Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Correcting Student Papers.

Correcting Student Papers

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 24, 2021)

If you are an instructor and have a need to correct papers submitted to you electronically via Word, there are a wide range of approaches you can use when adding your corrections. These include the following:

  • Using the Comment feature.
  • Using the Track Changes feature.
  • Inserting text boxes or callouts.
  • Use TC fields to create and then generate a table of comments.
  • Create special comment styles that call out your comments in a different font, color, or format. Use the styles to format your comments entered directly in the document.
  • Use the Versions feature.
  • Using footnotes or endnotes.
  • Using hidden text.

As you can imagine, discussing each of these in depth is a bit much for a simple tip. However, the techniques for each of these methods have been covered in other WordTips.

So what is the key to deciding which method is best for you? You need to find which one is the most comfortable and then adapt it to your needs. You can even mix and match methods, if desired. In all instances, however, you should keep a copy of the original submitted by the student, and they should be instructed to keep a copy of whatever they sent you in the first place.

When all is said and done, many people still consider a good old hand-written commentary on a hard-copy essay using arrows and marginal notes to be the most effective. (Besides, paper copies make it easier to comment on and grade papers in places you don't normally have your computer—like the commuter train or curled up in front of the fire on a cold winter evening.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3805) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Correcting Student Papers.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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