Should College Term Papers Be Double Spaced?
A term paper is an essay written over the school term period that tests the student’s comprehension of a subject and knowledge application ability. They are mostly more than three pages long and involve carrying out research. Term papers at the college level can be written in single or double spacing, but some people argue that the latter is not appropriate for that academic level.
Goals of Term Papers.
The goal of a term paper should determine the format and style of the paper, regardless of the level of education. For example, if a term paper is for professional use, then a professional writing style should be embraced.
Several professional writing styles exist as follows
- APA style – used for scientific work
- MLA style – used for humanity subjects
- Chicago style – used for business and history subjects
The goal of these writing styles is to ensure that the content is presented in a professional manner using universally accepted formats so that it is easy to read and it can be subjected to assessment in a fair way using the laid out guidelines thus eliminating bias. Therefore whether the essay is single or double spaced, does not affect the goal or content.
In addition, double space term papers should be allowed at the college level because the purpose of term paper is not so much to provide pages of content but more of a tool to test various issues such as knowledge and comprehension of subject matter, ability to present ideas logically and so on. Thus writing a double spaced essay ensures that the student does not write too much but instead focuses on answering the questions well and in detail. Also, the tutor saves time as marks fewer pages, and it also makes it easier for him to read through a well-spaced document and also jot down comments on the pages.
Disadvantages of Double-Spaced Term Papers
Others believe that double spaced term papers at the college level are not appropriate. They argue that double space writing is too easy for college-level and does not improve the writing skills of the students as even high school students write double spaced essays. In addition, those against double spaced term papers claim that it has deteriorating aspects of students’ knowledge levels. For example, it makes them lazy as they do less research and read fewer articles because they don’t have to write a lot of content. Also, writing double spaced term papers limits the creativity of the students because they tend to strive to achieve the word count and less on how to improve their writing ability and comprehension of the subject matter.
Essay writing is about how to present one’s ideas convincingly and logically and should not be confused with writing formats. The criteria used to grade a term paper very rarely includes the single or double spaced aspects of it, and these are merely pointers and do not affect the quality of the term paper.