Hard times are coming for students. Doctoral theses, end-of-study projects (TFG) and end-of-master’s projects (TFM) are currently the main enemies of many students. Today we bring you four very useful tips to learn how to prepare these types of documents quickly, efficiently and professionally with Microsoft Word.
To apply all of these tips, you will need the Microsoft Word desktop application. Many schools have agreements with Microsoft that provide free Office licenses for students, so you can legally get Word for free. Otherwise, this is the purchase link from the Microsoft Store. You can also access a free trial. We have started!
1. Page breaks
Many users, when they want to go to a new page in a Word document, repeatedly press the “Enter” key. This is a mistake, because we are creating paragraph breaks which, although we don’t see them, are there and can later disqualify the document at the slightest change.
To do a page break correctly, we need to go to the “Insert” tab and click on “Page break”.
2. Table of contents
Very important in doctoral theses, graduation projects, master’s graduation projects and other similar projects. In this type of writing, an index at the beginning that ranks all the content is crucial. Many people ignorantly create this index by hand, not knowing that Word is ready to do it automatically.
To properly create an index, it is important to categorize our text using the headings found in “Home> Styles” in Word. In other words, we must use the formats “Heading 1”, “Heading 2” and successive, depending on the number of subsections of our text.
As an example, we’ve created a document where the first two sections are under Category 1 headings and both are on the first page. On the second page we have already included a third “Title 1” which has a subsection introduced as “Title 2.
To generate the automatic index, just go to the “References” tab in Word and, on the far left, select the “Table of Contents” option and choose our preferred style.
3. Add footnotes
Footnotes are very common in graduation and thesis projects. They help provide clarity and valuable information and make our document look more professional.
To add footnotes with Microsoft Word, just go to the “References” tab and click on the “Insert a footnote” option. We need to place the mouse cursor where we want to add the referenced number to the footer. In this case, we wanted to insert a note after the words “don Quixote”.
4. Go to APA format and bibliography
APA format appointments are a major headache for many students when preparing an article or thesis. Few are those who are completely unaware of how to do this type of date and feel overwhelmed when they have to face it for the first time. However, quoting in APA format with Microsoft Word is much easier than it looks and you will learn in a matter of minutes.
To do this, we have to go to the “References” tab located at the top of Word and, inside, click on the part that says “Insert citation”. Note that just to the right the selected style is “APA”. If you haven’t played anything, this should be the default style.
Then a pop-up window will open asking you to fill in information about the citation such as bibliographic source type, author name, book or document title, date and others. Once this is done, the appointment will be added as shown in the image above. If we want to cite this source again throughout the work, we just have to go back to “Insert citation” and we can choose the source entered previously.
Once our thesis, TFG, TFM or other document is completed, it will be necessary to enter a bibliography at the end that includes all the sources we have cited throughout the document. To do this is very simple: all you have to do is go back to the “References” tab and, in the same zone as before, in the APA format, click on “Bibliography”. Then we will choose our preferred style and the bibliography will be inserted into our document.
It is important that you know that if you want to continue adding content to the bibliography, it will not be necessary to generate it again, because you will see how at the top of it, when you have left a click on it, you will get a button that says “Update citations and bibliography”.