Please follow this advice!

From time to time I will be posting little gems of advice on how to make this process go much more smoothly and save yourself some money.

First and foremost, please consult your Graduate College’s dissertation manuscript guidelines immediately, if you have not done so already. This will save you and me many headaches, and much additional time charged to you. Those guidelines can usually be found online on your university’s website. They will specify things like margin size, headers/footers, front matter, font and font size, formats for chapter and subdivision headings, and the like. Microsoft Word has many powerful formatting features that make it easy to make global formatting changes in an instant if something is found to be wrong. They also ensure consistency of format throughout your document, an absolute must if your final manuscript is to be accepted. Very often the College provides document templates to help this along.

Whatever you do, please, please, please PLEASE do NOT use a carriage return at the end of a line in Word. Use the RETURN key ONLY for paragraph and section breaks. If you insert a carriage return, when your document is reformatted, the entire manuscript will be thrown off kilter and it will take me considerable (and quite unnecessary) time to fix it. This will COST you.

Also do not use the tab key or space bar for indentations. Instead, select the section to be indented, go to the formatting menu, select format paragraph, and enter the measure (e.g., .5″) in the appropriate box.

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