best essay font

7 Best Fonts For University Essays

7 Best Fonts For University Essays

When it comes to writing essays for university, the type of font you use can be just as important as the content itself. Different fonts can help set the tone and create a specific mood or atmosphere. Today, we’ll discuss seven of the best fonts to use for your college essays. These fonts are professional yet easy to read, so they’ll help you produce a high-quality paper that will definitely impress your professor!

What are the best fonts for academic essays?

When it comes to university essays, there are a few things that are more important than the font. The content, of course, is the essential part. But the font can also be important, as it can help to set the tone of the essay and make it more visually appealing. As you might already know, some fonts are better suited for academic works than others.

For example, Times New Roman is a classic choice that conveys seriousness and sophistication; but if you want to add a little personality to your essay, you could try a handwriting font like Comic Sans. Anyway, the best font for your school essay is the one that makes your work look its best. So experiment with different fonts until you find the perfect match. And if you’re still not sure what font to use, contact an essay help professional and ask them for advice. Sometimes getting the help we need can easily solve the issue we’re experiencing.

Why is font selection important when writing an essay?

Just as a well-tailored suit can make you look more professional, the right font can make your writing appear more polished. Of course, there’s more to font selection than simply finding something that looks good on the page. For instance, a playful script font might be appropriate for a casual invitation, but it would look out of place in a formal business letter. Likewise, a serious serif font would be inappropriate for a child’s homework assignment.

What are some of the most common types of fonts used in academic papers?

There’s no need to get too fancy when it comes to fonts for academic papers. In most cases, simple is best. Here are seven of the most common types used in academic writings:

How can you choose the right font for your paper’s tone and style?

The font you choose should be legible and appropriate for the tone of your paper. For instance, a formal research paper would benefit from a more serious font, while a lighthearted personal essay could be written in a playful script. In the end, the best way to choose the right font is to experiment with different options until you find one that feels right for your project, as explained above.

What should you avoid when selecting a font for your essay?

While there are a few general guidelines you can follow, ultimately it comes down to personal preference (and the whims of your teacher). That being said, there are a few things you should avoid when selecting a font for your essay.

Choosing the right font for your university essay is important. The type you choose should be legible, appropriate for the tone of your paper, and easy on the eyes. When in doubt, experiment with different fonts until you find the perfect match.

What are some of your favorite fonts? Let us know in the comments below!

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The Best Fonts for Google Docs Documents

best essay font

Mako Young is a Computer Science graduate turned writer for How-To Geek. He's a tech enthusiast who has written tons of tutorials, technical articles, and blog posts. From tweaking hardware components to fixing software bugs, Mako is constantly experimenting with technology. His computer has been through hell and back, troubleshooting problems and testing out solutions. Read more...

Google Docs logo on a white background

Google has a wide library of fonts that can turn your document into a pleasure to read and write. We’ve selected the best fonts to make your Google Doc documents look the best they can. We’ll cover some classics as well as some underrated new fonts.

Best Fonts to Use for Google Doc Inter Open Sans Roboto Merriweather Inconsolata PT Mono Source Sans Pro Nunito Sans What to Look For When Choosing A Font Character Line Spacing Serif vs. Sans-Serif Degree of Legibility Choose Your Favorite Google Font

Best Fonts to Use for Google Doc

If you’re a Google Docs user, you probably know that it employs the Arial typeface by default. However, there are also other alternatives offered by Google Fonts that provide similar professional flair and readability.

The Inter font

When it comes to documents, readability will always be a top priority, and Inter excels at this game. There are many types of writings that can be done with this typeface. The font was originally designed to work on the 11px font size specifically. It has a tall x-height that aids in the readability of mixed-case and lower-case texts.

The Inter UI font family has nine different weight styles available on Google Docs. It even has OpenType Features and glyphs if you are looking for more design options.

If you like texts that are carefully spaced out and friendly yet formal, then Inter is your best bet. It’s such a popular pick that you may even want to use Inter as your default font on Google Docs .

Where you can best use Inter:

The Open Sans font

Clean, sophisticated, and modern—these words best describe this sans serif font. Because of how clear and balanced the typeface is, you will usually see this style being used on the web. In fact, the font is still very readable, even on small screens.

This typeface is considered a humanist sans serif. In simple terms, it means it’s written like a human holding a pen with minimalist contrasting strokes. And because of this, humanist sans serif designs are usually used in education, finance, and the government sector.

Since Open Sans is highly legible, it’s best to use this font for:

Note: Google Docs only offers 30 fonts by default. To see Open Sans in the fonts list option, you’ll need to add it to Google Docs .

The Roboto font

Roboto is another sans serif font developed by Google, and it has six available weight styles on Google Docs. If we are going to compare it to the default Google Docs font, which is Arial, the former has a more condensed look.

Because of its condensed look, it is the perfect font to use when a lot of content is needed, but there is not a lot of space to work with. When you use Roboto, the typeface appears to be largely geometric since it belongs to the neo-grotesque family of sans serif typefaces. It also has open curves, which makes it a friendly and versatile font to use overall.

Roboto is part of the regular family, and you can also use this font together with the other family type, the Roboto Condensed, and Roboto Slab.

Now, where should you consider using this sans serif font?

Bonus fact: Roboto is the system font of the Android operating system!


The Merriweather font

Another one of our top Google fonts is called Merriweather. It’s a free, open-source serif typeface, and it has a full set of weights and styles available on Google Docs. It also has an interesting set of Glyphs.

RELATED: What's the Difference Between a Font, a Typeface, and a Font Family?

This font was designed by Sorkin Type, and its signature style balances aesthetics, expression, and utility. No wonder why Merriweather gives off a polished and elegant look, making your documents look more professional.

As for Merriweather’s best feature, it’s the ability to stand out due to its unique flair. However, it also blends in well when paired with other sans serif fonts such as Roboto, Montserrat, and Merriweather Sans.

Merriweather is best used for:


best essay font

Coming from the monospace family, Inconsolata is designed for printed code listings and is favored by programmers. As we’ve mentioned, it is monospaced, meaning the letters occupy the same amount of width. This kind of typeface dates back to the typewriter days.

One drawback for monospaced fonts is that they may be a bit harder to read than the other types. But Inconsolata is one of the few monospaced fonts that does not compromise legibility. While each character has the same width, the spaces in between them are just right. It’s not too condensed but also not too spaced out.

Consider using Inconsolata if you are doing these types of documents:

Additionally, you can also try to use Inconsolata as paragraph headings and pair it with sans serif fonts.

The PT Mono font

We have another humanist sans-serif on the list, and it’s PT Mono. This font is part of the Public Type family where they have sans and serif typefaces. But as its name suggests, this is a monospaced typeface. It’s very similar to Inconsolata, except PT Mono is sharper on the edges, making it look more straightforward and more formal compared to the other font.

If you are a heavy user of spreadsheets, this font should be your go-to. Each character has the same amount of width, so it’s easier to calculate the size of entry fields, cells, or tables. To activate PT Mono on your Google Docs, you have to go to the font options list and select “More fonts.”

We recommend you use PT Mono on your next spreadsheet file so you can get a feel of this humanist monospaced font.

In addition to worksheets, this font can also be used for:

Source Sans Pro

The Source Sans Pro font

Source Sans Pro is Adobe’s first Open Source typeface family, and it’s best for user interfaces .

But what is an Open Source font? These are free fonts that are developed to be used for any purpose, including commercial work. Most designers use an Open Source font because the design is open for modification. The simplicity of Source Sans Pro makes it very pleasing to the eyes. It is sleek and slender, and the style is known for its minimalist approach.

Source Sans Pro makes a good paragraph heading too. The next time you create something on Google Docs, try pairing Source Sans Pro with Roboto or Open Sans for variation.

You can use Source Sans Pro when you are doing the following types of documents:

Nunito Sans

The Nunito Sans font

The last on the list is Nunito Sans. It has seven weight styles available on Google Docs. This font is a well-balanced sans serif typeface.

This font’s design looks more rounded than the other sans serif fonts, which makes it more appealing. But it’s not so round to the point that it makes the style look soft. If you look at it carefully, the uniformity of the strokes balances out the roundness of the design. Overall, it gives that professional yet friendly vibe.

Similar to Source Sans Pro, designers like to use Nunito Sans as well because it’s simple yet formal enough. You can use this font to give more personality to your document while still keeping it formal.

Nunito Sans is best used for these kinds of documents:

What to Look For When Choosing A Font

Selecting a font to use may look pretty simple, but there are actually many factors to think about. The most essential one to consider is whether the document you’re working on is for print or web. Viewing from a screen and from paper are two completely different experiences, so formatting decisions like what font style to use for each should be distinct from each other.

With that, here are the considerations you should review when choosing a font:

Character Line Spacing

When characters are too close to each other, this can cause your content to look denser and messier. Choose a font with wider character spacing so they’re easier to read regardless of how small the sizes can be.

Serif vs. Sans-Serif

What Do "Serif" and "Sans Serif" Mean?

Serif fonts have decorative strokes on them that give your writing a more elegant look. However, choosing consistently readable serifs can be challenging. Sans-serif fonts tend to be cleaner, simpler, and easier to read. Choose according to the mood you’re going for and, of course, the readability.

Degree of Legibility

The way you use typefaces matters. You have to think about the size, range of weights and ligatures, clarity of the characters, and height and contrast ratio standards. Choose was reads best to your target audience.

Choose Your Favorite Google Font

There are over a thousand accessible Google fonts to choose from. All of them are 100% safe to use and can easily be downloaded from their website. In addition, there are no licensing restrictions, as all the fonts listed in their directory are open source and free. You can use them on your Google documents, websites, commercial projects, and even on print.

So, take some time exploring these awesome font options and narrow down your choices until you come up with the ones that can best express your message.

RELATED: How to Find, Add, and Remove Fonts in Google Docs

best essay font

5 Best Fonts For Essay Writing

best essay font

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Designed by Ellmer Stefan . From TypeTogether .

Licensed for Personal & Commercial Use. Learn More.

An elegant serif font with a broad palette of typographic goodies.


In 2006 Veronika Burian and José Scaglione established TypeTogether with the express purpose of creating innovative and stylish solutions to the greatest problems in the global, professional typography market. The foundry focuses on text typography for intensive editorial use, both digital and in print. TypeTogether also partners with discerning clients worldwide to create custom tailored fonts for their specific needs across all communication forms: branding, devices, websites, magazines, newspapers, and more. TypeTogether’s internationally awarded catalogue — honored for its high quality, usefulness, personality, and ability to grab attention — spans many languages and scripts and is diligently expanding each year.

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As with everything from Adobe Fonts, you can use these fonts for:

Design projects, create images or vector artwork, including logos, website publishing, create a web project to add any font from our service to your website, embed fonts in pdfs for viewing and printing, video and broadcast, use fonts to create in-house or commercial video content, visit the adobe fonts licensing   faq for full details.

You may encounter slight variations in the name of this font, depending on where you use it. Here’s what to look for.

In application font menus, this font will display:

To use this font on your website, use the following CSS:

Glyph Support & Stylistic Filters

Fonts in the Adobe Fonts library include support for many different languages, OpenType features, and typographic styles.

Learn more about language support

Learn more about OpenType features

Language Support

best essay font

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7 Best Fonts For University Essays (Teachers Choice)

Choosing the best font for university essays is really difficult. As a university student, you have to stand out from other students’ academic papers.

What are the best fonts for university essays? Arial and Helvetica sans-serif style is a common font choice among university students. Some universities do have guidelines on their website about what fonts are allowed in academic essays, so make sure to check before you start typing.

The right font can make your paper look more professional and appealing to readers. But it’s hard to find fonts that are both beautiful and easy to read especially when there are thousands of them available online!

Best Fonts will help you easily choose the most suitable font for your project by offering expert suggestions based on your needs and interests.

I’ve dedicated myself to helping students succeed in their studies with our website full of useful tips on how to write an effective essay or research paper, as well as relevant information about different types of fonts (serif, sans serif, script, etc).

Our team consists of experienced writers who also know what it takes to get top grades at universities around the world! So if you need some extra help writing your next academic paper or just want some advice on choosing.

If you are in a hurry! Then you should be considered these quick recommended picks.

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What Are The Best Fonts For University Essays?

Students often use clear sans-serif style Arial, Times New Roman, Helvetica, Calibri fonts on their university academic essays, and some universities have a proper guideline on their website about the fonts that should be used.

But for my academic papers, I’ve been researching on the internet and find these 10 best fonts for university essays that are clear in human eyes and look so professional. Your university professor will love your academic papers and essays after using these fonts.

1. Wensley Modern Serif Font Family (Top Pick)

The font of choice for many university students, Wensley is a modern serif font typeface. If you want to impress your professors with an elegant and professional appearance then this style will be perfect for the job! This font includes non-english characters so it can fit any language perfectly.

best essay font

Wensley Font

2. Madelin Serif Font Family

The font Madeline is a well accepted serif font among the universities and colleges. This high classed font includes all types of non-english characters and basic glyphs, making it perfect for students in academia. If you are a university student then this new typeface will drastically improve your academic papers.

best essay font

Madelin Font

3. Glamour Luxury Serif Font Family

Glamour Luxury Serif is a font for those looking to be both stylish and minimalistic. With many variations, it can make your paper stand out from the rest or you can use it on your resume as well!

best essay font

Glamour Luxury Serif Font Family

The wide variety of options in Glamour Luxury Serif means that students will have an easy time finding this typeface for their institution work while professionals will find just what they need in order to maximize their efficiency at work with its clean design.

4. Adrina Modern Serif Font Family

Adrina is a modern rounded serif font with 3 weights that can be used by creatives and commercial professionals. It also has multilingual support to help university students, adults in the professional world, or anyone who needs it!

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Aridina Font

5. Immani Serif Font Family Pack

Immani serif font is a logos-ready font with a modern, eye-catching serif look! This classy typeface is perfect for including in headings and other text collaborations within your project. With its sleek fonts, you can easily create stylish headlines or any other type of text that will catch the eyes of those all around you. It’s time to stop searching: this font is what you need!

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Immani Font

Effortlessly design your next project with FontsTTD Serif TTF Typewriter Font. Including a variety of letter and number characters, as well as an additional 5 ornaments at each.

Related Post: 10 Best Sellers Urban Lightroom Presets Free Download 2021

6. Bergen Text – Sans Serif Font

Bergen Text is an elegant, clean and minimalistic font for university and college academic papers. It has been designed specifically in a small 9-pixel size for easy legibility and accessibility reasons.

best essay font

Bergen Font

In contrast to Fontana families (that are heavy with serifs), Bergen Text is very straightforward. This makes it the perfect candidate for creative works that need a commercial license and readability that will satisfy any customer’s needs.

UNLIMITED DOWNLOADS: 50 Million+ Fonts & Design Assets

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Envato element offers key resources and parent tips about effective teaching strategies so students can learn more effectively, from pre-kindergarten to high school.

7. Morton – Sans Serif Font

University students always find the best font to use on their academic papers and essays. However, some university has its own criteria to write these papers.

best essay font

Morton Font

But most of the universities don’t have these font selections criteria on their academic guideline. That’s why students use basic and regular free fonts like Helvetica, Arial, Calibri.

If you want to stand out and increase your marks in academic and university essays. Then try to use a unique font. Because everyone is using the same font in their essays.

Related Post: 10 Best Dark & Moody Lightroom Presets Free and Premium

That’s why choosing a unique and stylish sans serif font in your writing is the best way to mark better.

Final Words

Unique fonts are the key to standing out and making eye-popping clear academic papers. These best fonts can be really unique with clean formatting. Students and professionals always need these great typefaces for their documents, presentations, or any other assignment that needs design

All the Fonts you need and many other design elements, are available for a monthly subscription by subscribing to Envato Elements . The subscription costs $16.50 per month and gives you unlimited access to a massive and growing library of over 50 million items that can be downloaded as often as you need (stock photos too)!

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What is the standard/recommended font to use in papers?

I looked around but did not find that anyone has asked this before, but what are the fonts that are standard/recommended while writing academic reports/papers?

ff524's user avatar

4 Answers 4

If there's no template, then the choice is yours. However, you should make sure to pick a font that's easy to read. The usual standards in academia tend to be the Times, Helvetica/Arial, and Computer Modern families. This doesn't restrict you from using fonts like Book Antiqua, Myriad Pro, Goudy Old Style, or Garamond, but they're definitely not standard.

aeismail's user avatar

For an academic paper each publisher journal have their standards. These do not affect or are affected by the manuscripts sent in to the journal. Some journals specify fonts, commonly standard Times Roman, for their manuscripts. If the journal specifies something, follow that specification. Otherwise use a font that is easy to read. There is no need to use anything but a standard font for whatever typesetting/word processor system.

Peter Jansson's user avatar

There isn't any.

Focus on the content, write using your favorite writing software's default font, and let the journal's typesetting staff worry about the looks of the published version.

For the subset of journals that do not take care of typesetting, first make sure they are legitimate, then use the template they provide.

If no template is provided discuss with your supervisor and colleagues whether the journal is really worth your time, if it is then use your favorite software's default font.

Cape Code's user avatar

As others have mentioned, the standard font varies, but is usually a serif font such as Times New Roman, although sans serif fonts such as Arial and Helvetica seem to be gaining traction as well. Their is major disagreement over which is easier to read--serif or sans serif fonts, with no clear consensus on the outcome. For example, see this paper .

Font size is typically twelve point. Follow the guidelines on this one, and make sure to keep your font consistent. Nothing is more likely to get you minus points than some obvious monkeying with the font size, whether to lengthen your manuscript (most commonly seen in undergrad papers) or to fit your text into the page limit (the rest of us!).

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essay format

Proper Essay Format Guide (Updated for 2021)

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Content is king. The substance of what you write is the most important thing in your essays and term papers .

However, you also have to nail the mechanics of academic writing. You need to master good grammar and sentence structure, and use appropriate vocabulary for your subject or assignment. Many instructors take points off for incorrect formatting.

You also need to understand different types of essay format, and use the one that is appropriate to your assignment. This article introduces you to the basic elements of essay format, and helps you to improve your essay formatting.

What is Proper Essay Format?

The format of an essay refers to its basic structure , layout, and even its appearance on the page. Although it seems confusing at first, mastering the different essay formats is not that hard.

There are different formats you will use in different classes, but they share many elements in common. After you write enough essays, you will become familiar with the main essay formats used in typical college classes. Also, some subject areas have preferred essay formats or styles. 

Standard College Essay Format

Technically, there is no “right” college essay format. Each teacher will have personal preferences for how they want their students’ papers to appear. Each class will have its own rules, and it is up to you to follow whatever rules your professor provides.

However, there are some basic elements in a college essay format including font or typeface, linen spacing, margins, and whether to include page numbers, headers, headings, and/or a title page. With a few possible variations, the common formatting elements in college essays include the following:

Standard college essays use standard fonts to create a uniform appearance. The most widely acceptable font used in college essays is Times New Roman, but Arial is sometimes acceptable too. Typically, you will be asked to standardize the size of your font to 12 point, but some instructors prefer 10.  Read this article for more information on how to write an essay .

Line Spacing

Most of the time, you will be asked to use double spacing in your college essays. Occasionally you will be asked to use single spacing, or even 1.5 spacing.

The most common margin size is one inch all around.

Page Numbers and Title Page

Short essays usually do not take a title page, but some do. Likewise, you may be asked to include page numbers only for longer assignments.

First Line Indent

Your college essay will be formatted a lot like the books you read, with the first line of each paragraph being indented. Typically, the first line indent is .5 inch. Also, your college essay should be left aligned, as opposed to centering the text on the page.

Essay Format Headings vs. Headers

Some of your college professors may request that you use a heading, while others will ask that you use a header. Some may ask for both. What is the difference between a heading and a header ?

A heading appears only on the first page, and will typically include your name, your professor’s name, the name of the class, and the date of the assignment. For example, MLA style formatting frequently asks for a heading in addition to a running header.

A running header appears on all the pages of your college essay and typically includes only the title of the essay and the page number. Your pages will look like this:

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Essay Format Outline

Essay outlines also have their own formats. If you have to create a formal outline for an academic essay, it is always best to check with your professor to see if there is a specific style you are supposed to follow. A typical college essay outline is as follows, using Roman numerals as the top level:

I. Introduction

            A. Body section

                        1. Sub-section

                                    a. Detail

                                    b. Detail

                        2. Sub-section

            B. Body section

III. Conclusion

Essay Format Templates

Scholarship essay format.

If you ever hope to earn a scholarship, now is the time to master the scholarship essay . A scholarship essay should be tailored to the specific fund you are applying for, and it is best to avoid a generalized essay. The main components of the scholarship essay format are similar to those in a standard college essay:

Unlike most college essays, a scholarship essay is going to be written in the first person, because it is about you. You are supposed to talk about yourself in a scholarship essay, whereas in a college essay, you should be writing in third person unless instructed otherwise. The scholarship essay will give you a chance to show how much work you have done to reach your goals, and why you stand out from the crowd.

Even for needs-based scholarships, you will want your reader to know that receiving financial aid is not the only reason you are worthy of receiving the scholarship. Talk at length about what motivates you and what makes you tick. Even if your future goals and career plans are not etched in stone, you can share information about your visions and dreams for the future and how you believe a college education will help you contribute to society.

College Application Essay Format

Like a scholarship essay, a college application essay should be written in the first person. Some college essays will be as short as 100 words, whereas others will be 1500 words or even more. Always follow the instructions, while also keeping in mind the standard rules for what the admissions committee wants:

If you are sincere about getting into a school, spend time on your admissions essay. Make sure the formatting is correct, that you answered the question or responded to the prompts, and that you use good grammar.

For many college application essays, you want to start with a powerful introduction. Telling a brief story about something that happened in your life to shape your character is a good start. Then, be honest and tell the admissions committee about who you are, and why you are interested in their institution. You should ideally share information about your interests and goals, and what courses you are interested in as well. Many college entrance essays have prompts that ask you to reflect on a personal experience that shaped who you are, a position of leadership that you held, or a story about how you overcame a challenge or defeated an obstacle. Because a college application essay is a high stakes situation, it is advisable to seek help from a professional writer or tutor to help you polish your prose. Remember, you are competing with hundreds of applicants and your essay needs to stand out.

Reflective Essay Format

A reflective essay is naturally less formal than an ordinary expository essay. However, there are still formats that you would be expected to follow when you prepare a reflective essay. Some reflective essays are written in the first person, whereas others are more formal like a typical college essay. The format of the reflective essay will include the basic rules of font, paragraph and line formatting, and page setting like margins.

Some reflective essays ask you to reflect on an event in your life or on your own personality. However, not all reflective essays are that personal. Many reflective essays ask you to comment on a specific text that you have been reading in class, a work of art or music, or a current event. When asked to write a more formal reflective essay like this, it helps to begin with an introduction to the object of reflection. If you are reflecting on a scholarly article, your introductory paragraph would include information about the author and title of the publication, and a brief summary of the main arguments. Then, you would begin the reflection as if you were having a conversation with the author.

A sample reflective essay outline is as follows:

            A. Name, date, and title of the article, piece of music, or work of art.

            B. Brief overview or summary of the object of reflection

            C. Thesis: Your opinion or take on the article.

                        1. Do you agree or disagree with the author, or like or dislike the piece?

                        2. Introduce a new angle or line of thinking that adds to or challenges the original piece.

            A. Focus on one element of the source, weaving in your own ideas or personal experiences.

            B. Focus on another element of the source, weaving in your own ideas or personal experiences.

            A. Wrap up the reflective essay with a brief summary

            B. Suggestions for further research or reflection       

Persuasive Essay Format

When you write a persuasive essay , your goal is to influence your reader. For example, you want to talk your reader into changing his or her voting habits, or you want your reader to stop eating meat. When you write a persuasive essay, you have the opportunity to use all the rhetorical strategies you have been learning, such as pathos, ethos, and logos. Use strong and emotionally powerful diction, tone, and imagery, but also rely on credible evidence to substantiate your claim.

A persuasive essay can be of almost any length, and is written in formal academic style. You will follow the structure and outline used for a standard academic essay with an introduction, body, and conclusion. Persuasive essays are also strongly driven by a thesis statement .

            A. Hook your reader with a fun or controversial opening statement.

            B. Lead into the main topic with background information.

            C. State your case, persuade your reader with a strong thesis statement.

            A. Reason one

            B. Reason two

            C. Reason three

            D. Acknowledge the opposing or alternative points of view

            E. Respond to and refute the opposing points of view

            A. Restate your claim

            B. Urge the audience to take action

Use the same essay format for standard college essays, with 12-point Times New Roman font throughout and double spacing.

APA Essay Format

The American Psychological Association (APA) offers one of the most widely used essay formats. It is unlikely you will get through college without having to write at least one essay using APA style citation . Psychology classes almost always rely on APA formatting, but APA formatting is standard in a range of other social science disciplines including criminal justice and nursing.

APA formatting follows the basic rules for a standard college essay:

However, APA formatting also includes a title page, a running header with both title and page numbers, and in some cases, an abstract.

APA Title Page

A title page helps your completed essay look polished and presentable in class. On the APA formatted title page, you will include the title of your essay, centered on the page. On a line immediately below the title, also centered, you will write your name. You may also write the name of your class or institution below your name, as well as the date.

APA Running Header

A running header is what appears at the top of every page of the completed essay. In APA format, your essay header will include the TITLE OF THE ESSAY IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, and also the page numbers. An example of a title page with the running header in APA format is as follows:

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APA Abstract

Longer research papers in APA format may include an abstract. An abstract is similar to a summary in that it includes the main points of your research. Especially if you are preparing the results of your own research, you will include an abstract that reviews the methods and results of your experiment. Not all papers require an abstract. Usually an abstract accompanies original research in which you want the reader to have a snapshot or overview of how you conducted the study and what the results indicate.

Some APA format papers follow the standard format of research publications, which include the following sections after the abstract:

Introduction or Background


Not all APA format papers are research reports, though. Some will be standard college essays, some will be article reviews, and others will be responses to essay questions or prompts.

In APA formatting, when you have a longer paper it helps to organize it with subheadings. The subheadings help draw the reader’s eye to the different sections of your paper. You can use bold font to identify the subheadings, as follows:

This is the introduction to your topic, and where you hook the audience into reading the rest of the paper.

The review of literature is where you describe some of the most important research studies that have already been done on this topic.

The methods section is where you describe the research participants and procedures of the experiment. If you did not conduct an experiment, then you would discuss how you went about compiling data, such as through a search of academic databases or through interviews.

This is the section where you list the raw data from your survey or experiment, or where you simply discuss the results without making inferences or analyses.

In the discussion section of an APA paper, you analyze the results of your research, placing those results into the context of prior literature. Talk about whether you proved your hypothesis. Also discuss limitations to the research, and suggestions for future research.

Wrap up all your research neatly, mentioning how your research contributes to the growing body of knowledge on the topic.

Always list the sources you used in the paper, but do not list any sources that you do not cite directly in the body of the essay using parenthetical citations.

Appendix or Appendices

Include the survey instrument you used, a list of interview questions, or important tables and charts.

MLA Essay Format

Another one of the common essay formats you will encounter in college is from the Modern Language Association (MLA). Used most commonly in the arts and literature classes, MLA format shares some elements in common with other college essays, such as:

Unlike APA formatting, MLA does not typically require a title page. However, you may be asked to put your name, professor’s name, class name, and date in the upper left corner of the first page of your essay instead. For example:

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Another thing that differentiates MLA format from APA and other types of essay formats is how you cite your sources. In MLA, you always offer the page number even when you do not quote directly. This may seem problematic when you are paraphrasing an author’s main idea, but it is nevertheless standard practice. MLA papers tend to be discursive. You are expected to engage a work of art or literature in a sort of conversation, weaving in what other people have said on the topic.

Chicago Essay Format

Chicago style format is also common in college essays, particularly in classes in history, political science, and public policy. With Chicago style, you can stick to the basics:

Chicago style formatting also has a title page, similar to APA format. However, you will insert a lot of space between the title of the essay and your name and date as follows:

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Another thing that differentiates Chicago style from other styles of essay formats is the citation style. Whereas APA and MLA style essays use in-text parenthetical citations, Chicago style usually takes footnotes.

Additional Elements of an Essay

Some types of essays, such as longer research papers or dissertations , also include other elements. A table of contents is one thing that is unnecessary in all shorter essays, but essential for long assignments like dissertations or Masters theses. Software like Microsoft Word can help you create a table of contents that takes into account the important headings or subheadings of your document.

Types of Essay Formats

The most common types of essay format you are likely to encounter in college include the following:

Essay Format Example

The main elements of any standard college essay include the following:

The main elements of an APA format essay include the following:

The format of an essay is important for its overall appearance and structure. When you master the different essay formats, you will find it much easier to complete your assignments. Each essay format has its own set of rules and guidelines, but all college essays share certain elements in common.

Almost all essays have an introduction, body, and a conclusion. In some cases, you will also need a title page, an abstract, and a running header. Each class and each instructor will give you specific instructions about the formatting of your essay.

After reading this article, you have a better understanding of the most common essay formats you will encounter during your academic career. You can apply what you have learned about standard college essays to any assignment you encounter. In addition to this guide, you can also consult with a writing coach or assistant to help you with your work.

Other Resources:

This writing tool and over 126,443 example essays, tutorials, study guides and more are available for immediate download!

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What are the best fonts for your essay?

By Published Writing Guides

At some point in our lives, we’ve all thought about how to write a successful essay. A simple Google search will give you thousands of step-by-step guides on how to write a great essay .

However, many people forget about fonts. While students should focus on gathering information and presenting it nicely, they should also learn how to format their essays. And fonts play a huge role when it comes to formatting.

You will need to find a font that is appealing to the eye. The problem is that there are thousands of fonts to choose from. And, after you’ve chosen the best one, you’ll need to decide the size. Is 12 better for the text and 14 for the headings? Or 18 for the headings and 11 for the text?

These are questions that anyone who writes essays might face. Especially students, who have to write tens of essays every year. That’s why we are here to help you.

We will present the best fonts that you should use when you write an essay.

Before we go on with our list, we’d like to give you a general answer about the fonts and their size. You should use a Serif font or a Sans-serif font (usually named Sans). When it comes to size, you should use 10-12 for text and 14-18 for headings and subheadings.

You might wonder what Serif and Sans. They are both types of fonts. The most used fonts are Times New Roman and Calibri. These are Serif and Sans, respectively. So, we will focus on Serif and Sans fonts, that also used by the best Reddit essay writing services .

Times New Roman

Widely believed as the best font, Times New Roman is a Serif font. It is a very clear font and has been the staple font for essays for years. It was also the default font on MS Word for some time. If you want the best essay font, Times New Roman is probably your best choice.

Equally popular with Times New Roman, Calibri is a Sans font. If you don’t like Times New Roman, this is your next best choice. It succeeded Times New Roman as the default font on MS Word. It is a simple font, so it is a very safe choice of font. It is our personal choice of font.

If you are looking for another great Sans font, Arial is the best choice. Some people may say that it is a rather bland font. This is true. But that’s what made Arial so popular. It is an excellent option for your essay and it is one of the best fonts you will find for any writing you want to do.

If you’ve ever used MS Word, you have to know Cambria. It was made back in 2004. It is a great alternative Serif font, for those of you who don’t like Times New Roman. Many would say that Cambria is a traditional font. It is a very beautiful font, and I’m sure you will like it.

Another great Serif alternative to Times New Roman is Georgia. Just like Cambria, Georgia is considered a traditional font. If you want to use a unique Serif font, and if you don’t like Cambria, then Georgia is the best choice for you.

Going back to Sans fonts, Helvetica is another great choice. Many companies, like Panasonic, and the subway signs in New York, use Helvetica. Compared to our previous fonts, this one is more modern. This has to be one of the most beautiful fonts on our list. You won’t regret using it.

Another great old-school Serif font is Garamond. This font is really beautiful and simplistic for a Serif font. If you want to use a traditional font, this is one of the greatest choices. It can be easily read on the screen, which is a huge plus when you want to write a great essay.

Book Antiqua

Our last font on this list is the most beautiful one. Book Antiqua is an old-school Serif font, just like Garamond. Because Times New Roman is overused, this has to be the best choice for a Serif font. It is very unique and gentle. This also means that it is very easy to read, so it has to be one of the best essay fonts.

As you saw, there are many fonts that you can use when you want to write your essay. The font, however, isn’t everything. You will need to have a font that is easy to read and a size that is big enough. But, the stuff that you’ll write in your essay is much more important.


repeats the word beautiful A LOT, not a great example for those writing essays

Daytona is good

The Study Blog : Tips

What is the best font for a college essay.

By Evans May 23, 2020

The best font for a college essay is Times New Romans, Font 12

The font you use when writing academic papers should have two main properties: it should be readable and it should have clearly contrasting italics. Taking these into account, this is my recommendation:

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Use a Serif Font

Serifs are the tiny strokes that extend on letters. Using this definition, serif fonts have the tiny strokes extending on their letters while sans serif fonts don’t have them.

You may also like: The little secret why your friends are earning better grades

Examples of sans serif fonts are Ariel, Calibri, Verdana, and Helvetica, among others. These fonts don’t have true italics. Rather, their letters in italics are just slightly slanted to the right. For this reason, they don’t make for good body text. However, they are recommended for headings and single-line texts.

On the other hand, serif fonts have clearly defined italics with a sharper contract and are more readable for longer passages. For this reasons, they are recommended for use in the writing of academic papers. Examples of serif fonts are Times New Roman, Courier, Palatino and New Century Schoolbook. The best font for a college essay is Times New Roman.

The Type Size Should Be Readable

This is basically saying that the size of the font you choose should be big enough for you to read it comfortably without straining. This size is measured using the “point”. The point is basically the percentage of the screen that the letter(s) are occupying. One point is equivalent to approximately one pixel on a computer screen.

When writing academic papers, the recommended font size is between 10 to 12 points. These sizes make your text easy to read without necessarily looking bulky and oversized.

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Margins and Paragraphs

Your margins’ minimum size should be 2.5cm while the maximum should be 3cm. This can be edited from the “Page Layout” tool.

On the other hand, the choice of using an indent is dependent on the type of academic paper you are writing. If required, use the tab tool, to make your indent. This is equivalent to approximately 1.27cm.

Your paragraphs should have a Double or a 1.5 spacing. This spacing ensures that your words are neither too cramped together nor are they too spaced out. They are therefore easily readable.

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World Leaders in Research-Based User Experience

Best font for online reading: no single answer.

Summary:  Among high-legibility fonts, a study found 35% difference in reading speeds between the best and the worst. People read 11% slower for every 20 years they age.

By Jakob Nielsen

on 2022-04-24 April 24, 2022

A large new study of the best fonts for online reading is ultimately disappointing, because it doesn’t answer the most burning question: what font should you use for your website? But it still provides many intriguing findings, including the striking conclusion that there is no single answer to this question.

The Research Study

Shaun Wallace from Adobe and colleagues conducted a reading-speed study with 352 participants. The participants were asked to read several short passages of text; each passage had 300–500 words (by comparison, this article contains 2,623 words and the average web page contains 593 words). The test stimuli were at an approximate 8th grade reading level, which matches our recommendation for web content targeted at a broad consumer audience . (This article is written at a 12th grade reading level, but it targets professionals , not the general public.)

The texts were shown in 16 different fonts, with appropriate experimental controls for things like order effects.

Edwardian Script ITC

While navigating the Internet, users mostly scan pages for useful information , as opposed to reading all the text word-for-word. Thus, in real life, users only read 28% of the words on a webpage, or about 166 words. In contrast, study participants did read the entire texts in a linear fashion. (Complete reading was encouraged by asking users a few comprehension questions after they had finished reading each passage.)

This difference in reading behavior between web users and study participants does raise the question whether findings would be different under more realistic web-usage conditions. Even so, I still think the findings about the relationship between fonts and reading speed are of interest.

The authors note that there are 3 types of reading, of which they only studied one:

The three main metrics collected were:

However, this last metric was not very interesting, as the score was very close to 90% in all conditions. High comprehension indicates that (a) the content was easy relative to the users’ reading skills, and (b) people read the texts carefully. The first of these findings is not always true for web content, and the second is rarely true for web users.

Fonts Matter

On average, any given participant read 35% faster in his or her fastest font (314 WPM) compared to that same person’s slowest font (232 WPM, on average). This is a huge difference, considering that each user was only measured on 5 fonts. If reading speeds had been measured for all 16 fonts for each user, the difference between the fastest and slowest font would have been likely even bigger. And it would have been bigger again in a hypothetical (but impossible) experiment that measured people reading texts in all available fonts with sufficient legibility to be considered for practical business design. (Impossible, because there are probably thousands of good fonts, not even considering the even larger number of bad fonts which we sadly do see employed on websites from time to time.)

16 fonts that were measured in the present study, sorted by average reading speed in words-per-minute (WPM)

Main Finding: No Best Font for All Users

With this big difference in reading speeds within users, you would expect that the study would have identified a font with the highest overall score. Well, it did: Garamond had the highest average reading speed at 312 WPM; it was 6% better than #2 (Oswald, at 295 WPM) and 23% better than the worst font of the 16 tested (Open Sans, at 254 WPM).

But Garamond was only best on average . It wasn’t best for all users . There were substantial individual differences.

Many users were faster readers with another font than Garamond, which means that they would be penalized by a design that used Garamond. The authors also computed a speed-rank score that shows how often a font was the fastest of those 5 fonts that a given user saw. Garamond only achieved a speed rank of 48%, which means that (slightly) more than half of the time another font would be better for a specific user. (And an even bigger percentage would likely have been better off with a different font than Garamond if all 16 fonts had been available as alternatives.)

The highest speed rank was achieved by Franklin Gothic, at 59%. Note that this still means that 41% of users would be better served by a different font out of the 5 they used. Interestingly, Franklin Gothic only scored an average reading speed of 271 WPM, which is much lower than Garamond’s reading speed of 312 WPM. In other words, Franklin Gothic is better for more people than Garamond, but the mean speed is higher for Garamond. How to explain this discrepancy? It's possible that Franklin Gothic is a good font for poor readers, whereas Garamond is good for strong readers. If true, the strongest readers can really speed ahead with Garamond and drive up its overall mean. (Remember that the mean of 2 and 4 is 3, whereas the mean of 2 and 10 is 6. Thus, if the high end can be increased in a dataset, then the mean will increase even if the low end stays the same.)

Whatever the true cause, the distinction between Franklin Gothic and Garamond is simply more proof of the overall finding that different fonts are best for different people, with reading skills being a possible differentiator impacting font choice.

Can’t Ask Users

If different fonts are best for different people, you might imagine that the solution to the fonts problem would be a preference setting to allow each user to select the font that’s best for them.

This solution will not work, for two reasons. First, previous research on user-interface customization has found that most users don’t use preference settings, but simply make do with the default .

Second, and worse, users don’t know what’s best for them , so they can’t choose the best font, even if they were given the option to customize their fonts. In this study, participants read 14% faster in their fastest font (314 WPM, on average) compared to their most preferred font (275 WPM, on average). Again, each individual user in this study was only measured on 5 fonts, whereas most systems have many more. For example, the word processor I am using to write this article has more than 200 fonts installed (of which, admittedly, several are script fonts that no sane person would pick for reading). More fonts equal more chance of picking wrong and a larger difference in reading speed between the optimal font and the user’s choice.

Age Differences

Users’ age had a strong impact on their reading speed, which dropped by 1.5 WPM for each year of age. It’s important to note that this is not a matter of young users vs. senior citizens. The average age of the study participants was 33 years, with a spread from 18 to 71 years, but a small bias in favor of younger users.

Reading speed drops during middle age. A 20-year age difference (for example, from 20 to 40, or from 30 to 50 years old) will, on average, correspond to reading 30 WPM slower , meaning that a 50-year old user will need about 11% more time than a 30-year old user to read the same text. (Computed relative to the overall average reading speed in the study, which was 276 WPM.)

By comparison, in an earlier study, we found that users between the ages of 25 and 60 declined in performance by 0.8% per year , in terms of the time needed to perform tasks while using websites. A performance drop of 0.8% per year corresponds to users spending 16% more time to perform tasks on websites if they are 20 years older .

How to explain that the performance decline caused by 20 years of aging was 16% in the website-usage study but only 11% in the online-reading study? One explanation is simply the passage of time: there were about 14 years between the two studies, with the bigger difference measured in 2007 and the smaller difference measured in 2021. During these 14 years, older people have become more tech-savvy and possibly also have better health due to advances in medical care. Today’s 40-year-olds probably exercise more and pop more prescription pills, which may make their brains decay a little slower than was the case for the previous generation.

Another explanation (which I personally believe to be more plausible) is that two different things were measured. Yes, performing tasks on websites involves reading, but it also requires many more advanced skills, such as navigation, search, and the ability to judge and make decisions based what’s being read. It is likely that the degradation of the human brain during middle age is more damaging for people’s ability to do complicated things than for the performance of relatively simple functions such as reading.

A second interesting age-related finding from the new study is that different fonts performed differently for young and old readers . The authors set their dividing line between young and old at 35 years, which is a lower number than I usually employ, but possibly quite realistic given the age-related performance deterioration they measured.

3 fonts were actually better for older users than for younger users: Garamond, Montserrat, and Poynter Gothic. The remaining 13 fonts were better for younger users than for older users, which is to be expected, given that younger users generally performed better in the study.

The takeaway is that, if your designers are younger than 35 years but many of your users are older than 35, then you can’t expect that the fonts that are the best for the designers will also be best for the users.

Also, the differences in reading speed between the different fonts weren’t very big for the young users. Sure, some fonts were better, but they weren’t much better. On the other hand, there were dramatic differences between the fastest font for older users (Garamond) and their slowest font (Open Sans). In other words , picking the wrong font penalizes older users more than young ones . The same takeaway applies: if the designers are young, they may not experience much reading-speed differences between different fonts, leading them to make design decisions based on mainly aesthetic criteria and assuming legibility to be less important. But those fonts that seem pretty much equally legible to young people can have vastly different legibility for older people. (And remember that “old” was defined as 35 years or above in this study.)

A final point about age differences in reading: the study didn’t include many true seniors, topping out at 71 years for its oldest participant. In our first user research with senior citizens in 2002, we defined “seniors” as users aged 65 and above. But in our latest research with seniors (2019), we discovered that people in their late 60s use computers pretty much the same as people in their 50s. Thus, they don’t need special usability guidelines, and we don’t consider them as seniors anymore. Now, our definition of seniors is users aged 70 years and above. This group does need special usability guidelines, and even though we haven’t specifically measured their reading speed, it is likely that the decline in reading speed will progress at a faster pace in these higher age groups. Since the new research found differences in the best fonts for people younger and older than 35 years, it’s very likely that further research might find even more differences in the fonts that would be best for users aged 70 and above.

A Possible Solution for Font Optimization

Purely as speculation, I tried to invent a system to give individual users the best font to maximize their reading speed.

It should be possible to use personalization to present individual users with text in the font that’s best for them. A browser or e-reader would initially present text in a randomly chosen font. After enough time has passed to generate a reliable estimate of the user’s reading speed with this font, the system would change to another font and use it until there’s a reliable estimate of that font’s reading speed. Repeat this process many times, and eventually the specific user’s reading speed will have been measured for several fonts. Whatever one wins can then be used going forward.

Since we know that there are age-related changes in font performance, we should repeat the font-optimization process every few years, to identify a new font that would be better for the now-older user.

It would be unpopular to present text in ever changing fonts during the long calibration procedure, and then spring a new font on the user a few years later. (Certainly, this is a violation of usability heuristic #4 which calls for consistency .) I am not seriously suggesting this solution, and it would probably be better as an April Fools’ Day story . But since I have demonstrated that it’s possible to automate the selection of an individually optimized font, maybe there will one day be a practical system for doing so.

The new study is ultimately disappointing because it doesn’t provide us with actionable design guidelines. But it offers substantial new insights into online reading that will make us think harder about how to design text-heavy web pages:

Clearly, as scientists like to say, more research is needed. Given the findings in the new study, the answer will not be simple, but we can still hold out a little hope that it might prove possible to derive a formula that could predict the best font for a given user, given multiple criteria (not just one criterion, sadly). We also need an experimental protocol that more closely mirrors the typical scanning behavior of web users.

Finally, even though this study didn’t include any bad fonts, there are some low-legibility ones out there. Do stay away from those, because they can reduce reading speeds by much more than the numbers discussed here. And even with good fonts, avoid tiny text and low contrast , both of which do much damage.

Shaun Wallace, Zoya Bylinskii, Jonathan Dobres, Bernard Kerr, Sam Berlow, Rick Treitman, Nirmal Kumawat, Kathleen Arpin, Dave B. Miller, Jeff Huang, and Ben D. Sawyer (2022): Towards Individuated Reading Experiences: Different Fonts Increase Reading Speed for Different Individuals . ACM Transactions on Computer–Human Interaction , Volume 29, Issue 4, Article No. 38.

About the Author

Jakob Nielsen , Ph.D., is a User Advocate and principal of the Nielsen Norman Group which he co-founded with Dr. Donald A. Norman (former VP of research at Apple Computer). Dr. Nielsen established the "discount usability engineering" movement for fast and cheap improvements of user interfaces and has invented several usability methods, including heuristic evaluation. He holds 79 United States patents, mainly on ways of making the Internet easier to use.

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The Modern Language Association (MLA) provides explicit, specific recommendations for the margins and spacing of academic papers. (See: Document Format .) But their advice on font selection is less precise: “Always choose an easily readable typeface (e.g. Times New Roman) in which the regular style contrasts clearly with the italic, and set it to a standard size (e.g. 12 point)” ( MLA Handbook , 7th ed., §4.2).

So which fonts are “easily readable” and have “clearly” contrasting italics? And what exactly is a “standard” size?

For academic papers, an “easily readable typeface” means a serif font, and a “standard” type size is between 10 and 12 point.

Use A Serif Font

Serifs are the tiny strokes at the end of a letter’s main strokes. Serif fonts have these extra strokes; sans serif fonts do not. ( Sans is French for “without.”) Serif fonts also vary the thickness of the letter strokes more than sans serifs, which have more uniform lines.

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Books, newspapers, and magazines typically set their main text in a serif font because they make paragraphs and long stretches of text easier to read. Sans serifs (Arial, Calibri, Helvetica, Gill Sans, Verdana, and so on) work well for single lines of text, like headings or titles, but they rarely make a good choice for body text.

Moreover, most sans serifs don’t have a true italic style. Their “italics” are really just “obliques,” where the letters slant slightly to the right but keep the same shape and spacing. Most serifs, on the other hand, do have a true italic style, with distinctive letter forms and more compact spacing.

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Since they’re more readable for long passages and have sharper contrast in their italics, you should always use a serif font for the text of an academic paper.

Use A Readable Type Size

The standard unit for measuring type size is the point . A point is 1 / 72 of an inch, roughly one pixel on a computer screen. The point size of a font tells you the size of the “em square” in which your computer displays each letter of the typeface. How tall or wide any given letter is depends on how the type designer drew it within the em square, thus a font’s height and width can vary greatly depending on the design of the typeface. That’s why if you set two fonts at the same point size, one usually looks bigger than the other.

Compare the following paragraphs, both set at 12 point but in different fonts:

best essay font

For body text in academic papers, type sizes below 10 point are usually too small to read easily, while type sizes above 12 point tend to look oversized and bulky. So keep the text of your paper between 10 and 12 point .

Some teachers may require you to set your whole text at 12 point. Yet virtually every book, magazine, or newspaper ever printed for visually unimpaired grown-ups sets its body type smaller than 12 point. Newspapers use even smaller type sizes. The New York Times , for example, sets its body text in a perfectly legible 8.7 point font. So with proper spacing and margins, type sizes of 11 or 10 point can be quite comfortable to read.

Font Recommendations

I usually ask my students to use Century Schoolbook or Palatino for their papers. If your teacher requires you to submit your papers in a particular font, do so. (Unless they require you to use Arial , in which case drop the class.)

One thing to consider when choosing a font is how you submit your essay. When you submit a hard copy or a PDF, your reader will see the text in whatever typeface you use. Most electronic submission formats, on the other hand, can only use the fonts available on the reader’s computer. So if you submit the paper electronically, be sure to use a font your instructor has.

What follows is a list of some widely available, highly legible serif fonts well-suited for academic papers. I’ve divided them into four categories: Microsoft Word Fonts, Mac OS Fonts, Google Fonts, and Universal Fonts.

Microsoft Word Fonts

Microsoft Word comes with lots of fonts of varying quality. If your teacher asks you to submit your paper in Word format, you can safely assume they have Word and all the fonts that go with it.

best essay font

Morris Fuller Benton designed Century Schoolbook in 1923 for elementary-school textbooks, so it’s a highly readable font. It’s one of the best fonts available with Microsoft Word. Because it’s so legible, U. S. Supreme Court Rule 33.1.b madates that all legal documents submitted to the Court be set in Century Schoolbook or a similar Century-style font.

best essay font

Hermann Zapf designed Palatino in 1948 for titles and headings, but its elegant proportions make it a good font for body text. Named for Renaissance calligrapher Giambattista Palatino, this font has the beauty, harmony, and grace of fine handwriting. Palatino Linotype is the name of the font included with Microsoft Word; Mac OS includes a version of the same typeface called simply Palatino.

Microsoft Word includes several other fonts that can work well for academic essays: Bell MT , Californian FB , Calisto MT , Cambria , Garamond , and Goudy Old Style .

Mac OS Fonts

Apple has a well-deserved reputation for design excellence which extends to its font library. But you can’t count on any of these Mac OS fonts being on a computer that runs Windows.

best essay font

Finding his inspiration in the typography of Pierre Simon Fournier, Matthew Carter designed Charter in 1987 to look good even on crappy mid-80s fax machines and printers. Its ability to hold up even in low resolution makes Charter work superbly well on screen. Bitstream released Charter under an open license, so you can add it to your font arsenal for free. You can download Charter here .

best essay font

In 1991 Apple commissioned Jonathan Hoefler to design a font that could show off the Mac’s ability to handle complex typography. The result was Hoefler Text , included with every Mac since then. The bold weight of Hoefler Text on the Mac is excessively heavy, but otherwise it’s a remarkable font: compact without being cramped, formal without being stuffy, and distinctive without being obtrusive. If you have a Mac, start using it.

Other Mac OS fonts you might consider are Baskerville and Palatino .

Google Fonts

When you submit a paper using Google Docs, you can access Google’s vast library of free fonts knowing that anyone who opens it in Google Docs will have those same fonts. Unfortunately, most of those free fonts are worth exactly what you paid for them, so choose wisely.

best essay font

IBM Plex is a super-family of typefaces designed by Mike Abbink and the Bold Monday type foundry for — you guessed it — IBM. Plex serif is a solid, legible font that borrows features from Janson and Bodoni in its design. Plex is, not surprisingly, a thoroughly corporate font that aims for and achieves a bland neutrality suitable for most research papers.

best essay font

John Baskerville originally designed this typeface in the 1850s, employing new techniques to make sharper contrasts between thin and thick strokes in the letter forms. The crisp, elegant design has inspired dozens of subsequent versions. Libre Baskerville is based on the American Type Founder’s 1941 version, modified to make it better for on-screen reading.

Unfortunately. Google Fonts has few really good serif fonts. Some others you might consider are Crimson Pro and Spectral .

Universal Fonts

Anyone you send your document to will have these fonts because they’re built in to both Windows and Mac OS.

best essay font

Matthew Carter designed Georgia in 1993 for maximum legibility on computer screens. Georgia looks very nice on web sites, but in print it can look a bit clunky, especially when set at 12 point. Like Times New Roman, it’s on every computer and is quite easy to read. The name “Georgia” comes from a tabloid headline: “Alien Heads Found in Georgia.”

best essay font

Times New Roman is, for better or worse, the standard font for academic manuscripts. Many teachers require it because it’s a solid, legible, and universally available font. Stanley Morison designed it in 1931 for The Times newspaper of London, so it’s a very efficient font and legible even at very small sizes. Times New Roman is always a safe choice. But unless your instructor requires it, you should probably use something a bit less overworked.

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Frequently asked questions

What font should i use for a college essay.

Use a standard font such as Times New Roman or Arial to avoid distracting the reader from your college essay’s content.

Frequently asked questions: College admissions essays

When writing your Common App essay , choose a prompt that sparks your interest and that you can connect to a unique personal story.

No matter which prompt you choose, admissions officers are more interested in your ability to demonstrate personal development , insight, or motivation for a certain area of study.

The Common App essay is your primary writing sample within the Common Application, a college application portal accepted by more than 900 schools. All your prospective schools that accept the Common App will read this essay to understand your character, background, and value as a potential student.

Since this essay is read by many colleges, avoid mentioning any college names or programs; instead, save tailored answers for the supplementary school-specific essays within the Common App.

Most importantly, your essay should be about you , not another person or thing. An insightful college admissions essay requires deep self-reflection, authenticity, and a balance between confidence and vulnerability.

Your essay shouldn’t be a résumé of your experiences but instead should tell a story that demonstrates your most important values and qualities.

When revising your college essay , first check for big-picture issues regarding your message and content. Then, check for flow, tone, style , and clarity. Finally, focus on eliminating grammar and punctuation errors .

If your college essay goes over the word count limit , cut any sentences with tangents or irrelevant details. Delete unnecessary words that clutter your essay.

If you’re struggling to reach the word count for your college essay, add vivid personal stories or share your feelings and insight to give your essay more depth and authenticity.

If you’ve got to write your college essay fast , don’t panic. First, set yourself deadlines: you should spend about 10% of your remaining time on brainstorming, 10% on outlining, 40% writing, 30% revising, and 10% taking breaks in between stages.

Second, brainstorm stories and values based on your essay prompt.

Third, outline your essay based on the montage or narrative essay structure .

Fourth, write specific, personal, and unique stories that would be hard for other students to replicate.

Fifth, revise your essay and make sure it’s clearly written.

Last, if possible, get feedback from an essay coach . Scribbr essay editors can help you revise your essay in 12 hours or less.

Avoid swearing in a college essay , since admissions officers’ opinions of profanity will vary. In some cases, it might be okay to use a vulgar word, such as in dialogue or quotes that make an important point in your essay. However, it’s safest to try to make the same point without swearing.

If you have bad grades on your transcript, you may want to use your college admissions essay to explain the challenging circumstances that led to them. Make sure to avoid dwelling on the negative aspects and highlight how you overcame the situation or learned an important lesson.

However, some college applications offer an additional information section where you can explain your bad grades, allowing you to choose another meaningful topic for your college essay.

Here’s a brief list of college essay topics that may be considered cliché:

  • Extracurriculars, especially sports
  • Role models
  • Dealing with a personal tragedy or death in the family
  • Struggling with new life situations (immigrant stories, moving homes, parents’ divorce)
  • Becoming a better person after community service, traveling, or summer camp
  • Overcoming a difficult class
  • Using a common object as an extended metaphor

It’s easier to write a standout essay with a unique topic. However, it’s possible to make a common topic compelling with interesting story arcs, uncommon connections, and an advanced writing style.

Yes. The college application essay is less formal than other academic writing —though of course it’s not mandatory to use contractions in your essay.

In a college essay , you can be creative with your language . When writing about the past, you can use the present tense to make the reader feel as if they were there in the moment with you. But make sure to maintain consistency and when in doubt, default to the correct verb tense according to the time you’re writing about.

The college admissions essay gives admissions officers a different perspective on you beyond your academic achievements, test scores, and extracurriculars. It’s your chance to stand out from other applicants with similar academic profiles by telling a unique, personal, and specific story.

A college application essay is less formal than most academic writing . Instead of citing sources formally with in-text citations and a reference list, you can cite them informally in your text.

For example, “In her research paper on genetics, Quinn Roberts explores …”

There is no set number of paragraphs in a college admissions essay . College admissions essays can diverge from the traditional five-paragraph essay structure that you learned in English class. Just make sure to stay under the specified word count .

Most topics are acceptable for college essays if you can use them to demonstrate personal growth or a lesson learned. However, there are a few difficult topics for college essays that should be avoided. Avoid topics that are:

  • Overly personal (e.g. graphic details of illness or injury, romantic or sexual relationships)
  • Not personal enough (e.g. broad solutions to world problems, inspiring people or things)
  • Too negative (e.g. an in-depth look at your flaws, put-downs of others, criticizing the need for a college essay)
  • Too boring (e.g. a resume of your academic achievements and extracurriculars)
  • Inappropriate for a college essay (e.g. illegal activities, offensive humor, false accounts of yourself, bragging about privilege)

To write an effective diversity essay , include vulnerable, authentic stories about your unique identity, background, or perspective. Provide insight into how your lived experience has influenced your outlook, activities, and goals. If relevant, you should also mention how your background has led you to apply for this university and why you’re a good fit.

Many universities believe a student body composed of different perspectives, beliefs, identities, and backgrounds will enhance the campus learning and community experience.

Admissions officers are interested in hearing about how your unique background, identity, beliefs, culture, or characteristics will enrich the campus community, which is why they assign a diversity essay .

In addition to your main college essay , some schools and scholarships may ask for a supplementary essay focused on an aspect of your identity or background. This is sometimes called a diversity essay .

You can use humor in a college essay , but carefully consider its purpose and use it wisely. An effective use of humor involves unexpected, keen observations of the everyday, or speaks to a deeper theme. Humor shouldn’t be the main focus of the essay, but rather a tool to improve your storytelling.

Get a second opinion from a teacher, counselor, or essay coach on whether your essay’s humor is appropriate.

Though admissions officers are interested in hearing your story, they’re also interested in how you tell it. An exceptionally written essay will differentiate you from other applicants, meaning that admissions officers will spend more time reading it.

You can use literary devices to catch your reader’s attention and enrich your storytelling; however, focus on using just a few devices well, rather than trying to use as many as possible.

To decide on a good college essay topic , spend time thoughtfully answering brainstorming questions. If you still have trouble identifying topics, try the following two strategies:

  • Identify your qualities → Brainstorm stories that demonstrate these qualities
  • Identify memorable stories → Connect your qualities to these stories

You can also ask family, friends, or mentors to help you brainstorm topics, give feedback on your potential essay topics, or recall key stories that showcase your qualities.

Yes—admissions officers don’t expect everyone to have a totally unique college essay topic . But you must differentiate your essay from others by having a surprising story arc, an interesting insight, and/or an advanced writing style .

There are no foolproof college essay topics —whatever your topic, the key is to write about it effectively. However, a good topic

  • Is meaningful, specific, and personal to you
  • Focuses on you and your experiences
  • Reveals something beyond your test scores, grades, and extracurriculars
  • Is creative and original

Unlike a five-paragraph essay, your admissions essay should not end by summarizing the points you’ve already made. It’s better to be creative and aim for a strong final impression.

You should also avoid stating the obvious (for example, saying that you hope to be accepted).

There are a few strategies you can use for a memorable ending to your college essay :

  • Return to the beginning with a “full circle” structure
  • Reveal the main point or insight in your story
  • Look to the future
  • End on an action

The best technique will depend on your topic choice, essay outline, and writing style. You can write several endings using different techniques to see which works best.

College deadlines vary depending on the schools you’re applying to and your application plan:

  • For early action applications and the first round of early decision applications, the deadline is on November 1 or 15. Decisions are released by mid-December.
  • For the second round of early decision applications, the deadline is January 1 or 15. Decisions are released in January or February.
  • Regular decision deadlines usually fall between late November and mid-March, and decisions are released in March or April.
  • Rolling admission deadlines run from July to April, and decisions are released around four to eight weeks after submission.

Depending on your prospective schools’ requirements, you may need to submit scores for the SAT or ACT as part of your college application .

Some schools now no longer require students to submit test scores; however, you should still take the SAT or ACT and aim to get a high score to strengthen your application package.

Aim to take the SAT or ACT in the spring of your junior year to give yourself enough time to retake it in the fall of your senior year if necessary.

Apply early for federal student aid and application fee waivers. You can also look for scholarships from schools, corporations, and charitable foundations.

To maximize your options, you should aim to apply to about eight schools:

  • Two reach schools that might be difficult to get into
  • Four match schools that you have a good chance of getting into
  • Two safety schools that you feel confident you’ll get into

The college admissions essay accounts for roughly 25% of the weight of your application .

At highly selective schools, there are four qualified candidates for every spot. While your academic achievements are important, your college admissions essay can help you stand out from other applicants with similar profiles.

In general, for your college application you will need to submit all of the following:

  • Your personal information
  • List of extracurriculars and awards
  • College application essays
  • Transcripts
  • Standardized test scores
  • Recommendation letters.

Different colleges may have specific requirements, so make sure you check exactly what’s expected in the application guidance.

You should start thinking about your college applications the summer before your junior year to give you sufficient time for college visits, taking standardized tests, applying for financial aid , writing essays, and collecting application material.

Yes, but make sure your essay directly addresses the prompt, respects the word count , and demonstrates the organization’s values.

If you plan ahead, you can save time by writing one scholarship essay for multiple prompts with similar questions. In a scholarship tracker spreadsheet, you can group or color-code overlapping essay prompts; then, write a single essay for multiple scholarships. Sometimes, you can even reuse or adapt your main college essay .

You can start applying for scholarships as early as your junior year. Continue applying throughout your senior year.

Invest time in applying for various scholarships , especially local ones with small dollar amounts, which are likely easier to win and more reflective of your background and interests. It will be easier for you to write an authentic and compelling essay if the scholarship topic is meaningful to you.

You can find scholarships through your school counselor, community network, or an internet search.

A scholarship essay requires you to demonstrate your values and qualities while answering the prompt’s specific question.

After researching the scholarship organization, identify a personal experience that embodies its values and exemplifies how you will be a successful student.

A standout college essay has several key ingredients:

  • A unique, personally meaningful topic
  • A memorable introduction with vivid imagery or an intriguing hook
  • Specific stories and language that show instead of telling
  • Vulnerability that’s authentic but not aimed at soliciting sympathy
  • Clear writing in an appropriate style and tone
  • A conclusion that offers deep insight or a creative ending

While timelines will differ depending on the student, plan on spending at least 1–3 weeks brainstorming and writing the first draft of your college admissions essay , and at least 2–4 weeks revising across multiple drafts. Don’t forget to save enough time for breaks between each writing and editing stage.

You should already begin thinking about your essay the summer before your senior year so that you have plenty of time to try out different topics and get feedback on what works.

Your college essay accounts for about 25% of your application’s weight. It may be the deciding factor in whether you’re accepted, especially for competitive schools where most applicants have exceptional grades, test scores, and extracurricular track records.

In most cases, quoting other people isn’t a good way to start your college essay . Admissions officers want to hear your thoughts about yourself, and quotes often don’t achieve that. Unless a quote truly adds something important to your essay that it otherwise wouldn’t have, you probably shouldn’t include it.

Cliché openers in a college essay introduction are usually general and applicable to many students and situations. Most successful introductions are specific: they only work for the unique essay that follows.

The key to a strong college essay introduction is not to give too much away. Try to start with a surprising statement or image that raises questions and compels the reader to find out more.

The introduction of your college essay is the first thing admissions officers will read and therefore your most important opportunity to stand out. An excellent introduction will keep admissions officers reading, allowing you to tell them what you want them to know.

If you’re struggling to reach the word count for your college essay, add vivid personal stories or share your feelings and insight to give your essay more depth and authenticity.

Most college application portals specify a word count range for your essay, and you should stay within 10% of the upper limit to write a developed and thoughtful essay.

You should aim to stay under the specified word count limit to show you can follow directions and write concisely. However, don’t write too little, as it may seem like you are unwilling or unable to write a detailed and insightful narrative about yourself.

If no word count is specified, we advise keeping your essay between 400 and 600 words.

In your application essay , admissions officers are looking for particular features : they want to see context on your background, positive traits that you could bring to campus, and examples of you demonstrating those qualities.

Colleges want to be able to differentiate students who seem similar on paper. In the college application essay , they’re looking for a way to understand each applicant’s unique personality and experiences.

You don’t need a title for your college admissions essay , but you can include one if you think it adds something important.

Your college essay’s format should be as simple as possible:

  • Use a standard, readable font
  • Use 1.5 or double spacing
  • If attaching a file, save it as a PDF
  • Stick to the word count
  • Avoid unusual formatting and unnecessary decorative touches

There are no set rules for how to structure a college application essay , but these are two common structures that work:

  • A montage structure, a series of vignettes with a common theme.
  • A narrative structure, a single story that shows your personal growth or how you overcame a challenge.

Avoid the five-paragraph essay structure that you learned in high school.

Campus visits are always helpful, but if you can’t make it in person, the college website will have plenty of information for you to explore. You should look through the course catalog and even reach out to current faculty with any questions about the school.

Colleges set a “Why this college?” essay because they want to see that you’ve done your research. You must prove that you know what makes the school unique and can connect that to your own personal goals and academic interests.

Depending on your writing, you may go through several rounds of revision . Make sure to put aside your essay for a little while after each editing stage to return with a fresh perspective.

Teachers and guidance counselors can help you check your language, tone, and content . Ask for their help at least one to two months before the submission deadline, as many other students will also want their help.

Friends and family are a good resource to check for authenticity. It’s best to seek help from family members with a strong writing or English educational background, or from older siblings and cousins who have been through the college admissions process.

If possible, get help from an essay coach or editor ; they’ll have specialized knowledge of college admissions essays and be able to give objective expert feedback.

When revising your college essay , first check for big-picture issues regarding message, flow, tone, style , and clarity. Then, focus on eliminating grammar and punctuation errors.

Include specific, personal details and use your authentic voice to shed a new perspective on a common human experience.

Through specific stories, you can weave your achievements and qualities into your essay so that it doesn’t seem like you’re bragging from a resume.

When writing about yourself , including difficult experiences or failures can be a great way to show vulnerability and authenticity, but be careful not to overshare, and focus on showing how you matured from the experience.

First, spend time reflecting on your core values and character . You can start with these questions:

  • What are three words your friends or family would use to describe you, and why would they choose them?
  • Whom do you admire most and why?
  • What are you most proud of? Ashamed of?

However, you should do a comprehensive brainstorming session to fully understand your values. Also consider how your values and goals match your prospective university’s program and culture. Then, brainstorm stories that illustrate the fit between the two.

In a college application essay , you can occasionally bend grammatical rules if doing so adds value to the storytelling process and the essay maintains clarity.

However, use standard language rules if your stylistic choices would otherwise distract the reader from your overall narrative or could be easily interpreted as unintentional errors.

Write concisely and use the active voice to maintain a quick pace throughout your essay and make sure it’s the right length . Avoid adding definitions unless they provide necessary explanation.

Use first-person “I” statements to speak from your perspective . Use appropriate word choices that show off your vocabulary but don’t sound like you used a thesaurus. Avoid using idioms or cliché expressions by rewriting them in a creative, original way.

If you’re an international student applying to a US college and you’re comfortable using American idioms or cultural references , you can. But instead of potentially using them incorrectly, don’t be afraid to write in detail about yourself within your own culture.

Provide context for any words, customs, or places that an American admissions officer might be unfamiliar with.

College application essays are less formal than other kinds of academic writing . Use a conversational yet respectful tone , as if speaking with a teacher or mentor. Be vulnerable about your feelings, thoughts, and experiences to connect with the reader.

Aim to write in your authentic voice , with a style that sounds natural and genuine. You can be creative with your word choice, but don’t use elaborate vocabulary to impress admissions officers.

Admissions officers use college admissions essays to evaluate your character, writing skills , and ability to self-reflect . The essay is your chance to show what you will add to the academic community.

The college essay may be the deciding factor in your application , especially for competitive schools where most applicants have exceptional grades, test scores, and extracurriculars.

Some colleges also require supplemental essays about specific topics, such as why you chose that specific college . Scholarship essays are often required to obtain financial aid .

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Best Research Paper Font and Size: Best Styles for an Essay

Best Research Paper Font and Size: Best Styles for an Essay

The Best Word Font in Research Paper

The Best Word Font in Research Paper

As you edit and polish your research paper, you should know the suitable font when formatting. Many students struggle to locate suitable fonts that are appropriate for academia. Thankfully, most of the writing styles such as APA or MLA end this frustration by indicating the right fonts to use in your work.

Many instructors indicate the type of fonts students should use in their assignments. That is because some fonts are large hence prompting one to use more pages than indicated in the instructions section.

best essay font

Best Font for Research Paper

The choice of fonts can affect your academic writing work. The right font should make your work remain credible and professional. Dressing your work with the right fonts is procuring a suitable image.

Ideally, the best font for a research paper is the Times New Roman as it is clear and most requested by university and college faculties. Other common ones are the Arial and Calibri fonts, which are preferred because of their large size compared with New Times Roman.

commonly used fonts

Some fonts can be attractive but hard to read because they have several curls and curves.

When handling research work, use the correct font which has enough allowance between letters to avoid overcrowding.

The professional fonts should be easy to read. The good news for you is that Times New Roman is a popular choice for academic documents.

It is the safest option because most examiners are comfortable with it. Notably, New Times Roman has sound APA support.

Best Font Size for Research Paper

The best font size for a research paper is point 12. This size is the most common ones, especially for New Times Roman, Arial or Calibri fonts. Basically, the size of the fonts should make your work to be readable without straining the audience. We measure size using ‘points’.

Most academic research papers use MLA, APA, and Harvard references and formats.

The point is a percentage of the screen that the font is occupying. For academic papers, the recommended size is 12 points. It is the most comfortable size for the audience without looking oversized or bulky.

using different font sizes

 The font size plays a critical role in making your research work impressive and appealing.

The writer should use the official font size when submitting the project.

This size is key when you want to determine the number of pages that your project should carry.

We use font 12 to calculate and know the number of pages the entire work will have to avoid going beyond or under the given guideline.

If you use a different font size, you may exceed or hit below the word count leading to disqualification or any other penalty as the lecturer may decide.

Commonly Used Fonts for Academic Work

Different writing styles recommend certain fonts for students to use while tackling academic work. Some of them are as follows:

1) Times New Roman

Times New Roman has an authoritative look and feel. It became into practice in 1932 to enhance the legibility and economy of space. This Times New Roman has a narrow printing point that is easily readable.

Arial has been the most used font for the past thirty years. One of the characteristics of Arial fonts is that they have rounded faces. Furthermore, the edges of the letters do not manifest in the horizontal line. Instead, these edges are at an angle.

Besides, this font is easy to read whether used in both large and small blocks. It is a perfect format that one can use in academic work.

Calibri is a humanist font with variable strokes and designs. It is a pretty-looking font suitable for large displays such as presentations.

Factors Determining the Font and Size for Academic Writing

1. teachers instructions.

increasing font size

When you receive your essay assignment, peruse through and find the preferred font type and size. Some professors are comfortable with particular fonts.

The professor will indicate the preferred font for your work. You can begin by writing and polishing your work with your font and size and later format it according to instructions.

Most academic papers target certain pages of the assignments.

For example, when the instructions demand that you use Times New Roman, you should stick to that for you to produce the right number of pages as guided by the instructions.

Teachers know that when you use a particular font and size for your research, you will produce the correct quantity after researching.

2. Your Eye Ability

One will feel comfortable when using certain fonts than others. Reading and writing while you are straining your eyes to see your work can be disastrous. The cool thing is you can settle for the fonts that can make your eye enjoy beholding your work.

Several fonts exist to use for your work without straining your eyes. However, you should ensure that you settle for the right font when formatting your final documents.

For example, some fonts have curls or curves that make affect the readability of your work. Such can make your professor respond unkindly.

If the professor did not offer guidance to you, then you can use the correct font according to the writing styles recommendations.

3. Teacher’s Font Preference and Eye Abilities

A teacher may instruct that you use certain fonts when submitting your project work. More importantly, even if it is not your favorite font to use, you should stick to the instructions and complete your work as guided.  

We have varying eye abilities. Some are comfortable and safe to use a particular font like Arial because they do not strain the eyes while using it. Some fonts are not friendly to some people when working, making your entire writing experience to be hostile.

If you can work well with 12 point font size, well and good. In case the lecturer wants point size 10, use a comfortable font during your writing and editing process then change it to the recommended size before submitting.

4. Type of the Academic work, Essays vs Graphics

The type of academic work dictates the type of font to use for effective delivery. If you are writing an essay, you should use the recommended fonts and sizes as per the writing styles. These styles are MLA, APA, and so on.

You should not use any font which is not official to any writing style. If unsure, it is sensible to consult your instructor and remain on the correct track.

On the other hand, you should also use the correct font when you are working with graphics in your academic projects.

Just like essays, the graphics also have official fonts that students should use when designing and captioning them. Sticking to the rules makes your work hold a professional appeal.

Graphics are the perfect ways of presenting information to make readers create the right perceptions at a glance. Luckily, you should caption them with the recommended fonts and sizes for better delivery.

5. Personal Preference

What appeals to one writer differs from what makes a different writer excited and comfortable. What does that mean? Different writers have varying impressions about what fonts and sizes work for them.

If the instructions for your projects are open to allow you to use multiple fonts from the given list, you should settle for your favorite from the list.

That implies that the instructor may be marking papers that will come with varying font types according to the writer’s preference from the given list of options.

6. Readability

changing word font

There is no secret in this. Some fonts are more readable than others.

For example, when you are using Times New Roman as your favorite font, it will consume less space but score high on legibility.

Remember, a readable document is an attractive document. Do not compromise on this. Use the right font that is legible and easy to read.

Based on the recommended fonts for particular styles, choose the one that looks more attractive.

Check out our tips on how to name a research paper for more guidance on how to prepare your paper before submitting it. This may improve the clarity of your file and promote grading.

Josh Jasen

When not handling complex essays and academic writing tasks, Josh is busy advising students on how to pass assignments. In spare time, he loves playing football or walking with his dog around the park.

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Essay writing: Formatting

  • Introductions
  • Conclusions
  • Analysing questions
  • Planning & drafting
  • Revising & editing
  • Proofreading
  • Essay writing videos

On this page:

Essays are formal documents and should look professional Advice from the Skills Team

Whilst there are no hard rules about how you format essays, there are some conventions and common practices that are best to follow. If you use the settings on this page, you will produce an acceptably formatted essay.

Document layout

Visual display of the information on this page.

Margins - between 2 cm and 2.54 cm (1 inch) all around.

Line spacing - either 1.5 or double-line spacing.

Paragraph spacing - either 1 clear line between or at least 8 pt space after each paragraph (more if double-line spaced)

Alignment - left aligned (fully justified with a straight right-edge is not recommended as this reduces readability and accessibility). Some longer essays may require subheadings which should also be left-aligned.

Indents - no indents on first lines of paragraphs are needed.

It is also good practice to put your student number and module number in the header of the document and a page number at the bottom of the page.

Text formatting

Font - the default font that comes with MS Word (currently Calibri) is fine for academic work. You may see persistent advice in handbooks that suggests you should use Times New Roman or Arial. If you prefer these, you can change it - but this is no longer a requirement.

Font size - fonts should be 11 or 12 point.

Font style - headings and subheadings, if they are required (most essays will not use them), are usually formatted in bold and should be at least 2 point sizes larger than the standard text. Underlining should be avoided as this is seen as rather dated. Some text can be formatted in italics - see our page  Italics, when to use them , for guidance.

Shorter quotations in the text do not need to be italicised and should have double-quotations marks "like this" to indicate they are direct quotations. Longer quotations (what counts as this differs depending on your referencing style) should be created in their own paragraph, single spaced and indented by 1cm from both left and right margins:

For example:

Graduate attributes for employability are described as:

a set of achievements – skills, understandings and personal attributes – that makes graduates more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupations, which benefits themselves, the workforce, the community and the economy. (Yorke, 2006)

The main change in this definition compared to the earlier definition of graduate attributes from Bowden (2000) is that that the attributes are no longer ...

UoH Harvard/APA

Your reference list should be in alphabetical order (by author surname) and single line spaced. There should be a clear line space (or at least 6 pt space) between each reference. All references should be left-aligned with no indentation. For information about how to format individual references, see the Harvard Hull Referencing Guide.

UoH Footnotes

Your reference list should be in alphabetical order (by first author surname) and single line spaced.  All references should be left-aligned and have a hanging indent (all but the first line are indented by approx. 1cm). For information about how to format individual references, see the  Footnotes Hull Referencing Guide.

Other referencing styles

Please see your individual departmental guidance.

We provide here a Microsoft Word template that can be used for your essays. It has the correct layout and formatting, including useful styles.

  • Essay template

Download this template to somewhere you can access easily. When you click to open it, it will open a new document based on the template , leaving the original intact.

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best essay font

What is the best font for essays?

By: Aziza Ne`matova


An essay is one of the most essential parts of our studies, as well as our careers, as they help us share and express our ideas, develop our writing, reading, organizing skills, etc. Additionally, when a student does research on a certain topic, he or she gains more knowledge about anything, which helps to broaden their outlook.

Written According to Rules

But it is exciting that some of these essays have to be written according to rules like fonts, sizes, spaces, and so on. Why?

Because fonts are the first attention-grabbers. In addition to this, they can create a mood and atmosphere for a reader and are also able to increase the readability of our works, empower a reader to interact, and make him or her feel more trustworthy, friendly, or aspirational, which means that they have psychological effects. The most interesting fact is that it has relevance to how long it takes to read the article. According to some tests, sans serif, monospaced, and roman font styles significantly improve the reading performance over serif, proportional, and italic fonts.

Usage of Fonts

So, what fonts do we need to use and which ones are recommended for essays?

Times New Roman

Firstly, the most suitable font for all types of formal essays is Times New Roman. Because it is being used a lot for all essays and it is widely believed that it is the best font. The greatest advantage of Times New Roman is the economy of space. The font readability (size 10pt) is 7.45 percent faster than the Verdana font (8pt), 40 characters per line, 120 percent line distance.

The font Calibri has almost the same fame as Times New Roman. Calibri is a Sans font, as well. It has benefits like: it is not non-standard, easy to read, friendly for mobile phones, best choice for resumes, default font in Microsoft Word, warmer and more friendly style, one of the least ink-user fonts, grandview and comfortable. But it does not mean that all this font has only merits. It also has such disadvantages that it is very forgettable and not so exciting. However, it is widely used by digital companies that create webpages.

Great sans serif font is Arial

So let us continue choosing the best fonts for our essays. Another great sans serif font is Arial. It is the default font for Google Docs because of its amazing features. Arial has far more readability than that great font, Times New Roman. It is also prone to using less ink, which creates a chance for it to be economically friendly. Arial is a family of fonts that are incredibly adaptable and can be used successfully for both text setting in reports, presentations, periodicals, etc. and for display use in newspapers, advertisements, and promotional materials. The best size for this type of font is 12pt. Furthermore, it is one of the seven most readable fonts, which also include ones called Helvetica, Tahoma, Calibri, Verdana, Times New Roman, and Century Gothic. Unfortunately, nowadays Arial is being tremendously criticized because it is a poor copy of a pattern that is no longer mainstream.

You must really be familiar with Cambria if you have ever worked with MS Word. It was launched in 2004. If you don’t like Times New Roman, this is a fantastic alternative serif font. Cambria is frequently referred to as a classic design. It’s an incredibly gorgeous typeface, and I have absolutely no doubt that you’ll like that one. The most important benefit is that it is very hard to find disadvantages of the font.

Georgia was created exclusively for the screen of a computer. Contrary to other serif fonts like Garamond, Baskerville, or Times, which were all created only for printed paper, this one is a serif font. Better readability can be found. Students who use Georgia font for their assigned tasks, papers, and theses consistently report having received higher grades and test scores. Georgia script is one of the most widely approachable of all, having been a fundamental part of the Microsoft Operating System since the 1990s.

Helvetica is yet another excellent option in the Sans family of fonts. Helvetica is used by a lot of businesses, including Panasonic and the New York City subway advertisements. This typeface is more sophisticated than our earlier ones. One of the most exquisite typefaces on our list is unquestionably this one. You are not going to regret using it. Its lack of rhythm and contrast, as well as its tight spacing and regularity, pose serious comprehension and legibility limitations.

As you can see, there are a variety of fonts accessible for you to choose from when writing your essay. Nonetheless, the typeface alone is not enough. You must use a typeface that is simple to read and at a size that is sufficient. Furthermore, the content you’ll provide in your essay is far more significant.

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  1. 7 Best Fonts For University Essays

    Here are seven of the most common types used in academic writings: Times New Roman: This classic serif font is a go-to for many writers. It’s easy to read and has a timeless look. Arial: A popular sans serif font, Arial is also easy to read and works well for long paragraphs of text. Calibri: ...

  2. The Best Fonts for Google Docs Documents

    Best Fonts to Use for Google Doc Inter Open Sans Roboto Merriweather Inconsolata PT Mono Source Sans Pro Nunito Sans What to Look For When Choosing A Font Character Line Spacing Serif vs. Sans-Serif Degree of Legibility Choose Your Favorite Google Font Best Fonts to Use for Google Doc

  3. 5 Best Fonts For Essay Writing

    5 Best Fonts For Essay Writing Garamond. This font is commonly used in many printed pieces. It’s a classic and an excellent choice for complex essays... Curlz MT. This cursive font is very readable, which is an excellent feature when you are writing long essays. Too often... Times New Roman. A ...

  4. Essay Text

    Essay Text Regular & EB Garamond SemiBold. Fudge Brownies. Pure indulgence — that’s what we’re talking about here. A perfect balance between fudgy and cakey so everyone gets what they want out of these brownies. We’ll leave it to you to fight over who gets the crisp edges versus the ooey-gooey middles.

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    What Are The Best Fonts For University Essays? 1. Wensley Modern Serif Font Family (Top Pick). The font of choice for many university students, Wensley is a modern... 2. Madelin Serif Font Family. The font Madeline is a well accepted serif font among the universities and colleges. This... 3. Glamour ...

  6. What is the standard/recommended font to use in papers?

    As others have mentioned, the standard font varies, but is usually a serif font such as Times New Roman, although sans serif fonts such as Arial and Helvetica seem to be gaining traction as well. Their is major disagreement over which is easier to read--serif or sans serif fonts, with no clear consensus on the outcome. For example, see this paper.

  7. What are the best fonts for college essays?

    The first font that you should be aware of is Times New Roman. This is the default font for many college essays, and it is also one that is considered the standard in APA, MLA, Chicago, and other referencing styles. This is the most commonly used font, and it is considered fairly formal.

  8. Proper Essay Format Guide (Updated For 2021)

    Standard college essays use standard fonts to create a uniform appearance. The most widely acceptable font used in college essays is Times New Roman, but Arial is sometimes acceptable too. Typically, you will be asked to standardize the size of your font to 12 point, but some instructors prefer 10.

  9. What are the best fonts for your essay?

    Widely believed as the best font, Times New Roman is a Serif font. It is a very clear font and has been the staple font for essays for years. It was also the default font on MS Word for some time. If you want the best essay font, Times New Roman is probably your best choice. Calibri. Equally popular with Times New Roman, Calibri is a Sans font.

  10. What is The Best Font For A College Essay?

    The best font for a college essay is Times New Romans, Font 12 The font you use when writing academic papers should have two main properties: it should be readable and it should have clearly contrasting italics. Taking these into account, this is my recommendation:

  11. Font To Choose for Your Research Paper: Best Font for Essays

    MLA, American Psychological Association, and Harvard are the most used citation styles and conventions for scientific research publications. The value indicates the proportion of the display that the typeface uses. Generally, 12 points are considered the minimum acceptable size for academic writing.

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    Well, it did: Garamond had the highest average reading speed at 312 WPM; it was 6% better than #2 (Oswald, at 295 WPM) and 23% better than the worst font of the 16 tested (Open Sans, at 254 WPM). But Garamond was only best on average. It wasn’t best for all users. There were substantial individual differences.

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  14. Essay Fonts

    Looking for Essay fonts? Click to find the best 6 free fonts in the Essay style. Every font is free to download!

  15. Font

    A variety of fonts are permitted in APA Style papers. Font options include the following: sans serif fonts such as 11-point Calibri, 11-point Arial, or 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode. serif fonts such as 12-point Times New Roman, 11-point Georgia, or normal (10-point) Computer Modern (the default font for LaTeX)

  16. What Font Should I Use?

    Microsoft Word includes several other fonts that can work well for academic essays: Bell MT, Californian FB, Calisto MT, Cambria, Garamond, and Goudy Old Style. Mac OS Fonts Apple has a well-deserved reputation for …

  17. What font should I use for a college essay?

    What font should I use for a college essay? Use a standard font such as Times New Roman or Arial to avoid distracting the reader from your college essay’s content. Frequently asked questions: College admissions essays

  18. The Best Font for College Essays

    A great way to make your papers look professional and interesting is to apply Helvetica font. Its modern and clear exterior serves as a great helper for adding a little seriousness to your...


    Its greatest advantage being economy of space, it is widely accepted as the best font for essays. Its readability(10point size) is 7.45 percent faster than that of verdona font and 40 characters per line and 120 percent like distance. Calibri. It is a Sans font. It has almost the same fame as “The Times New Roman” font.

  20. The best font for your resume according to experts

    01. Garamond. Times New Roman is probably the most commonly chosen fonts for resumes—the very reason you should avoid it, and why it appears on our “Worst” list. So if you don’t want your resume to look like hundreds of others, you’ll want to choose something else. And Garamond is a great alternative.

  21. Best Research Paper Font and Size: Best Styles for an Essay

    Ideally, the best font for a research paper is the Times New Roman as it is clear and most requested by university and college faculties. Other common ones are the Arial and Calibri fonts, which are preferred because of …

  22. Formatting

    Font - the default font that comes with MS Word (currently Calibri) is fine for academic work. You may see persistent advice in handbooks that suggests you should use Times New Roman or Arial. If you prefer these, you can change it - but this is no longer a requirement. Font size - fonts should be 11 or 12 point.

  23. What is the best font for essays?

    Firstly, the most suitable font for all types of formal essays is Times New Roman. Because it is being used a lot for all essays and it is widely believed that it is the best font. The greatest advantage of Times New Roman is the economy of space. The font readability (size 10pt) is 7.45 percent faster than the Verdana font (8pt), 40 characters ...