and References-section are somewhat limited. These allow you to easily collect and insert scientific references, and build your References-section. Back to Introduction. Our first contender is called LibreOffice , an open-source office suite that can be downloaded free of charge. Writer is almost identical to Microsoft Word in terms of look, feel and functionality.

Yes, even when it comes to more advanced functionalities such as inserting references or mathematical equations. LibreOffice can create and modify.

Courses for PhD Students

Similar to Microsoft Office, LibreOffice needs to be installed on a computer. Technically, you can install a so-called portable version of LibreOffice on a thumbdrive and use it on any computer.


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Similar to Word, the built-in referencing capabilities of LibreOffice Writer are relatively basic. If you want to extend these, which you really should if you have to add scientific references, then I recommend you to install a separate reference manager. Our next contender is Google Docs , a free online word processor developed by Google. For example, it is free , although you will have to register a Google account to be able to use it for example, a Gmail account.

The plain vanilla referencing capabilities of Google Docs are relatively limited. Although it offers a built-in search for the Google Scholar database which allows you to easily find articles and their references, citations can only be added to a document as footnotes. Luckily, you can extend these functionalities with plugins. There are some paid ones such as EasyBib or Paperpile , which integrate nicely with Docs. As of , the popular reference manager Zotero can also be used, that is: if you use the Chrome webbrowser to write your documents.

Inserting captions

More about that option in this post I wrote on: Zotero. Google Docs is great for shorter research projects , or when you have to write a paper together with a fellow student. What it does is transform plain text into a nicely formatted document. You do not have to worry about the layout of your document: LaTeX will automatically take care of things like page numbering, formatting, and applying hyphenations. Also, it was largely designed with scientific writing in mind: it was made to include references and mathematical equations!

On top of that, it is open-source, and therefore free.