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How to Format an Appellate Brief: HELP & MORE

This guide was developed by Cynthia Condit for the University of Montana School of Law William J. Jameson Law Library. Used with permission.


  • To view an actual demonstration, go to Youtube > enter "formatting appellate briefs" in search box > select clip
  • Microsoft Office Help has information for all versions of Word for PCs.  Select the version of Word you are using > enter "Table of Contents" or "Table of Authorities" in search box > select from list
  • Duke's "The Goodson Blogson" has links to information on creating Table of Contents and Table of Authorities, including help for those using WordPerfect.

WORD 2013 for PCs -- Update

Microsoft recently introduced Word 2013 for PCs.  You'll find just a few changes from Word 2010.  Look for the following:

Preparing Your Document:

  • Creating a page before the main body of your brief > place cursor at top left of body of brief > Insert > Pages > click arrow > Blank Page
  • Inserting pagination > "Link to Previous" is now an icon > it is highlighted in blue > find it in the Navigation sub-tab immediately to the right of "Go to Footer" > click to unlink

Creating Your Table of Contents:

  • First step, assigning headings from Home tab > to locate the list that includes numbered headings > at Styles sub-tab click on small arrow pointing to the right >  when you are finished applying headings, click the "X" to close the Styles list
  • To generate and insert your TOC > place cursor at the "s" at the end of "Table of Contents."  Do not place it in front of the heading; if you do, the heading will show up at the bottom of the table of contents after you create it.
  • When you are ready to generate your Table of Contents  > select "Custom Table of Contents" > when dialog box opens, click OK > your TOC is created.
  • To make modifications to your TOC > click sub-tab "Table of Contents > again, select "Custom Table of Contents" > continue to make changes as you would if you were using Word 2010.

Creating Your Table of Authorities:

  • The "Insert Table of Authorities" icon is immediately to the upper right of "Mark Citation"