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Formatting Worksheet (Technical Writing Exercise)

Business Writing Exercise

Business Writing Exercise

After two weeks of discussing all the amazing things your writing software can do, surely you’re itching to try some of them out! Today’s exercise is to do just that. I’ll start you with the easy stuff (but some of the most important): Paragraph Styles. Implement some good headings, tweak your page layout and design, and just generally poke around under the hood of your word processor.

If you feel like doing more, by all means do! Nobody’s going to be grading your results. Embed a table in your document, mess with the headers and footers, drop in an illustration and label it with a floating text box full of caption. Everything you learn is a new tool in your toolbox.

If you like what you make, you can even save the finished product as a document template, and use those styles for future documents with more definite purposes. Cool, no?

So here’s your worksheet. Copy the text below, paste it into your document, and format it according to the included instructions.

Chapter 1

Your goal in this document is simply to show your ability to implement Style formats.

Section 1.1

In case it’s not immediately apparent, I intend for “Sections” to be subsets of “Chapters.” Go ahead and make sure the difference between the Chapter 1 heading above and this section’s heading adequately conveys that relationship.

Section 1.2

Also, while you’re designing the heading Styles, it’s worth noting that reading studies have consistently shown that it’s much easier (and faster) to read serif fonts than sans serif fonts. As a result, we highly recommend using serif fonts for body text (which make up the bulk of your document).

Save the sans serif fonts for your heading styles. The very fact that they’re different will make the headings stand out more.

Chapter 2

It’s usually a good idea to make sure new chapters start at the top of a page.

Section 2.1

If you want to get really fancy, make sure all your chapters start on odd-numbered pages.

Why? Grab a printed book, flip through it, and pay attention to the layout of odd- versus even-numbered pages. It should quickly become clear.

Section 2.2

Want to really make the most of this exercise? Add some subsections, or volumes. Throw in a Note or a Warning, or maybe an embedded image with a boldface caption.

As long as you’ve got your Chapter and Section headings standing out from your body text, though, I’m satisfied. Well done.

If you learn something new and fun, let us know. And if you have problems, let us know in the comments — chances are good somebody can figure it out. After all, we’re here to help.

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