When writing an assignment, you need to decide how your text should appear on the page. An attractive and orderly layout improves the overall impression of your assignment.
supports the content.
makes the assignment appear manageable and inviting.
marks the functions of sections.
When you lay out your assignments, you need to consider the design of pages, the font (font type and font size), the body text (including margins and alignment) and the section length.
Margins are the white areas along the edge of a page on the right and left, and at the top and bottom. When adjusting the margin, you adjust both the visual expression of the page and the width of lines and columns.
Make plenty of space for margins so the text is easy to read and there is room for notes.
Make sure your text is aligned with the left margin (aligned left).
Most study guides recommend a margin of at least 3.0 cm on all four sides - but ask on your degree programme if in doubt.
Some people think it looks best if the text is aligned on both sides (justified text). Others believe it is easier to read the text if it is aligned left. No matter what you choose, remember to use hyphenation to avoid large gaps in the text.
The text on the left is aligned left, and the text on the right is justified:
Adding page numbers makes it easier for your reader to find specific information in the text by looking at the table of contents. In addition, page numbers make it easier for you to refer to places earlier or later in the text.
Moreover, page numbers enable your reader to navigate and keep track of the assignment, and the reader will notice if some pages have gone missing when the assignment was printed. It can be a good idea to mark page numbers as page X of Y so that the total number of pages in the assignment is stated on each page.
If you have several appendices and choose to collate them in one section, the appendices should also include page numbers.
Place the page number at the bottom right-hand corner – this is most common.
Use ordinary numbers, not letters or Roman numerals.
Make sure the page numbers in the text match the page references in the table of contents.
Page 1 should be the first page of the actual assignment - usually the introduction. This means that the table of contents should not be numbered and should not be included in the page numbering.
Check your academic regulations for any special rules for the layout of your assignment.
Select A4 format.
Be consistent: mark words and sections in the same way throughout the assignment.
Choose a reader-friendly font (e.g. Times New Roman) and a large font size (e.g. 12 points or more).
Before you start writing your assignment, adjust the layout, i.e. the margin size, font size and line spacing, so that one page corresponds to a standard page (e.g. 2400 characters per page). In this way, you will always know the scope of your text.
Prioritise good content and a classic and orderly page layout, rather than eye-catching graphical features.