That’s the Breaks

That's the Breaks

As an editor, I’ve seen plenty of papers with pages that were separated by the writer hitting the enter key as many times as necessary to put the cursor on a new page. When this is done, it looks fine—until the writer later makes changes to the document. Then what happens is that there are suddenly all these spaces, but now they’re in the wrong place. So, delete delete delete here and enter enter enter enter enter enter enter enter there—and the whole process starts all over.

There’s a much better way for getting to the next page in your document: use the Break feature in MS Word. Actually, several possibilities exist for adding a break to your paper. We will discuss the two most commonly used: page break and section break.

Page break:
This feature is fantastic (and very easy). Let’s say you’ve just written the abstract for your essay. Generally, abstracts are short—often less than half a page. So, when you start your actual paper, you’ll want to have it begin on the next page. But instead of hitting the enter key 10 or 15 times, let’s use the page break feature. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Insert
  2. Select Break
  3. Select Page break

When you do this, your cursor will jump straight to the beginning of the next page, which is right where you want it.

Section break:
Breaking up a document into sections, by using the section break feature, is a powerful word processing tool. You can format different sections in different ways. For example, in the introductory portion of your paper, you may want to use lower case Roman numerals. Then, in the main body of the paper, you want to start the numbering over and use standard Arabic numerals. No problem:

  1. Go to Insert
  2. Select Break
  3. Select Section break

Do this for the first section, and then do it again (wherever and for as many times as you choose) to create a new section. There are also different types of sections you can create; the Help feature (and some experimentation) can tell you more.