Style is essential to making a strong first impression. Admittedly, this usually applies to fashion rather than formatting. But in the academic realm, you\u2019ll win more points for applying clear and consistent heading styles in a document than for wearing a fancy outfit.\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_32896" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Having said that, dressing like this when meeting your tutor will ensure they remember you. (Photo: Slava Zaitsev)[\/caption]\r\n\r\nAnd since a well-formatted document is vital for clarity as well as grabbing the reader's attention, today we\u2019re taking a look at how to apply heading styles in Microsoft Word.\r\nUsing Headings\r\nThe \u2018Headings\u2019 styles in Microsoft Word are formatting options for making headings and subheadings stand out from the other text in your essay. This will help your reader, particularly in longer essays, by clearly indicating where different sections begin and end.\r\n\r\nMicrosoft Word actually comes with a number of default heading styles (named \u2018Heading 1\u2019 through to \u2018Heading 9\u2019). You can use these as you find them, but you may also need to change them to fit with any specific requirements for headings set out in your style guide.\r\n\r\nBut how should you use these headings? Like so:\r\n\r\n \tGo to the \u2018Styles\u2019 section of the \u2018Home\u2019 tab on the main ribbon\r\n \tSelect the text you\u2019re using as a heading and click on the appropriate \u2018Heading\u2019 style (e.g. \u2018Heading 1\u2019, \u2018Heading 2\u2019, etc.)\r\n \tIf the required style is not visible in the \u2018Styles\u2019 tab, click the little arrow in the bottom right to open a side menu with further options\r\n \tIf the required \u2018Style\u2019 still isn\u2019t visible, click \u2018Options\u2026\u2019 in the side menu and make sure \u2018All styles\u2019 is selected under \u2018Select Styles to Show\u2019, then click OK\r\n \tOnce the correct heading styles show in the menu, select the text you want to format and apply each heading and subheading accordinglyBe sure to use different styles to distinguish between different \u2018levels\u2019 of heading, since the formatting style of chapter titles should be distinct from those used for section or subsection headings: e.g. use \u2018Heading 1\u2019 for the main headings, then \u2018Heading 2\u2019 for the next level down, and \u2018Heading 3\u2019 for subsections, etc., being careful to apply each style consistently.\r\n\r\nNumbered Headings\r\nIf you want to use numbered headings, Microsoft Word\u2019s multilevel list options are very useful. This will apply numbering to titles and subtitles whenever a \u2018Heading\u2019 style is used, thereby ensuring clear and consistent numbering for all headings in your document.\r\nTo do this, you\u2019ll need to:\r\n\r\n \tApply different heading styles to your document for each level of heading\r\n \tClick on the \u2018Multilevel List\u2019 button in the \u2018Paragraph\u2019 section of the \u2018Home\u2019 tab\r\n \tSelect one of the list styles that refers to headings\r\n\r\nThis will apply a different numbering level to each heading style, while you can also modify and create multilevel list styles via the \u2018Multilevel List\u2019 menu.\r\n\r\nThis numbering will also update automatically if you add or remove headings, saving you the effort of re-numbering headings manually.