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IYY
November 23rd, 2006, 05:31 AM
I am working on a new, currently secret project that may revolutionalize the way we create documents. To better understand the demand, I want to ask you students a question:

When writing your essays, what format are you expected to use? Are there rules about the margins? The positioning of the title? The size of the fonts? Specific rules for bibliographies? Basically... List as many rules as your school has for the format of your essay.

If possible, post a sample essay, but I'd really appreciate even short answers (but be sure to tell me where you're from)!

mrgnash
November 23rd, 2006, 05:51 AM
MS Word document is the expected format, but these days I submit in PDF so that my formatting doesn't get all screwed up in the export. As for margins, line-spacing, etc. there are all sorts of rules, but I don't worry to much about adhering to them.

LLRNR
November 23rd, 2006, 05:59 AM
Hi, I don't know what your idea is, but here's how we need to write the thesis to graduate (I'm a CS student and we don't have formal "essays" to do, only a final thesis or whatever it's called):

- it has to be in portable document format (PDF);
- we're supposed to use LaTeX for math stuff (indices, formulas and so on) ;
- the formatting has to be standard, like the one used by our professors (borders of 1-1.5 inches, serife - yuck! - font, size 12-14 pt, front page with: university, department on top; name of thesis in the middle of the page, a bit larger than the rest; our name below the title; coordinator professor(s) on bottom; each page needs a header with the name of the thesis, our name and the page numbering).

I don't know if this helps, but this is how we need to get it done.

Best regards,

LLRNR

Hmarroqu
November 23rd, 2006, 07:00 AM
Ctrl 2 would enable double space!, that always kills me in openoffice how it makes everything weird. PDF would be great and also, having the header be individualy modified on each page and/or making it so that LASTNAME, # would make the pages numbered in order for MLA puposes of course.

zcal
November 23rd, 2006, 01:25 PM
Everything really all depends on the professor, but I┤d say the biggest pain is the format. I┤ve never tried sending a .odt file to a professor just because I know they┤ve all got MS Office. I always convert to .doc. However, I don┤t really know how much of an issue the format thing would be without having tested the waters myself. I┤d say most professors don┤t even give a second thought to the format because they assume everybody┤s Office.

Now, what I┤d really like to see is better compatibility in Office with .odp (Impress format right?) files. I know that when I have to give presentations and I want to have a ĘpowerpointĘ I have to use PowerPoint, especially if I┤m doing something more graphically-appealing and I want it to work when I present. Anyway, point is that I have to use the school┤s computers for presentations, and they don┤t really play too nicely with Impress-created files.

slimdog360
November 23rd, 2006, 01:53 PM
12 size font, times new roman or arial, double spaced in many cases

luca.b
November 23rd, 2006, 02:11 PM
LaTeX is the best for these kinds of things. You don't have to worry about the formatting, since it's done automatically for you.
I write all my reports (but again, I'm not a student anymore) using LaTeX.

livingtarget
November 23rd, 2006, 02:16 PM
12pt font preferably some sans font, like Arial. 1.5 spacing usually. References either Harvard or Vancouver style. I suck at referencing. Too much interweb not enough books ](*,)

I currently do my stuff in openoffice, then export it to .pdf and print it at university. Don't have a printer myself.

cantormath
November 23rd, 2006, 02:19 PM
MS Word document is the expected format, but these days I submit in PDF so that my formatting doesn't get all screwed up in the export. As for margins, line-spacing, etc. there are all sorts of rules, but I don't worry to much about adhering to them.

I thought it was more like MLA Format...That is what they teach in the states.

ZylGadis
November 23rd, 2006, 04:04 PM
To the original poster: before you spend efforts trying to revolutionize the way we create documents, make sure you have done your research. Office packages in general are way off the mark for documents, especially technical ones. Make sure you are well acknowledged with TeX in general and LaTeX in particular before you go reinventing the wheel.

mustang
November 23rd, 2006, 05:20 PM
I am working on a new, currently secret project that may revolutionalize the way we create documents. To better understand the demand, I want to ask you students a question:

When writing your essays, what format are you expected to use? Are there rules about the margins? The positioning of the title? The size of the fonts? Specific rules for bibliographies? Basically... List as many rules as your school has for the format of your essay.

If possible, post a sample essay, but I'd really appreciate even short answers (but be sure to tell me where you're from)!

I'm sure you're aware of the MLA format. Most students doing writing at the college level and even high school level are expected to follow the MLA guidelines.

To answer your specifics---1" all around, title in the center, 12pt Times New Roman font. Rules for bibliographies can be found with a "MLA work cited" google query.

For formal documents, I prefer LaTeX. For essays, OpenOffice will do.

Spif
November 23rd, 2006, 06:42 PM
Business school in Denmark. The rules for essays, reports and the like are:

- 12pt size. There are no rules about what font we use though, but I think this is because my teachers have no idea that any other OS than Windows exists.

- 1.5 line spacing. They absolutely freak out if you don't use it andeven threaten to lower your grades if you forget it several times. I've been a victim of this a few times, as I think big lines spacing looks silly. Oh well :(

- Footnotes are exactly neccasary, but the teachers love when we use them.

- For exams, we must have a header with our name, PC number etc.

urukrama
November 23rd, 2006, 07:40 PM
Now, what I┤d really like to see is better compatibility in Office with .odp (Impress format right?) files. I know that when I have to give presentations and I want to have a ĘpowerpointĘ I have to use PowerPoint, especially if I┤m doing something more graphically-appealing and I want it to work when I present. Anyway, point is that I have to use the school┤s computers for presentations, and they don┤t really play too nicely with Impress-created files.

One thing that you could do is export the odp file as a pdf, which you can then easily project. It works fine; i've done it several times.

It might not work if you have flashy, moving things in your presentation. I just use plain text and image slides (with nothing moving or flashing), and for that it works fine.

rejser
November 23rd, 2006, 08:38 PM
Going to a University in sweden. All papers, esseys should be in pdf format. Line-spacing and font varies from department to department. Psychology has one standard, sociology one and so on, really confusing. And then I have read courses for other schools, and they have yet different standards.
I'm looking for an easy to use reference system using the vancover system

Sefrin
November 23rd, 2006, 11:05 PM
Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo

We must use APA when we write any papers. Its main concern is proper citations.

APA Documentation (http://www.wisc.edu/writing/Handbook/American_Psychological_Association_(APA)_Documenta tion_M.pdf)

IYY
November 24th, 2006, 02:09 AM
Thanks for the replies so far, guys, very helpful!



To the original poster: before you spend efforts trying to revolutionize the way we create documents, make sure you have done your research. Office packages in general are way off the mark for documents, especially technical ones. Make sure you are well acknowledged with TeX in general and LaTeX in particular before you go reinventing the wheel.

I know that very well. I use LaTeX to create my own documents and will continue to do so. My idea will use LaTeX, but make it much more accessible to normal people (and yes, I am well aware of Lyx).

hueoblue
November 30th, 2006, 03:38 AM
I'm an Econ student at University of Victoria, BC.
most prof's demand:
- APA (If you could get something in LaTeX that isn't as much of a major bummer as getting apacite and bibtex to work smoothly that would be fantastic)
-12 pt
-times new roman
-1" margins (I'm not keen enough to make my own templates in LaTeX, so when I write for the profs demanding 1" margins I return to OpenOffice)

Sounds like a great idea, hope it works out...

plugitin
November 30th, 2006, 04:42 AM
We usually have to use the MLA bibiliography. Sometimes 1-inch margins depending on teacher. Usually some kind of readable font and size so the teachers don't complain.

IYY
November 30th, 2006, 05:03 AM
I'm an Econ student at University of Victoria, BC.
-1" margins (I'm not keen enough to make my own templates in LaTeX, so when I write for the profs demanding 1" margins I return to OpenOffice)


You know, you don't have to make your own templates just to change the margins. It's actually very easy: http://www.andy-roberts.net/misc/latex/latextutorial8.html

Polygon
November 30th, 2006, 06:41 AM
i just use the standard default in word / OOo: 12 pt font times new roman, standard margins, single or double spaced (depends on teacher)

dbbolton
November 30th, 2006, 06:59 AM
strictly MLA

(high school in wv, us)

edit: i tried to attatch a biology paper, too large. pm me if you'd like to see it (i'll upload it on my ftp or geocities or something)