At the January 2010 Broward Personal Computer Association, Inc. (BPCA) general meeting Q&A session the subject of using styles in word processing came up.
The actual question was:In Microsoft Word, how do I stop it from capitalizing the beginning of each line?
In answer to the question, it was suggested that the reason for capitalization of the first letter of the new line is that she is using the Enter key as a carriage return, just like she would if using a typewriter. Upon opening a session of Microsoft Word on one laptop, and one of OpenOffice.org on another laptop, a few lines were typed in each using the Enter key as a carriage return, and another few paragraphs only pressing the Enter key as a carriage return at the end of the paragraph. Sure enough, once we turned on Show/Hide Paragraph Marks it showed that was exactly what was happening.
Now the thing is how to get her to stop using her word processor (it doesn’t really matter which one, as long as it supports styles) like a typewriter, and use it as it is intended, a way to process words.
Here is a suggestion, as well as some links to information regarding using styles.
Instead of worrying about what the document looks like, try using a plain text editor, such as Notepad, to just put down all your thoughts. Just write until you have everything out of your head and into the document. Once you have all this, I call it my very rough draft, copy and paste it into your word processor, and now apply your formatting (bold, italic, etc.), rearrange and edit your sentences and paragraphs, and apply your styles to make it look pretty.
Some Links to check out regarding styles (mostly for Microsoft Word, but with minor adjustments should work with any word processor or desktop publisher that supports styles):
delicious.com search for microsoft word styles result:
Results for style search at Tips.net:
Photo courtesy of: http://www.imageafter.com/image.php?image=b12objects052.jpg