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The Writing Center

Formatting and Writing with Computer

I can't type!
Even though it may take more time, most professors will only accept word processed work. The biggest advantage is the ability to easily make revisions to your text.

For a formal paper, use standard, 8-1/2" by 11" paper and double space. Go to page set up and change all margins to 1 inch and choose use twelve-point-sized, reasonable fonts. Fonts with serifs such as Times and Times New Roman, as opposed to Arial and Geneva, are easy to read. Oversize fonts (14 + point) shout at the reader and unnecessarily wide margins are obvious to instructors as space fillers. To number the pages consecutively at the top of the page, go to insert at the top of the computer screen and pull down page numbers. Next, to include your name on each page (as this allows your professors to refer to them in their comments to you and minimizes the chance of your pages getting lost), go to view and click on headers and footers. In the box, type your name in front of the page number. When finished with your paper, fasten your pages together with a paper clip or staple.

If required, include a title page with your name and the course number, but do not use a plastic cover or binder unless the paper is very large or unless the instructor has required one.

Where can I find a computer on campus?
Computers are available for student use in the Writing Center (College Hall 156 D), on the 2nd floor of College Hall, and in AVCC.

I can't find my paper!
Often students save work to the hard drive of a campus computer instead of to their floppy. It is important to make sure that you save all work to your network drive, a floppy or flash drive and NOT TO THE HARD DRIVE OR DESK TOP. ITS also offers a student server, on which students may save their work and access it from a different location on the network. This service is particularly convenient and minimizes the viruses associated with disk-based transfers.

I found it on the Internet.
Because anyone can set up an impressive-looking Web page, it is important to evaluate all electronic information, note the author or sponsor of the site. Be especially wary of self -published sites such as Wikipedia. A general rule: academic websites will be the most reliable look for: edu, .gov, and .us are credible listings, with .org close behind. Use your best judgment with .com, .net, and any others especially if sources or other credentials are not listed. Even if you do use information from the Internet, you must cite it. See MLA or APA format handouts or consult The Little, Brown Compact Handbook or your instructor, if you have further questions.


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