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October 09, 2012

The Struggle with MLA-Formatting in MS-Word--Especially in Versions since 2003

Image Source: http://www.csus.edu/owl/images/gif_files/mla_pg_1.gif

22 October 2012


I am dedicating this entry to known in-class and out-of-class issues with MS Word 2007, the version of Word most of you . . .

. . . have pre-installed on your notebook PCs.

This entry will not remain static--I will add to it as I see fit. As new issues arise, I will add advice from Internet contributers. I will, gladly, listen to your suggestions for what needs to be included here. That is what the comment box is for. If you do leave a comment suggesting that something be added, please e-mail me privately too.

As mentioned several times in class, if you are truly unhappy with MS Office 2007 and would like to use something that looks more like the old MS Office XP and MS Office 2003, you might consider downloading and installing the absolutely FREE program called "OpenOffice.org." It is a very similar suite of programs to MS Office and offers, roughly, the same functionality in a format you will recognize. Check it out and give it a try. Their website is: http://www.openoffice.org

In general, we will be using the MLA style of documentation AND formatting for all of our English department courses at SLU. Below is a wonderful video demo from the YouTube user "smartpoints" that spells out what I've been trying to teach you in class: How to format your paper in MLA style AND how to create a template that will eliminate the need to do this each and every time you write a paper for me.

Setting Your Essay to MLA Format in Word 2007

If you are using an older version of MS Word, such as MS Word XP or MS Word 2003, you can benefit from this very similar tutorial about how to format a paper in MLA style on MS Word by Professor Rex Rose.

MLA Style Essay Formatting Tutorial for [Versions of] MS Word [Older than 2007]

Ok, on to the #1 issue that seems to be irritating all professors and students alike. MS Word 2007 seems to be adding an extra space between paragraphs on documents. Normally, you can hit the "paragraph" symbol key to see if there are any extra returns and simply backspace or select and delete a hard return symbol. In this case, there is something more dramatic required. You have to go into the settings!

Here is an excerpt from an article by "Ranelle" on her wonderful little blog "CTRL+ALT+GEEK"

Microsoft Word 2007: Remove Extra Space between Paragraphs

Word 2007 offers many improvements over previous versions of Word. But, the program still has its annoyances. For example, Word 2007 will add a space between paragraphs by default. If you don’t want Word to add the extra space, you can turn it off.

1. On the Home ribbon, in the Paragraph group, click the Paragraph dialog box launcher.
2. Select the check box for Don’t add space between paragraphs of the same style.
3. Click the Default… button to apply to all future documents.
4. Click OK.

View a video demonstration.

The direct link to this article can be found HERE. It can also be found in an article by James Marshall HERE. Be sure to watch the video demo!

For a nifty tutorial on how to format your scholarly articles in MLA format, the style required for my courses, please see the short demo created by YouTube user "bjay3311" below:

[Formatting] Scholarly Journals in MLA Style

Hope these links and videos help you in your quest to write an awesome paper.

More to come soon!

Dr. Hobbs

Posted by lhobbs at October 9, 2012 08:16 PM

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