It’s come down to fonts.


I have halted the revision of my thesis–! It’s due on Monday, for Pete’s sake. There’s not much I can do within the next four days to improve the thing substantially. And I personally think it’s better for me to set the pieces aside and revise them further a few weeks later, after I’ve digested some, after gaining distance, after the semester’s ended. So–I’ve decided: it’s “DONE.”

Now I’m trying to choose fonts. My thesis length is short. We’re allowed to choose between Times New Roman, Arial, and Courier. I’ve always just used Times New Roman. But suddenly! Suddenly, I’m actually paying attention to fonts! (Why? I don’t know. It’s thesis neurosis).

I’ve played around with how the fonts impact thesis length. In Times New Roman, my manuscript is about 8 pages short of minimum thesis length. In Arial, it’s 2 pages short of minimum thesis length. In Courier font, it’s about 16 pages over minimum thesis length.

I don’t think anyone cares about thesis length, so long as it’s within range–my thesis reader, along with my thesis director, have already approved the darn thing anyway. But-but-but (and here comes the thesis font neurosis)…what font should I use?

Courier, I hear, is industry standard for manuscripts (but it’s sort of…plain). But Times is what I’m used to (but again, it makes my thesis look REALLY short–NOT THAT IT MATTERS). Arial is pretty (and takes me within 2 pages of thesis page minimum, NOT THAT IT MATTERS), but it somehow looks less “standard.”

Okay. So here it is. I’ve got several days to resolve this issue. WHICH FONT TO USE FOR MY THESIS? I will seriously take the most popular vote here, because I can’t take the font angst anymore! I throw it out to you to decide.






Filed under MFA, Writing

12 responses to “It’s come down to fonts.

  1. I’m all about the pure Helvetica, myself. Arial will do in a pinch but I just can’t get past the Microsoft ripping off the most beautiful font EVAR!
    So glad to hear you’re nearly done – biggest hugs to you!!!

  2. hyunjini

    I went to Word and typed out the name of each font type using the very font, and my vote is Times. Perhaps it’s because I’m used to it, but it looks the most clean and simple. Before I tested the fonts, I would have said Arial because your thesis gets closest to the minimum length, but you say that doesn’t matter, so Times it is.

  3. I do have an unexplained affinity for Garamond, but for my academic work, I stick to Times New Roman.

    Courier, I agree, is just too plain. And Arial is the font that so many of my high school students want to use, so it always seems to make the text seem less sophisticated to me.

    Glad to hear you’re almost done…good luck with these final stages!

  4. Congrats on being (almost) done!! I vote for Times. I think it’s the classiest, and also the easiest to read.

  5. heather

    times! simple, classy, easy. stick with it! (btw, i never use courier and suddenly, before my last round, i was like “oh, maybe i should.”)

  6. Georgia not only looks great, but adds many, many more pages if you are looking for padding.

  7. Courier reminds me of screenplays. At work, I mostly see manuscripts in Times or Times New Roman, not Courier. Arial is not so easy for me to read in long pieces because it’s sans serif.

    So I vote Times! Somehow, it looks more professional to me.

    But, whatever the font, yay! This is very exciting!

  8. amapofhome

    Times, dear friend. And send me a copy!!!

  9. Randa

    Ooops, that was me up there, from the wordpress blog i started for my novel. anyway, times!

  10. Times.

    I used to use Courier, but I think Courier is only OK if you use 10 point font. 12 point Courier feels like cheating to me, and is really annoying to read.

  11. okay! Times New Roman, it is!


  12. I think you made the right choice. As a magazine art director, that’s the one I was going to suggest. Timeless. Easy on he eyes. Easy to read. You can’t go wrong.

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