Writing in Style

A guide to creating professional-looking documents.

Microsoft Word has been around for more than 30 years, so you can be forgiven for thinking you know everything there is to know about this software application. Word is arguably Microsoft's most well-known and most used application and every edition contains new features. Learning and using them all is probably not something many people will bother to do.

However, you don't need to master every feature in Microsoft Word in order to create useful, polished documents. In this MakeUseOf article, Joel Lee talks about the importance of good design. He sets out 10 simple design rules and explains the importance of each one. Following these rules can help make your reports, letters, and resumes look better and be more user-friendly too.

Supporting Web Links
Discussion Questions/Activities
  1. Poll the class to see how long students have been using Word. Often classes have an interesting mix of users, some of whom have been using Word since elementary school, while others are still relative novices. Which features of Word do students have the most trouble with? Which features do they find to be useful?
  2. Divide the class into small groups and instruct them to watch one or more of the instructional videos included in the Supporting Web Links section. Each group should select a feature of Word and create their own "tips and tricks" video to explain how the feature is used. Ideally, video should be at least 3 minutes long, but less than 10 minutes. Each group should share their video with the class.
  3. As an individual project, ask students to research a feature or tool of Word that they are unfamiliar with. Students should locate a how-to article or instructional video about the feature and critique it. Did the article or multimedia item explain the feature clearly? Was it helpful for the student? Will the student begin using this feature now that it has been explained? Why or why not?


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