The font and font size used in your text can make a great difference for your reader. The formatting may affect the reader's overall impression of the assignment and the extent to which your words are taken seriously.
Always be consistent in your formatting. When selecting a specific font for your body text, use the same font throughout the assignment. The same applies to headings. It may help your readers if they are able to distinguish the different levels of headings. For example, you may use numbered headings or different font sizes.
Some degree programmes have fixed guidelines for layout and formatting, while others are more flexible. However, the guidelines below can be considered relatively general.
Your choice of font affects the reader’s overall impression of your assignment. Therefore, it is a good idea to think about the font. Basically, these two rules of thumb are the most important:
Choose a reader-friendly font that is not too small.
Use the same font throughout the assignment. If necessary, vary the size and use different font styles to add emphasis, e.g. in headings.
Fonts can roughly be divided into two types, namely antiqua fonts and grotesque fonts:
have strokes extending from the end of the letters, also known as serifs.
are therefore often referred to as serif fonts.
are often perceived and recommended as the most reader-friendly fonts.
have no strokes (serifs) extending from the end of the letters.
are therefore often referred to as sans serif or gothic fonts.
are suitable for headings.
It is often recommended to use an antiqua font, e.g. Times New Roman, because the serifs form lines in the text that are easier to follow for the eye.
Choose a font size that is easy to read and not too small. Many courses/programmes recommend a font of at least 12 points.
Choosing the right font size for your text may depend on your choice of line spacing and font type.
If you use a grotesque font (without serifs), you can choose a smaller font size than if you use an antiqua font (with serifs).
Note that it is generally recommended to use antiqua font for longer assignments.
Footnotes are usually in a smaller font size than the body text.
Headings may vary in size, depending on the level of the section that the heading concerns.
When defining your line spacing, note that:
your assignment should be manageable and easy to read.
many courses/programmes recommend 1.5 line spacing.
if you have opted for a large font, you might consider a 1.3 line spacing. It is up to you to decide what looks best. Ask on your degree programme whether any special rules apply, or check your academic regulations.
In the article 'Skrifttyper siger mere end 1000 ord' (in Danish), you can read about formatting, and how it affects the overall expression of a text.