Doing your dissertation or thesis with Word—the book

Doing Your Dissertation with Microsoft® Word:
A comprehensive guide to using Microsoft® Word for academic writing
Updated for Microsoft® Word 2007 & 2010

ISBN: 978-0-86886-814-1

From the book cover:

Time is one of our most precious commodities—especially to a student completing a Master’s or PhD and having to type their own thesis or dissertation, as most 21st century students now do. What would you do with an extra month to work on your dissertation? If you had to assign a financial value to a month, what would that be? That is the bold claim of this book—that typical students with a standard knowledge of Microsoft Word completing a full PhD dissertation who know and use the information provided in this book might be able to submit their dissertation approximately a month earlier (or have an extra month’s worth of time to focus on their research work). This claim is made on the basis of the author’s extensive experience in assisting students with problems encountered in the typing of their dissertations and teaching these principles to postgraduate students in a focused Microsoft Word training course. But it gets better. The techniques presented in this book do not save time by taking shortcuts that impinge on the quality of the final product. In fact, the focus of these techniques is how to improve the quality of the submitted dissertation by avoiding the mistakes students commonly make as a result of their lack of knowledge about the features offered by Microsoft Word. In other words, better quality work is obtained by employing techniques that simultaneously allow students to work faster.So what will you do with your month?

What is the book all about?

Well, the best way to show you is to give you the table of contents.

What are people saying about the book?

Well, you can read the reviews on the Amazon page (see links below).

A review will also be posted, one fine day, on the Microsoft Word MVPs book review page (I will post a direct link when the review is uploaded, but in the mean time, the Microsoft Word MVP reviewer, Corentin Cras-Méneur, has kindly posted it to his own website).

And you can read what the Thesis Whisperer thinks about it here.

This is what the The (Research) Supervisor’s Friend has to say about it.

How can I get the book?

There are no more print copies of this book from the South African printers.

The only options for getting the book are: Second-hand, or via Amazon.

in $ (USD): from the page.

in £ (GBP): from

in € (EUR): from,,

in $ (AUD): from

(Please note that at the moment, the book is only available in English, for the Windows version of Office (Word 2007/Word 2010), although Mac users should be able to translate the core principles (which remain the same) to their own work.

How should I read the book?

Granted, the book could save you a lot of time. But the book is big–what if reading it takes just as long as the time saved on a thesis? Well, firstly, it will also have saved you a lot of frustration. Secondly, the time will also be saved into the future by your becoming more effective in Word.
But remember that the book is designed to be a reference book (I even admit to using my own book in that way–if I can’t remember something, I quickly pull the book of the shelf and read what I wrote on that topic). Now despite most professors’ ambitions, reference books are generally never read from cover to cover. Depending on your level of proficiency with Word, you can decide whether chapters 2 to 4 are worth reading or not. I generally recommend that everyone who has bought the book, read chapters 5 to 12 (optionally skipping p. 146-154 and the very complex section on wildcard searching on p. 229-238). Chapters 13 to 18 need only be read if their topics are germane to your own work. Chapter 19 is optional, depending on your level of proficiency in Word, but I do recommend taking the time to read it.


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