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Choosing the Right Type for Essays

Today, instructors often give students the same directions with every essay—Times New Roman size 12. You know why this is, right? They don’t want to get a bunch of essays written by students using a size 16 font to enlarge their text enough to meet the page requirement without having to write as much.

Sometimes, however, teachers do not assign a specific font, or, if an essay is extremely well written, they will overlook a different font choice.

Choosing Fonts by Height

One great way to lengthen an essay is to lengthen your text in terms of font height. This will take up space length-wise. So experiment with different fonts and look up “taller fonts” on Google. This is a great way to get four pages out of, say, three and a half.

Formatting Your Font in .5 to .1 increments

If you are not submitting your essay electronically, you can experiment with your font in subtle ways that will not be obvious to your reader on the printed page, even when compared to a size 12 font.

First, select all the text in your paper

Then, in the box next to the name of your font type style, say, “Helvetica.” There will be a box with your font size in it. It should say 12 if 12 is what you’ve been using. Now, try changing the font first to 12.5 and see how much more length you get. Keep experimenting in increments up to 13 and beyond, trying to get the length you desire without going up to the more noticeable size 14 font.

Experiment with Font Size Plus Margin Adjustment

Experiment with your line spacing and margins. You can easily move your right margin in a couple of increments and this will drastically lengthen the length of your paper.

Experiment with Font and Spacing

After changing your font size in the .5 to 1 increments we discussed, if you’re still short on length, try experimenting with the spacing on your essay. If double spacing is required, for example, when you highlight the paper and click “Format—Paragraph” a box will come up showing you that your spacing is currently at “two.” You can easily change these increments to 2.1 or 2.2, which will add several lines of length or more to your essay.

 

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