November 03, 2016

Making Your Computer Work For You: The FIND Function

In the 'Making your computer work for you' series, Stephen Kuntz, Associate Director of Writing Resources at the Student Success Centre, shares the features of your computer that can make writing and studying easier.

The FIND function, put simply, finds things for you by highlighting them in your document and can be extremely useful during the final editing/revision of your document. Be aware of your weaknesses or problems in your writing, then let the FIND function point out possible problems.

For example, if you think you are using the same word too often, put that word in the FIND function search box and you will quickly see how many times and where you are using that word.  Then, change the word in some of those places, especially if you are using it close together. Below are more examples of how you might use the FIND function to improve your writing.

to Search for issues with  
‘ (apostrophe)
apostrophe / possessive problems
contractions (generally academic writing doesn’t use them)
quotation integration: have you integrated your quotations smoothly, grammatically, and logically
check for comma use and comma splices around this challenging word
“,  or  “.
placement of commas/periods in quotations/references
word confusion/typo
check clarity of pronoun reference
it  is / there are
expletives (wordy sentence structure)