Skip to Content


Spelling errors have a dramatic impact upon the total impression of a paper. Although Microsoft Word does have a spell check function, don't rely on a tool that cannot intuitively decide when you have mistakenly typed a correctly spelled word that isn't right for the sentence (e.g. where art you going?). A good way to catch misspelled words is to read the text out loud at a pace that someone else could understand you. Reading slowly and hearing what you've written will often be sufficient to catch spelling mistakes.

APA Style note

Make sure that you are consistent with the spelling style that you use (e.g. Canadian versus American spellings). For your information, according to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2020), "should conform to the Dictionary (" (p. 161). Since the American Psychological Association is an American organization, it prefers American spellings; however, since RRU is a Canadian institution, most RRU professors prefer that learners use Canadian spellings. The key is to be consistent within the chosen system of spelling. For more information on APA spelling rules, please see pages 161-162 in the APA Style manual (7th ed.).

If you choose to use Canadian spellings, which incorporate both British and American spellings, the Canadian Oxford Dictionary is an authoritative source to check spellings (requires RRU username and password).

For more information regarding how to change MS Word spell check settings, please refer to the information located within the Help from MS Word topic. 

To search for additional information, please visit WriteAnswers and search the FAQs. If you're a RRU student, you can also use the WriteAnswers contact form to send your questions directly to the Writing Centre. We'll send you a private reply as soon as we can, which is typically within one business day of receiving the message.


American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).