WORD for Large Documents

A Master’s Dissertation can often reach 100 or more pages. Therefore, I thought that I’d do a series of videos about WORD for Large Documents.

Six Parts

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I have split this blog into six sections. In some cases the earlier parts are essential for the later parts to work correctly, so please do look at the whole series of clips.

  • Step 1 Setting up the Sections
  • Step 2 Setting up Page Numbers
  • The third step, Step 3 Adding Headings
  • Step 4 Adding Chapter numbers
  • Step 5 Inserting the Table of Contents
  • Finally Step 6 Inserting Table of Figures and Table of Tables

Each video is only between 3 and 5 minutes long.

Sections in WORD

This first part is essential  in order to set up different page numbering styles in the following step. The video is 3:38 in duration.

Once the sections are set up, you can then add page numbers.

Page Numbering in WORD

Adding page numbers is important. The title page should have no page number, and chapter 1 should start at page 1. Sections allow this numbering change to happen. This video is 3:54 long.

Once the page numbers are set up, you are ready to add Headings.

Headings in WORD

Headings allow for easy navigation in the ‘Navigation Pane’ on the ‘View’ menu. This view allows the student (and supervisor!) to jump around the document quickly. The overall content of the dissertation gives an idea of what may be required. The video is 5:09 in duration.

Adding all the chapters and sub-chapters at this point encourages a concurrent approach to writing the chapters. Another benefit is easily selecting portions of text under a heading for Word Counting or moving.

Numbering Chapters in WORD

Once the headings are set up, you can add a numbering system for chapters. This also allows a numbering system for sub-chapters. Adding sub-chapters (up to 3 or even 4 levels) can help the reader read the document. Every chapter after chapter 1 needs an introduction and summary sub-chapter. This helps the dissertation flow. This video is 3:41 in duration.

Now that the chapters and sub-chapters are numbered, we can set up a table of contents.

Table of Contents in WORD

The table of contents helps the supervisor overview the structure of the dissertation. When giving feedback (and marking) I will look at how many pages are in the critical sections such as the Literature Review and the Discussion chapters. You may only want to show two levels of chapter headings in the table of contents. The video is 5:04 in duration.

Now that the table of contents has been completed, a table of figures can be added.

Tables of Figures in WORD

The table of figures and table of tables are inserted in a similar (but different!) manner. The video is 5:30 in duration.

The document is now set up, and it’s time to start the research!


Using WORD correctly makes it easier for the student and supervisor to navigate and handle a large document. There will probably be marks allocated for presentation, and this blog should help attain those marks.

Dissertations are large documents. Using WORD correctly helps with navigating and reading the document.

Posted On: 21st April 2020

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