1. The default settings of Word were defined for business rather than academic users. You should make the following setup changes (easier than editing them in at the end or attempting a rescue halfway).

    Reduce margins to 1 inch all round with a slightly wider left hand one to accommodate the spiral binding. Start new pages for each chapter and sections like the bibliography. Number these sections clearly.

    If you have difficulty dealing with a long document, break it down into smaller documents and assemble them all at the end. Create a footer with your name and page numbers in a small font size e.g. 8. Numbers are a huge help to navigating as the document grows in size. Switch on the automatic spell and grammar checkers in the Tools menu - these are not 100% but can eliminate the large majority of 'silly' errors.

    Change the line-spacing to double.

    Turn on the Reviewing toolbar so you can add comments to the text - very useful for your supervisor and they can easily be deleted later. Choose a serif font in a readable size e.g. Palatino Linotype 12 (the default Times New Roman 10 is very difficult to read in a long text).

    Set up at least three independent storage locations for your document to protect against accidental loss e.g. hard drive, CD ROM and USB stick.


  1. Your extended essay should be assembled in the following order:
  • Title page - this should have your name, degree name, supervisor's name, and extended essay title clearly and attractively laid out. There should not be a number on this page.
  • Abstract page if an abstract is required. Format double-spaced. Again, no page number.
  • Contents page - Word can generate an automatic table of contents with correct page. numbers - see page on tips for using Word ("TipsWord") to deal with long documents. Contents should include the references page and any numbered supplementary sections such as appendices.
  • Chapters - each chapter should be clearly titled and numbered and should start on a new page. Page numbering should start with the first text page. Titled sub-sections need not start on a new page.
  • References.
  • Any additional material in a clear order (appendices, graphics too large to be in the main text, questionnaires, interview transcripts etc.)
  1. If you do not have the Word skills to do any of the actions listed in points 1 or 2 then

Now is the time to do something about it.

Lacking the basic IT skills to produce a straightforward extended essay is no excuse for handing in a shoddy document, especially given Cumbria Institute of the Arts superior ratio of computers to students and structured IT learning opportunities.

We are not asking for rocket science, just acceptable presentation standards that you will have to use in the world of work when you graduate.