Technology Tip of the Month
August, 1997: Getting Students Started with Word-Processing
from Rosa Steinbrecher and Deborah Healey
The beginning of each term brings new students to the English Language
Institute at Oregon State University. While more and more have had some
contact with computers before, many need help getting started. Here's
the approach we take. Feel free to reproduce what's useful for you on
these pages, as long as you cite Rosa Steinbrecher and this URL:
Word-Processing Workshop Topics
Our handouts and overheads are customized to what students see on the desktop at the ELI and to the machines we use. Below is a sample of one of the handouts students take away with them.
- Turning on the computer
- Moving the mouse
- Formatting and naming your personal diskette (we give you a diskette)
- Choosing what to use
- Using a typing program to improve your skill
- Opening Word
- Using the keyboard to type
- Double-spacing with the Ruler
- Checking spelling
- Opening a document you made before
- Quitting Word
- Shutting down the computer and ejecting your disk
- Questions and answers/practice
Turning on the Computer
|Look for the special key at
the top of the keyboard.
Press this key to turn on the computer.
Moving the Mouse
|Sometimes you will see an arrowMove the mouse a little bit. Sometimes you will
see an arrow. |
Sometimes you will see an I-beam.
Formatting Your Diskette
You need to do this only one time, the first time you use a new
- Put your thumb on the label. Put your disk into the disk drive.
- Choose Two-sided.
- Click on Erase.
- Type your name when it asks for a name.
- Click on OK.
Opening Word (a word-processor program)
Look for the Word icon on the second page of the Programs&Documents
folder. [Note: we use At Ease, which puts buttons on the screen for the
programs we want students to use.]
Use the mouse to click on the Word icon. This opens MS Word.
Now you see a big, empty white space on the screen. This is where you
It's your "paper." Notice that it doesn't have a name yet -- it's
Type the paragraph below. Don't press RETURN at the end of each line,
just at the end of the paragraph. Press the TAB key at the beginning of
This is a paragraph on a word-processor. Maybe my typing is slow right
now, but I will get better with practice. The ' (called an apostrophe)
is the key on the left side of the RETURN key. I need to remember not to
press RETURN at the end of each line. Maybe it's getting easier already!
Now look at the ruler at the top of your screen. It should look like this:
To double-space, you need to start by telling the computer what you want
to double-space. Click anywhere on your paragraph.
Now single-click on the double-space symbol: (It's the one on the right side.)
Watch your paragraph change!
When you're ready, pull down the File menu to Save. Where it says, "Save
current document as" you type
Then press the Save button.
The paragraph is saved on your disk now. Make sure you SAVE YOUR WORK
OFTEN! If you type more, just pull down the File menu to Save again.
Checking Your Spelling
After you type something, always Check Spelling.
Pull down the Tools menu to Spelling...
Your teacher will give you more instructions in class.
Before you print, make sure you Check Your Spelling!
Read what you wrote again and fix any mistakes.
Then, pull down the File menu to Print.
Click on the Print button. It may take a few minutes if many people are
When you are finished, pull down the File menu to Quit.
If you did not save your work, the computer will ask you if you want to save it.
Click on Save.
Shutting Down the Computer
When you are ready to leave, pull down the File menu to Quit to
leave Word first.
Then you can pull down the Special menu to Shut Down.
This will eject your disk. Put your disk away and you're
If you have questions, comments, or for more information,
contact Deborah Healey, dhealey AT uoregon DOT edu
Rosa has moved on to bigger and better things on
the East Coast!
updated 26 June, 2009