EazyPaper manWrite your EazyPaper April 2012

Welcome to the April edition of the Write your EazyPaper monthly newsletter. Professor Randy Wollf writes about using gender-neutral language, and Michael finishes his series on Word's Page Layout features. We'll take a break for the summer - good luck on your exams!

Gender-neutral Language

by Professor Randy

In this article, I will look at how we can and must use gender-neutral language in our writing. Not every professor will dock marks for using sexist language, but using this kind of language can set an "out of date" or even "out of touch" tone, which can influence how a professor assesses your content.

Here are some common examples of sexist words and their gender-neutral equivalent:

Businessman -> Businessperson, executive
Chairman -> Chairperson, chair
Craftsman -> Craftsperson, artisan
Fireman -> Firefighter
Forefathers -> Forbears, ancestors
Foreman -> Supervisor
Landlord -> Owner, proprietor
Layman -> Lay person
Mankind -> Humankind, humanity
Manpower -> Staff, labour, personnel
Policeman -> Police officer
Salesman -> Sales assistant/associate, sales representative
Spokesman -> Spokesperson
Statesman -> Political leader, public official
Steward/stewardess -> Flight attendant
Waiter/waitress -> Server

Fortunately, Microsoft Word and other word processors will usually flag these kinds of sexist words.

As I mentioned in last month's article on Avoiding "He" or "She," it is also important that we avoid using "he" or "she" unless we are identifying a particular person who we know. For example, it is better to say, "Writers should make sure their work does not contain sexist language," than, "A writer should make sure his work does not contain sexist language." In these examples, I am referring to writers in a general sense. Notice how the first sentence uses "writers" and "their" to make it gender-neutral while the second sentence uses the singular form, "writer," and "he."

It is also possible to use sexist phrases like, "Professors and their wives are invited to the Spring Banquet." In this example, the assumption is that all professors are men. To make the sentence gender-neutral, one could write, ""Professors and their spouses are invited to the Spring Banquet."

Gender-neutrality is a required feature of contemporary writing and one that will hopefully become an integral part of every professor's assessment grid.

Page Numbers

by Michael Hu

Last month's article introduced headers and footers, but left talking about inserting page numbers into those headers and footers until this article. There are three main considerations for inserting page numbers into Word: the position, the format, and the numbering.

Page number position

Double click a header to edit it and show the Header & Footer Tools tab. Then click Page Number and choose where to insert your page number as shown in Figure 1.

Page number position

Figure 1: Page number position

Page number format

Once you've inserted your page number, you might want to format it. Click the Format Page Numbers menu item of Figure 1 to bring up the window of Figure 2.

Page number format

Figure 2: Page number format

Click the Number format dropdown and select whether you want Arabic numerals, upper or lower letters, or Roman numerals. Recall that you can have different page number formats for different sections of your paper, as explained by the Turabian example in this series.

Page number numbering

From Figure 2, you can have page numbers Continue from the previous section, or Start at a particular number. This is useful for Turabian, which has no page numbers for the Title and Blank pages, but starts the Table of Contents page at iii.

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