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TrueType Fonts in Print Design: Tips for Achieving High-Quality Results

When it comes to print design, choosing the right fonts can make all the difference in delivering a high-quality end product. One popular font format that has gained widespread usage is TrueType fonts. In this article, we will explore what TrueType fonts are, their advantages, and provide tips for achieving exceptional results when using them in print design.

Understanding TrueType Fonts

TrueType fonts were developed by Apple and Microsoft in the late 1980s as a scalable font format for both display and printing purposes. Unlike bitmap fonts that have fixed sizes, TrueType fonts are scalable, meaning they can be resized without losing quality or clarity. This flexibility makes them an ideal choice for various print design projects.

Advantages of Using TrueType Fonts

Wide range of options: TrueType fonts offer a vast library of typefaces to choose from, ranging from classic serif fonts to modern sans-serif styles. This extensive selection allows designers to find the perfect font that matches their project’s aesthetic.

Scalability: As mentioned earlier, TrueType fonts can be scaled up or down without compromising quality. This feature is particularly useful when designing materials that require different font sizes or when working on projects with varying dimensions.

Cross-platform compatibility: TrueType fonts are compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems, making them accessible to designers working on different platforms.

Editability: Another advantage of using TrueType fonts is their editability. They can be easily modified using vector editing software like Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW, allowing designers to customize the appearance of each character according to their specific requirements.

Quality Results with TrueType Fonts

Choose appropriate font styles: Consider the nature and purpose of your project before selecting a font style from the wide variety available. Opt for fonts that align with the message or theme you want to convey. For example, a formal invitation may require a classic serif font, while a modern brochure could benefit from a sleek sans-serif typeface.

Pay attention to legibility: Ensure that the chosen TrueType font is legible at different sizes. Test the readability by printing samples at various sizes and distances to ensure that all details are clear and easily readable.

Pair fonts thoughtfully: When using multiple TrueType fonts in a design, pay attention to how they complement each other. Avoid pairing fonts that are too similar or too contrasting, as this can create visual confusion or disrupt the overall harmony of your design.

Consider kerning and leading: Adjusting the spacing between letters (kerning) and lines (leading) can significantly impact the readability and overall aesthetic of your design when using TrueType fonts. Experiment with different settings to achieve optimal results.

TrueType fonts offer designers an extensive range of options, scalability, cross-platform compatibility, and editability – making them an excellent choice for print design projects. By following these tips on choosing appropriate styles, ensuring legibility, thoughtful font pairing, and considering spacing adjustments like kerning and leading, you can achieve high-quality results when incorporating TrueType fonts into your print designs. Remember to experiment and have fun while exploring the endless possibilities offered by TrueType fonts.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


assignment font format

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Formatting and presenting your assessments correctly is important because many include marks for presentation.

This may include marks for things such as:

  • formatting and layout
  • APA referencing
  • writing style
  • grammar and spelling.

Before you start on your assessment:

  • check your assessment question, emails from your course leader, and learning materials for how it should be presented
  • read the instructions carefully. Make sure you understand them and follow them exactly
  • if you're not sure about what’s required contact your course leader.

General guidelines for electronic submissions

  • Most assessments should be produced using Microsoft Word.
  • You can also submit assessments using: .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx or .rtf.
  • if you don’t have Microsoft Word go to My Open Polytechnic to download and access your free version
  • if you're not sure about the file type required, contact your course leader.
  • Use a clear, readable font, such as Verdana, Calibri, Tahoma or Arial and use the same font throughout.
  • Use black text on a white background.
  • Avoid coloured backgrounds or text in a colour other than black, unless you have special permission to use them.
  • Use 11 or 12 point font for the body of your assessment.
  • Use 1.5 spacing and 2.53 cm (1”) wide margins.
  • Leave a blank line between paragraphs.
  • If the questions are short, leave a blank line between each question. If they are long, start each question on a new page.
  • Left-justify your work (also known as left-aligned).
  • Use bold for headings.
  • Essays don’t usually need subheadings; reports usually do.

Most assessments need a title page, which should include:

  • the title and number of the assessment
  • the course number and name
  • the due date
  • your full name and student number.

Centre this information on the page, starting approximately one-third of the way down the page.

  • Number and clearly label figures and tables.
  • Add numbers as follows: Figure 1, Figure 2, Table 1, Table 2, and so on.
  • Put table and figure captions above the table.
  • Don't number the items in a reference list.

For more help with figures and tables, check:

Get more help with tables  and figures – APA  Style website

Headers and footers

Insert a header or footer on each page (except the title page). It should contain:

  • your name (last name, first name/s)
  • your student number
  • the course code
  • the assessment number
  • page numbers.

Reference list

The reference list comes at the end of the assessment and should start on a new page labelled 'References'.

Need more help with reference lists? Check out the guides below:

Quick referencing APA guidelines  (PDF 47 KB; opens in a new window)

Guide to APA referencing  (PDF 395.11 KB; opens in a new window)

Appendices are used for information that:

  • is too long to include in the body of your assessment
  • supplements or complements the information you are providing.

Start each appendix (if applicable) on a new page. If there's just one appendix label it ‘Appendix’ without a number. If there is more than one, label them Appendix A, Appendix B, and so on.

In the main text of your assessment, refer to the Appendix by the label – for example, Appendix A.

Tops and bottoms of pages

Check the top and bottom of your pages to ensure they avoid:

  • widows – single lines of text at the top of a page
  • orphans – first lines of paragraphs at the bottom of a page
  • tombstones – headings or subheadings alone at the bottom of a page
  • split lists – lists that are divided between two pages (if possible).

General guidelines for hard copies

Most of the guidelines above also apply to hard copies (printed or handwritten documents).

If your course requires or allows handwritten assessments, be sure to follow the course instructions on presenting handwritten assessments.

Word limits and word count guidelines 

Word limits support the development of concise writing skills. Word count guidelines help you to understand the expectation of workload for an assessment.

 For more detailed information about these go to:

Word limits and word count guidelines  

Got a question?

If you want to talk with someone about formatting and presenting your assessments, contact The Library and Learning Centre | Te Whare Pukapuka Wāhanga Whakapakari Ako. 

Contact the Library and Learning Centre

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Formatting your assignments

Illustrated step-by-step guides to help you understand the formatting and presentation expectations of university assignments.

A student working on a laptop


Although formatting your essay, report or dissertation can feel like a lesser priority than the process of research and writing itself, it is an important way to ensure your ideas are given the spotlight through visually accessible, professional presentation. Formatting can be a minefield, especially when you’re formatting at the last minute; it’s important to leave a few days at the end of your essay writing process for working on your formatting, and to spend some time familiarising yourself with the different aspects of formatting.

301 Recommends:

Our Essay Structure and Planning workshop will outline how to analyse your essay question, discuss approaches logically structure all your ideas, help you make your introductions and conclusions more effective, and teach how to link your ideas and ensure all essay content flows logically from the introduction.

Below, you will find some general introductions to the key areas. 

Action: know the rules 

Because formatting rules can vary greatly depending on your department or assignment, it’s crucial to check the formatting specifications in your assignment description/rubric, and any general departmental presentation standards, as a first port of call. Many referencing systems also have specific rules about how to format your work, so make sure to familiarise yourself with the university library’s referencing guides . Many referencing systems also have more detailed style guides available via their websites.

Formatting key information  

Assignment cover sheets .

In some departments, you may be expected to include a cover sheet on the front page of your assignment. This is a page including key information about your assignment, such as your module number, student registration number, essay title, and submission date.

You may be asked to submit a plagiarism declaration and to make your markers aware of any disabilities through the yellow sticker system . If you are asked to include a cover sheet in your assignment, your department should make you aware of where you can access this.

Assignment titles

Place your assignment title at the top of your first page, either centre or left aligned, in bold font. At university, you may be assigned a pre-designed essay title/question, or asked to select from several possible titles. You may also be asked to design your own essay title. Here are some top tips on designing your own title:

  • To bring focus to your essay, draft a working title at the essay planning stage. You can come back and review this title in light of your finished essay draft.
  • Make sure to use action words in your essay title that reflect the skills your assessors are looking for, both in the assignment description and the marking criteria you have been given. For example, if heavy emphasis is placed on critical analysis, you could use a title like ‘Analyse the effect of…’ See this glossary of essay terms , containing examples that you can use in your own titles. 
  • The action words you choose can also help you to reflect the structure of the essay in your question. For example, an essay using the action word ‘Discuss’ might use a for/against/conclusion or advantages/disadvantages/conclusion structure, or an essay using the term ‘Analyse’ might break an issue down into parts, e.g. into key themes, to understand its meaning as a whole. Think about the type of essay you want to write: do you want it to be comparative, look at several topics equally, or do you have a clear argument that you want to put forward? You can then create a question that gives you the opportunity to approach the topic from your own perspective.
  • Make sure to include the main terminology you are working with in your assignment title.
  • Make sure your question has a realistic scope, without being so broad that you cannot answer it within the limitations of your essay. To limit your question, you could include any limiting factors you are working with, such as specific time periods, geographical regions or sub-themes within the overall topic area. For example, in the title ‘Evaluate the proposition that a global monoculture will destroy diversity and difference’, the broad topic of global monoculture is limited down through a specific sub-focus on diversity and difference.

Stating word counts 

Depending on the instructions you have been given, you may be asked to state your word count, either on your cover sheet or at the beginning of your essay. If you are asked to include this information, make sure your word count accurately reflects the assessment guidance: for example, are references included in your word count?

Visual clarity  

Line spacing .

Most assignment descriptions specify that you should increase the space between each line on the page, from the standard 1.0 spacing to either 1.5 or 2.0 spacing. You are asked to do this to make the essay more visually accessible and easier to read, by breaking up the number of lines on each page. 

Download this step-by-step illustrated guide to line spacing in Microsoft Word and Google Docs.

All non-examination based assignments should be word processed rather than handwritten. Most assignment descriptions will specify that for visual clarity, and to ensure a professional appearance, you should use a plain, sans-serif font such as Arial. For readability, this should be in 11 or 12 point size. Check your departmental or assignment guidance for any specific rules about font choices. 

Page numbering, headers and footers  

Including page numbers in your assignments makes them more accessible. Depending on the departmental guidance you have been given, you may be asked to include these in either the header or the footer of your essay (the blank space above and below where the text would go on a normal page in a word processor). It may also be helpful to include your registration number and the module code of the essay in the same header or footers that specify the page number. 

Download this step-by-step illustrated guide to adding page numbers and using headers and footers in Microsoft Word and Google Docs. 

Page layout   

A margin is the amount of blank space on either side of a paragraph in a normal word processor. Traditionally, assignment descriptions specified that the margins should be made wider at the binding edge (the left hand side) of the page, to allow for easier reading of printed essays. However, with the shift to online essays, you might not be asked to do this any more and the default settings on your word processor are likely to be sufficiently wide.

For printed dissertations and theses, you may receive specific guidance about the suitable layout of margins, as these are more likely to be printed: see this university guide on formatting PhD theses . 

Download this step-by-step illustrated guide to adjusting margins in Microsoft Word and Google Docs.

Paragraph alignment 

Most formatting instructions specify that paragraphs should be lined up in a straight line (aligned) on the left hand edge, but left jagged on the right hand edge (like this page). This is called left alignment, or flush-left style, and should be the default alignment setting for your word processor. This style can be helpful for visual accessibility, but check any specific instructions you have been given by your department to see which style of alignment you have been asked to use. 

Download this step-by-step illustrated guide to adjusting paragraph alignment in Microsoft Word and Google Docs.  

Paragraph indentation

You may be asked to add indents to your paragraphs: an indent is an additional small gap between the margin and the beginning of a paragraph (it makes a ‘dent’ in the first line of your paragraph). Indents are used to provide extra clarification that the reader is starting a new paragraph after finishing the last one: therefore, they should not be used in the first paragraph of your essay. Indents are not always required, and whether you are expected to use them may depend on your referencing style , and any formatting instructions you have been given by your department.

Download this step-by-step illustrated guide to indenting paragraphs in Microsoft Word and Google Docs.

Formatting referenced material 

Footnotes and endnotes .

Some referencing systems require you to use footnotes or endnotes to format your references (make sure to check the library’s referencing guide to familiarise yourself with the expected format of your referencing style). Inserting a footnote into your word document when you have cited from a source adds a superscript number (a number formatted in a smaller font) to the sentence. It creates a note with a matching number at the bottom of the page you are working on (in the footer), which you can add the reference information to.

Endnotes work in the same way, but instead of appearing at the bottom of the page, the reference list appears at the end of the document.

Download this step-by-step illustrated guide to manually inserting footnotes and endnotes in Microsoft Word and Google Docs.  

References and bibliographies  

Instead of, or alongside footnotes/endnotes, some referencing systems ask you to include a bibliography and/or a reference list at the end of the essay (make sure to check the library’s referencing guide to familiarise yourself with the expected format of your referencing style). A reference list is a list of all the sources you have directly referred to in the essay, which could be ordered numerically or alphabetically, depending on your referencing style.

A bibliography could be used alongside, or instead of, a reference list, depending on your referencing style; here, you list all the sources you have consulted that have influenced your ideas, whether they are included in the essay or not. The way this is ordered also depends on your referencing style. 

If you auto-generate your citations in Microsoft Word or Google Docs, you can auto-generate your bibliography instead of creating it manually: instructions for doing so are in the resource below. If you use a different reference manager, such as Mendeley, Zotero, or Endnote, these have their own specific instructions for auto-generating bibliographies. See the reference management resources offered by the university. 

Download this step-by-step illustrated guide to manually or automatically formatting a bibliography or reference list in Microsoft Word and Google Docs.

Block quotations  

When you need to include a quotation in your essay that is three or more lines long, you can add this as a block quotation. A block quotation appears on a separate line to the other parts of the paragraph, and is indented (i.e. there is a wider gap between a block quotation and the left-hand margin than there is between the rest of the paragraph and the left-hand margin). Block quotations aren’t placed in quotation marks, so the indentation is used to indicate that you are using a quotation.

Check your referencing guide and any departmental guidance to learn more about the specific rules on formatting block quotations in your department. Because they take up large chunks of your word count, and break up the flow of your texts, make sure to use block quotations sparingly: they are especially helpful when you are going to perform close analysis of a large section of text. For more information on different types of quotation and how to use them, see our workshop on paraphrasing and using academic sources.

Download this step-by-step illustrated guide to formatting block quotations in Microsoft Word and Google Docs.

Advanced formatting 

Headings and contents tables .

Most standard short essays do not include headings, other than the essay title and reference list and/or bibliography. Section headings may be required for some longer or more structured types of academic writing, such as reports; reports often follow a very closely prescribed structure, so it is essential to pay very careful attention to the specific guidelines issued with your brief. Make sure that any system you use for numbering your headings and subheadings is consistently applied throughout the document.

Depending on the advice you have been given, and the length and complexity of a lab report, you may also be required to include a table of contents to help the reader navigate between headings. Contents tables are generally standard practice in longer assignments such as dissertations and theses. Make sure to check any departmental guidance you have been given about formatting reports.

Download this step-by-step illustrated guide to formatting headings and contents tables in Microsoft Word and Google Docs.

301 Recommends: Scientific Writing and Lab Reports Workshop

This workshop  will help you to familiarise yourself with some of the specific expectations associated with this assignment format.

Figures and tables 

Some kinds of essays, dissertations and reports will require you to make use of figures (pictures, diagrams, and graphs) and tables (any data in a table format). Figures and tables are normally numbered in sequence, e.g. ‘Table 1’, ‘Figure 4’, and are directly referred to in the text according to their number, rather than according to their location on the page (e.g. ‘as shown in Table 2’ rather than ‘as shown below’). 

If your text is of dissertation or thesis length, or if your text has several figures, it may also be helpful to include a list of figures immediately after the table of contents. Some referencing guides have specific rules about presenting and referencing tables and figures, so make sure to familiarise yourself with these and carefully read any specific instructions about figures and tables in your assignment brief. 

Download this step-by-step illustrated guide to inserting figures and tables and creating lists of figures/tables in Microsoft Word and Google Docs.

Top tips for formatting tables and figures:

  • Make sure that any tables or figures you use are placed below the paragraph where you refer to them, and that you have directly referred to all figures and tables in the text of the essay.
  • The caption for a table usually acts as its title, so this is placed above the table in the document. The caption for a figure is usually placed underneath the figure. Do not include unnecessary additional titles in the graph image itself, if the title is already included in your image caption. 
  • Make sure to label your captions consistently, choosing between ‘Fig.’ or ‘Figure’ and consistently using either a full stop or a colon after the label (i.e. ‘Figure 1:’ or ‘Fig. 1.’) 
  • Your caption should clearly and succinctly explain what the figure or table is. If the figure is taken from an external source, you must provide a reference that accurately reflects its copyright status (see these university library guides to inserting and attributing images and figures in university work). 
  • Make sure to include legends in any charts you use (a key that helps to explain the data in the chart). Any data series you use should be clearly distinguishable from each other (e.g. avoid printing a report with coloured graphs in black and white!) If you are only using one series of data, a legend is not always necessary. 
  • Make sure tables are clear and easy to read, using sans serif fonts, a readable font size, and avoiding unnecessary use of colour. 
  • Make sure graphs are clear and easy to read, with clearly and appropriately labelled axes. Be wary of 3D effects that may obscure the clarity of a graph.
  • Make sure to avoid presenting the same information in a graph and a table.
  • Images and figures in printed essays, such as dissertations and theses, should be large enough for the text and numbers to be legible on the printed copy. Make sure they do not extend beyond the print margins of the document. 

301 Recommends: Displaying Data in Graphs and Tables Workshop

This workshop will provide more technical advice on using graphs and tables in your work. See also this Engineering department guidance on formatting graphs and tables in Engineering lab reports.


Appendices commonly appear in dissertations, theses, and lab reports. An appendix provides supporting information that gives the reader a better understanding of the essay, but that might be too long, detailed or awkward to insert into the main body of the essay without breaking up its flow. Interview questions or transcripts, sample questionnaires, raw data, figures, photographs, large/complex datasets, and diagrams are all examples of information that could be included in an appendix, if it is relevant to do so.

The reader should be able to understand the essay without reference to this supporting information, as all the most important and relevant information needed to answer the question should be included in the body (i.e., the appendix should not be used to make room for content that doesn’t fit within your word count). Your appendices must be clearly signposted and explained in the body of your report, highlighting any information that is essential for your reader to understand. Do not include any appendices that are not referenced in the text itself.

The appendices should be placed in numerical or alphabetical order, and signposted according to this specific system (e.g. ‘Appendix B indicates that…’) They should be clearly labelled, using headings that match up to the in-text reference. Appendices usually appear at the very end of the assignment, after your references/bibliography. Make sure to list any appendices used in your table of contents; if you have been instructed to do so by your department or within your referencing system, you could include a list of appendices separate to your contents list. 

The specific format of the appendix heading, and the reference made to the appendix in the text, depends on your referencing style , so make sure to carefully review this information before you design your appendices.

Download this step-by-step illustrated guide to inserting appendices and creating lists of appendices in Microsoft Word and Google Docs.

Tips and resources

  • Use this 301 proofreading checklist to check over your work when you are finished.
  • Use the University Library referencing guide for advice about referencing and formatting that is specific to your referencing style. If you need extra clarification about formatting rules, it is often possible to download an extended style guide from the official website for a specific referencing system. 
  • For further training on referencing, using reference generators, and using images in your work, see the University Library workshop programme .

Related information

Academic Writing


Essay structure and planning

Scientific writing and lab reports

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Formatting your assignments: Formatting your Assignments

Formatting your Assignments

There are common style conventions that should be applied when formatting your assignments. Check with your lecturer or assignment brief if there is a recommended style. If not, follow the tips below on how to format your assignments.

General Guidelines

These are some general guidelines on how to format your assignments. 

Choice of Font

  • Use a standard clear and readable font, consider Calibri, Arial, Times New Roman, or Verdana. Fonts should be consistent throughout your assignment. 
  • Colours - Standard Black and White, if you want to include more colours stick to a maximum of three and be consistent when colouring your headings. 
  • Font Size - 11p or 12p
  • Justify your alignment
  • Assign 1.5 spacing between sentences
  • Make headings Bold
  • Essays don’t usually need subheadings; reports usually do.

Title page / Cover Page

  • The title of the assignment 
  • The course/unit name and number
  • The due date
  • Your full name, student number/identifier
  • On this page the text should be centred. 
  • If you are including figures, you may wish to use a contents page. Ensure figures are numbered correctly according to APA Guidelines. - 
  • Figure 1., Figure 2, etc. 

Insert a header on all pages except the title page

  • Your last name, first name
  • Your student number
  • The course code or number
  • Include page numbers on all pages except for the title page.

Assignment Template

  • Last Updated: Mar 10, 2023 2:42 PM
  • URL: https://libguides.aftrs.edu.au/Formattingyourassignments

Formatting the Essay

The font for any type of essay assignment is pretty universal. The general expectation for font type is Times New Roman and the expected font size is usually 12 point. To adjust these settings in your own Microsoft Word document in preparation for your essay, highlight the text and then follow the steps in the graphic below:

This is an image of how to properly format your paper in Microsoft Word. Step 1: Click on 'Home'. Step 2: Click on dropdown and select 'Times New Roman' font. Step 3: Click dropdown and select '12' for the font size.

  • Step 1: Click on the “Home” tab at the top left of your screen
  • Step 2: Click the font type dropdown menu and select “Times New Roman”
  • Step 3: Select “12” point font from the font size dropdown menu

Formal requirements for written assignments

This is a general guidance on the Faculty of Educations’ requirements for written academic assignments. The Faculty operates with general requirements, as well as specific requirements in the different disciplines and courses. This guidance has a focus on the general requirements. Note that term papers and other assignments that are a part of the course examination may have other specific designs. It is the students’ responsibility to familiarize themselves with these requirements. For more information, visit the course information web site or talk to the lecturer responsible for the course.

The Faculty of Education emphasises the importance of learning and formal academic writing. Thus written academic assignments are an important part of the studies.

These requirements of academic writing include proper use of references and bibliography. Negligence of the formal requirements may negatively affect the grade of the assignment. In more serious cases, the assignment may be rejected on the basis of plagiarism.

There are different technical standards with regards to written assignments. At Department of Educational Research the standards are as follows:

a) The assignment needs to be typed, in the following format: Font size 12 point, spacing 1.5, left and right margins set at 2.5. The pages need to be numerated. In the content list page, numbers are to be given under the different sub-headlines. The number of pages of the paper does not include front page, content list, bibliography and appendix/s.

b) The assignment should be printed double sided.

c) New paragraphs are to be marked by skipping a line, it is not to be marked by indentation.

d) Headlines are to be written from the left margin, not centred. If the headlines are ranged in sub headlines, there should no be more than three levels. The ranking is to be shown by using capital and lower case letters and the decimal number system as in the following example:

3. THEORIES ON LEARNING 3.1. Conditioned theoretical explanations 3.1.1. Classical theory

The spacing between a paragraph and a new heading needs to be triple, and the spacing between heading and new paragraph double.

e) References needs to be given in parenthesis in the text (and not in footnotes). A proper reference is given with the name of the author, publication year and page number/s when necessary (page number/s of the reference is used when giving direct quote/s). 

·        (Hirst 1987) ·        (Myhre 1988:160-162) ·        (Handal & Lauvås 1983:59) ·        (Atkinson et.al. 1987:223) ·        (Sommerschild 1985)

If the reference has two authors, both names need to be written. If the reference has more than two authors, write the name of the author first mentioned followed by et.al., as shown in the example above. The references used in the text must in addition always be cited in the bibliography. The bibliography needs to be given in alphabetical order at the end of the assignment.

Example of a bibliography: Book written by author:

Surname, First name (year): Full title of the book. Place where published: Publisher. (Edition, nr)

Cummings, William K. (2003): The Institutions of Education, Oxford: Symposium Books.

Book written by two or three authors:

Surname, first name, name 2 first name surname and name 3 first name surname (year): Full title. Place where published: Publisher. (edition, nr)

Lie, Suzanne Stiver and Lynda Malik (1994): World Yearbook of Education 1994: The gender gap in higher education. London: Kogan Page.

Articles in magazines or encyclopaedias: Encyclopaedias:

Surname, First name (year): Full title of the article In: Name of editor (ed): Title of encyclopaedia. Place where published: Publisher.

Arnove, Robert F. (2003): Introduction: Reframing comparative education. The dialectic of the global and the local. In: Arnove, Robert F. and Carlos A. Torres (eds.). Comparative education: the dialectic of the global and the local. Lanham, Md : Rowman & Littlefield.

Article in magazine:

Surname, First name (year): Full title of article. In: Title of magazine. Volume/year. Page numbers.

Antikainen, Ari (2006): In Search of the Nordic Model in Education. In: Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, vol. 50, no. 3: 229-243.

Publications with several given authors or no given author:

Full title. If given editor Surname, First name (ed)/ if given authors name 1 Surname, First name, et.al. Place where published: Publisher, year. (Edition, nr)

Introduction to psychology. 9. Ed. Atkinson, Rita L. et.al. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. 1987

Literature published on the internet:

Author (year): title, complete site address (date when data was collected for use)

Report No. 17 (2006 - 2007) to the Storting (2006): An Information Society for All, Ministry of Government Administraion and Reform. http://www.regjeringen.no/en/ministries/fad/Documents/Government-propositions-and-reports-/Reports-to-the-Storting-white-papers/20062007/Report-No-17-2006---2007-to-the-Storting.html?id=441497 (02.04.2007)

f) Quotes up until five lines can be given directly in the text. The quotes given in the text need to be given in quotation marks. Longer quotes must be given in a separate paragraph, indented and with single spacing. First paragraph after given quote must begin in left margin. You may choose to leave out some words or whole sentences. This is marked by […].Quotes need to be cited in the original language and correctly cited. When quotes are given in another language than English, the quote must be translated. It needs to be stated after the reference to the quote that the translation is your own.

When referring to a specific line of arguments or a specific model from an author, not just general thoughts, you need to give the name of the author and year when published. When citing quotes, figures and/or tables, you have to give the page number where the information was found, e.g. (Myhre 1988:23)

g) Figures, tables etc should be numerated, and given a short explicatory text. The explicatory text needs to be underlined. Text to tables are to be placed before the given table, and text to figures under the given figure.

h) When including notes in the assignment, they can be given as footnotes, or in a list of notes at the end of the paper. If the notes are given at the end of the paper, they need to be placed after the paper yet before the bibliography. They must be numerated throughout the assignment. Only additional text can be given in notes, references used in the assignments needs to be given in parenthesis as shown above.

i) The front page of the assignment must contain following information in given order:

Title of the paper/assignment What kind of assignment it is, e.g. term paper EDU4100 Your name The given semester and year University of Oslo Faculty of Education Department of Educational Research Referencing:

The objective with referencing is:

To make clear to the reader what is the writer of the text/assignments’ own ideas and what ideas and concepts are taken from other authors Referencing in a manner that makes it easy for the reader to find the source referred to in the bibliography. When do you need references? When referring to an author’s ideas, thoughts, models etc, you need to show whom it is taken from. Referencing is done both in the text and in a separate bibliography. All literature referred to in the text needs to be listed in the bibliography, in alphabetical order. The bibliography can only consist of literature given as reference in the text, neither more nor less. In the bibliography, you need to give the authors full name, full title of the book, publisher, place where published and year when published. When referring to articles, you need to give the title of the article and information on the book/magazine the article is found. See the following examples.

When referring to literature in the text, you have to give the authors surname and year when published, e.g. (Gundem 1987), (Berger and Luckmann 1975) or (Haagensen et.al. 1990). The latter example is used when there are more than two authors.

There are several ways to do referencing in the text. It can be done directly into the text: “In this line of arguments I refer to Reidar Myhre (1990) who claims that ….. Reidar Myhre (1990) claims that…” etc. Year and alternatively page number/s (when giving direct quote/s) need to be given, either following the author's name or after the given argument. The reference can also be given in parenthesis after the argument/idea/concept of the author is presented, e.g. (Myhre 1990). If you wish to show that several authors/researches support the same argument/idea/concept, it can be listed as followed (Eidheim 1971, Hoem 1978, Høgmo 1989). Note that they are place chronologically, starting with the oldest published reference. If you are referring to an article, you need to give the name of the author of the article, and not the editor of the magazine/book.

You may also start a chapter/section by stating that you will now present the theory developed by the author you are referring to or a line of arguments supported in the literature you are referring to. If presenting a theory, concept or idea from one reference you only need to list it once.

In the cases when you are referring to the same book/article on the same page in your text, you are allowed to use (op.cit) which refers the stated book/article, (loc.cit) which refers the quoted place or (ibid) which refers to the same book/article or the same place.

Secondary sources: It needs to be clearly demonstrated when you are using secondary sources.  This implies that you always have to give references to the secondary sources you are referring to in the assignment.

One example : If one author you are reading e.g. Gundem (1987) is referring to another author e.g. Myhre (1981) you can write the following: Gundem (1987:22) is here referring to Myhre (1981), or the following (Gundem 1987:22 referred in/quoted in Myhre 1981), or (Myhre 1981, her quoted in Gundem 1987:22), which implies that you do not have the book/article of Myhre, but support your statements on Myhre’s arguments and/or ideas referred to in Gundem’s book. In the bibliography you can list Gundems work. You are also allowed to list Myhres book, but then need to emphasize that it is referred to from Gundem.

Plagiarism and written assignments:

The University of Oslo has a strict policy on plagiarism. Plagiarism is a breach of the trust to the institution. Plagiarism affects and reflects upon the University, fellow students and your future employers. Serious consequences are taken in incidents of plagiarism.

Plagiarism in written home assignments and exams concerns the cases where the assignment is:

Turned in by another student at a previous examination Turned in by another person at a previous examination Written by another person for the student turning in the paper An assignment giving direct quotations and/or rewritings of “unknown” previously published material or previous written exams without giving proper referencing Rewritings and quotations from books, articles, previously written assignments and theses without giving proper referencing is also considered plagiarism.

When submitting a written assignment, the candidate must sign a declaration stating the assignment:

Has not been submitted at a previous exam at a different institute/university/university college domestically or in another country. Does not refer to other author’s ideas and arguments without being referenced. Does not refer to the candidate’s previous work without referencing that work. Does include references in the text and bibliography. Breach of these terms will be considered plagiarism and lead to sanctions from the University of Oslo.

Submitting the assignments electronically:

From 01.01.2005, all master theses are to be submitted electronically in addition to a printed version. Use the university’s system for electronically publishing, DUO.

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How Should I Format My University Essay ?

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How should i format my university essay.

Students are often unsure of exactly how they should format their essays, assignments and reports for university if they haven’t been given specific or precise guidelines by their lecturers or tutors.

Luckily, there is a standard way to format essays for university that is generally accepted across Australian and New Zealand universities. This article will explain what you need to do to follow those most commonly accepted guidelines.

Your font should be Times New Roman or Arial. Don’t use anything fancy, and avoid Calibri and Cambria. Even though Word has set these as the default fonts, they are generally not the preferred font to use at university.

Your essay should be at least 1.5 line spaced, and often double spacing is preferred. This is to give your grader enough room to make corrections or write comments for you in the spaces in between, if they are grading on hard copy. If they are grading electronically, that spacing just makes the document easier to read on screen.

For an essay or assignment, in which you might only have one to three levels of headings, you might follow these guidelines:

Heading 1 (Centred, bold, size 14)

Heading 2 (left aligned, bold, size 12)

Heading 3 (left aligned, bold and italics, size 12)


You can either use a first-line indent of 1.27 cm at the start of each paragraph or you can use a line space between each paragraph, but don’t use both.

Page Margins

Keep your margins set as the default used by Word, or at a minimum 2.54 cm all around. If your tutor or lecturer is grading on paper, they might appreciate a 4 cm left-hand margin so they have more room to write comments for you in the margins.

If you need any further assistance with essay editing, you can read more about our professional editing service . Capstone Editing is always here to help.

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Oxford Brookes University

Formatting academic writing

Your assignments will have conventions for how to format and present your work. These can include the font size and line spacing of your document, and even the margin size. These are not just arbitrary rules or being picky; they are important stylistic conventions that help your audience (usually the tutors marking your work) read your work more easily. 

Scroll down for our recommended strategies and resources. 

Follow your module handbook

Always check your module handbook and assignment brief on Moodle for the specific formatting guidelines for each assignment as they may be different. Your module handbook should usually specify things like the font type, font size, spacing, plus any information about margins, page numbers and other formatting features if they are needed. 

Double space your work

It is a normal academic convention to double-space your assignments as it makes it easier for your markers to read and to add any feedback comments above the relevant line. Usually your reference list is not double-spaced but you do leave a line between each entry in the reference list. See Microsoft Support below for how to double-space text in Word:.

Double-space the lines in a document (Microsoft Support)

Have clear paragraph breaks

When your work is double-spaced, you need to make sure you leave enough space between each paragraph so that it shows up as a distinct paragraph break. It is a usual convention in academic assignments to use a larger space between paragraphs, as opposed to indenting the first line to show a new paragraph. Also academic English doesn’t have a ‘semi-paragraph’, so you can’t indent a line, or start a new line to show that an idea is ‘sort of’ related to the point before it. You must either start a new paragraph or combine the idea into the current paragraph, but don’t have something in between.

See your formatting in Word

Sometimes our spacing and formatting becomes confused and we are not sure why the text is behaving in a certain way. It can help to turn on the formatting marks in your word processing programme to see exactly where line breaks and other formatting features are appearing. See Microsoft Support below for how to turn on the formatting marks in Word:

Show or hide tab marks in Word (Microsoft Support)

Write numbers correctly

There are conventions for how to include numbers in your academic writing. Generally, we write out the numbers zero to ten in words, and then use numerals for the numbers 11 onwards. However, there can be important exceptions and specific cases depending on what the number represents, where it appears in a sentence, and the subject you are writing for.  The EAP Foundation guide below gives a good basic overview of the conventions for writing numbers. 

Writing numbers (EAP Foundation)

Use capital letters consistently

There are a lot of rules about when to use capital letters in academic writing. One of the main purposes is to draw attention to specific named people, places, titles, or things. Therefore, we would use capital letters when writing, ‘Doctor Watson works at Brookes University’, but we wouldn’t use capital letters when writing ‘many doctors find work in a university’. The resource below has a list of the main rules, and a good general principle is to be consistent.

Capitalization rules (The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation)

Decide to use double or single quotation marks

In academic writing, there isn’t a fixed rule about whether single or double quotation marks should be used. Therefore, you can make a choice, but be consistent; if you start using double quotation marks, continue using them throughout your assignment. On the rare occasion that you might need to include a quote within a quote, you would use the other form of quotation marks to signal this, for example: "When I say 'immediately,' I mean sometime before August," said the manager. 

Spell out acronyms first time

Although abbreviations like can’t or e.g. are not acceptable in academic writing, using acronyms for names of organisations or theories is acceptable. Always write the name in full the first time you use it in an assignment, and put the acronym in brackets after it. On the first usage in an assignment, you would write, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and then it would be fine to refer to just the NMC after that.  

Understand how to format references

A vital part of academic writing is knowing how to format both your in-text references and your reference list. The correct formatting of references is not just a matter of style, it is a key part of academic integrity . If you have information missing or a confused reference list, you could lose marks or be penalised for poor academic practice. Check that you understand how to reference correctly.  

Referencing resources (Centre for Academic Development)

Create contents pages easily

Most assignments do not need a contents page, but some assignments, such as dissertations or reports do require a contents page. Save time by using headings in Word consistently so you can automatically generate a contents page. This video shows you how: 

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Brandon University

Standard format regulations for written assignments.

From the moment any piece of written work is first submitted to your instructors or their substitutes, its assessment and grading is governed by Brandon University’s regulations concerning academic integrity. Students are referred to the policy on academic integrity Section 4.2.2 of the General Calendar. Violations of this policy, including all forms of plagiarism, will not be tolerated.

Always proofread your written work. Check it using the following list of rules before you submit it.

  • Staple your pages together before handing in (top left corner).
  • Use 1″ margins on all sides.
  • Use only 12pt type in a standard font.
  • Number your pages (the first page of text is page 1).
  • Always double-space (except in lengthy offset quotations).
  • Do not leave blank spaces between paragraphs.
  • Indent every paragraph.
  • Avoid very long (1 page) and very short (1-2 sentence) paragraphs.
  • Give your work an interesting and descriptive title.
  • Do not underline your own title.
  • Avoid slang expressions (e.g., ‘popped him one’).
  • Introduce all direct quotations (see over).
  • Long quotations (4 lines) are to be offset (see over).
  • Use a bibliography, on a separate page (see over).
  • All book titles must be underlined or italicized (not both – be consistent).
  • Correct all common spelling and typographical errors (use spell-check).
  • Spell the instructor’s name correctly.

Additional format regulations may vary from course to course, especially concerning referencing and bibliographies.


Faculty of Arts

  • Faculty Of Arts
  • Arts Faculty Council Minutes
  • Forms And Policies for Faculty/Staff Use
  • Departments & Programs
  • Faculty and Staff

For Admissions: admissions@brandonu.ca

Faculty of Arts Room 101 Clark Hall 270-18th Street Brandon, Manitoba R7A 6A9

Phone: (204) 727-9790 Fax: (204) 726-0473 Email: arts@brandonu.ca


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