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Academic Appeal: The 11 Best Fonts for Academic Papers

  • BY Bogdan Sandu
  • 26 February 2024

good font research paper

Imagine settling into the rhythm of crafting your academic magnum opus—the words flow, ideas chime, yet it all hinges on how your prose meets the reader’s eye. You’re well aware that  the best fonts for academic papers  don’t just whisper to the intellect; they shout to the discerning critic in each evaluator. Here unfolds a narrative, not merely of  typography  but your academic saga’s silent ambassador.

In forging this guide, I’ve honed focus on one pivotal, often underestimated player in the academic arena:  font selection .

Navigate through this roadmap and emerge with a treasure trove of  legible typefaces  and format tips that ensure your paper stands hallmark to clarity and professionalism.

Absorb insights—from the revered  Times New Roman  to the understated elegance of  Arial —paired with indispensable  formatting nuggets  that transcend mere compliance with  university guidelines .

Dive deep, and by article’s end, unlock a dossier of sage advice, setting your documents a class apart in the scrutinous world of academic scrutiny. Here’s to  typography  serving not just as a vessel but as your ally in the scholarly discourse.

The Best Fonts for Academic Papers

Traditional choices and their limitations, times new roman : ubiquity and readability vs. overuse.

Times-New-Roman Academic Appeal: The 11 Best Fonts for Academic Papers

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Academic Appeal: The 11 Best Fonts for Academic Papers

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5 fonts that add credibility and professionalism to scientific research

by ikumikayama | Apr 29, 2013 | Uncategorized | 14 comments

good font research paper

Choosing the right fonts can affect how your scientific research is received.

Note: This is part 2 of a 2-part blog series about choices in fonts. You can read part 1 here .

You are dressed in your best. You edited the manuscript with a fine-tooth comb…but are your figures and images wearing flip-flops?

Last time we talked about fonts that suck professionalism out of your scientific research . In this article, we’ll talk about fonts that actually add credibility and professionalism to your research. Dress your research in a custom-tailored suit by just using these fonts!

My friend and colleague, Cassio Lynm described how a good figure should be like a billboard found in many highways around the country. Anyone who sees the billboard will understand what they are advertising in a split second. If someone is confused or gets the wrong idea, the image is not very successful.

Similarly, the best professional fonts should be one that’s easy to read with very little “bells and whistles”. When writing prose of informational value such as scientific research, a reader should pay attention to what the text is describing, not how the text looks.  A good professional font should be like air–we don’t really even pay attention to it most of the time.

Some of the fonts I’ll share with you today are considered “boring” and “overused” by some. These fonts are everywhere because they are champions of legibility and simplicity.  Make your work professional and trustworthy by using a time-tested font.

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1. Arial- “All-Around Champion with IBM Roots”

good font for scientific research arial

According to , Arial is one of the most used typefaces of the last 30 years. Its electronic origins go back to 1982 for IBM laser-xerographic printers by designers Robin Nicholas and Patricia Saunders. When it came out, it was supposed to compete with Helvetica, which was one of the core fonts in Apple Computers in the mid 1980’s.

Arial letters have more round shapes and the edges of letters do not end in a horizontal line. Instead, the edges are at an angle.

Arial is an easy-to-read font in small and large blocks of text. Nature requests that the figure text be in Arial or Helvetica. It’s especially nice for figure labels and legends. When using Arial as figure legends, keep the font size small ~8 points for best results.

2. Helvetica- “All-Around Champion with Apple Roots”

good font research paper

Helvetica is the most heavily-used font. Helvetica was originally designed by a Swiss designer named Max Miedinger in 1957. The font was designed to be an easy-to-read font. The name “Helvetica” comes from “Helvetia” – Latin name for Switzerland. Actually, the font received a facelift in 1983-the newer version is called, you guessed it, Neue Helvetica.

Helvetica even has its own movie . I haven’t seen it yet, but please comment in the section below if you have.

Besides its Hollywood (Indie) status, Helvetica is a font that looks great on both print and on screen.  Nature , Science , and Cell request that their figure labels be in Helvetica. (If you need assistance setting up figures, I’m here to help). It looks great small as in figure labels, and it looks pretty good in large formats as posters. I lost count of how many figures I labeled using Helvetica, since that’s what one of the publishers used for their books.

3. Baskerville- “Tends to have positive influence on readers”

good font research paper

Baskerville’s history goes all the way back to 1757 when John Baskerville designed a typeface that works well in print and easy to read.  Mr. Baskerville preferred his letters simple and refined. He was also a writing master, so he had some ornamental letters like the upper case Q.

There was an  informal study  (not official, but some experiments here and there) that showed using Baskerville font increased trustworthiness of the text compared to other fonts. In the same study, Comic Sans had the most negative influence on the readers.

Baskerville is a serif font, which means that there are “tails” at the edge of the letters. Generally, serif fonts are better suited for print. This font works best when used in long blocks of text. Try to keep this font between 8 and 14pts for best results. This font looks dignified, so use this for your important professional occasions-award ceremonies, recognitions, etc.

4. Caslon- “When in doubt, use Caslon”

good font research paper

Caslon is another font with a long history. William Cason I designed the typeface back in the early 1700’s. This font is considered as the first original typeface from England. This font was very popular in colonial America, and it was used for many historical documents including the US Declaration of Independence.

Caslon is a serif font (with tails), and is best used in blocks of text. Like Baskerville, try to keep this font between 8 and 14 points for best results. Using this in a report or an application would be a good places.

5. Garamond – “Second best font after Helvetica”

good font research paper

This font’s history also goes way back. The font was designed by Claude Garamond (or Jean Jannon), who was commissioned to make a typeface for King Francis I of France (1515-47) to be used in series of books. The modern, electric version was revived in 1989 by Robert Slimbach.

Because there are different sources available for Garamond, there are numbers of different variations of the font. Adobe Garamond is the most popular and widely-available version today.

Garamond is still used extensively by French publishers. They also insist that Garamond be printed in size 9.  Some of the most famous publications in France are in Garamond such as Histoire de l’édition français.  The publishers prefer this font “for its beauty, its richness and its legibility” combined with “an uncluttered graphic style that underscores the rigour of essays and analysis providing a radical critique of contemporary society”.

Garamond is a great font to be used in long proses such as textbooks, dissertations and theses. Keeping it at 9 point is optional. In fact, my master’s thesis was in Garamond.

So that’s the 5 fonts that add credibility and professionalism to your scientific research. Did you find your favorite fonts here? Do you have other favorites? Please share your thoughts in the comment section. Also, please feel free to send this article along to those who might benefit from this short article.

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Now that you know about great scientific fonts, learn more about: PowerPoint Tips for the Scientist


Sources and Further reading:

Arial vs Helvetica –

Research on font trustworthiness: Baskerville vs. Comic Sans

Caslon typeface

History of Garamond

Cell Press Figure Guide

Nature -Guide to preparing final artwork

Science Magazine: Preparing your manuscript



I’d rather like to know which font was used to write that article – it’s simple and readable, better than all presented above.


And the font being used for that article is Helvetica, which is one of the fonts mentioned above 😀


Hi Ewa! Great point. The font used is called “Open Sans” by Steve Matteson. For my blog, I made the font color dark grey to make it easier on the eyes, and also made them slightly bigger than average for easier reading. Hope this helps!


Hollo there, i liked the article but none of this fonts looks like the one used in the papers i read, (Journals of the American Chemical Society), do you know which one they use?

Hi There! Thank you for the note! ACS suggests Arial and Helvetica for their journal figures, so that’s what I introduced in this article–for the text, they might very well have their own custom font they use for their publications. I’ll dig into this a little deeper–thank you again!

Martin Silvertant

I’m sorry, but this article is full of misinformation. Part 1 is a reiteration of articles that have been around for years. Absolutely nothing new there, and honestly, is there anyone even considering the typefaces you name there for scientific articles? Is it conceivable that anyone would use Curlz for his essay?

But my real concern goes to the second part. Arial and Helvetica are absolutely not scientific typefaces. The notion that ACS suggests these typefaces doesn’t make them suitable for scientific works. I think you ought to do research as to WHY these typefaces came recommended. Helvetica has history, as it won out of contemporaries like Univers as Helvetica was very heavily marketed. As a side note, Helvetica is actually based on the Akzidenz Grotesk model. Arial was designed to have the same metrics as Helvetica so it could be used on the same printers without having to pay a license fee to use Helvetica. Arial is more legible while Helvetica is more neutral and clear, but neither is particularly great.

So I would say Helvetica and Arial haven’t been chosen because they’re perfect. They’ve been chosen because they’re popular, and Arial is on every Windows computer, so people don’t have to purchase any fonts. I would say neither Arial and Helvetica are known to be particularly good to read. I suspect typefaces like Proxima Nova and Avenir will fair better. To be clear, I don’t think Arial or Helvetica are bad choices for labels and such, but to suggest them as top 5 typefaces, that’s very clearly misinformation.

“When using Arial as figure legends, keep the font size small ~8 points for best results.” For best results? Not entirely. It’s probably a good estimate, but in actuality the pt size should depend on the layout. I would recommend always making a test print to see if the text looks good in print, if that’s what it is intended for. Sometimes 0.2pts more or less could make the difference.

“Helvetica is the most heavily-used font.” I don’t think so. First off, Helvetica is not a font. It’s a typeface. Helvetica Regular would be a font. Helvetica is the most heavily-used typeface in graphic design, and likely the most heavily-used sans typeface. It’s not the most heavily-used typeface. At least, I would be very surprised if it was. I suspect Times New Roman is the most heavily-used.

“The font was designed to be an easy-to-read font.” No, Helvetica was designed to steal the popularity of Akzidenz Grotesk away.

Also, follow this link to see some of the problems of Helvetica at small sizes, and what professionals in the field have to say about it:

“Actually, the font received a facelift in 1983-the newer version is called, you guessed it, Neue Helvetica.” Who would guess that the prefix for the new Helvetica would be German though? Small detail… Anyway, if you like Helvetica but want a more professional typeface (because really, Max Miedinger was not a type designer and as far as I’m concerned that shows), I can recommend Neue Haas Grotesk (a typeface that is true to the original Helvetica, but improved) or Neue Haas Unica (a more fresh looking Helvetica that deviates from the original).

“Helvetica even has its own movie. I haven’t seen it yet, but please comment in the section below if you have.” I have seen it a few times now. It’s quite a pleasure to watch, but there’s a lot of propaganda involved as well. You have the likes of Massimo Vignelli drooling over how great Helvetica is. The man was a pretty great graphic designer (although insisting on always using Helvetica has little to do with graphic design, as one ought to select the perfect typeface for the job, not use one typeface for every job), but he had no insight in type design. On the other hand, you have Erik Spiekermann formulate perfectly what Helvetica stands for. I would say for a type designer the Helvetica documentary is quite pleasant to watch. For the layman I’m afraid the documentary amounts to propaganda. It gives the layman the feeling this is one of the best typefaces out there and it’s simply not, by far.

“Besides its Hollywood (Indie) status, Helvetica is a font that looks great on both print and on screen.” Absolutely not! On Windows computers, websites set in Helvetica tend to look horrendous. The problem is that Helvetica is not well hinted, and so rendering problems occur. Helvetica was obviously not designed for monitors. Neue Helvetica doesn’t have the rendering problem to the same extent I believe, but relatively few people have Neue Helvetica, so it wouldn’t be wise to use that on your website, unless you embed the fonts. For websites I highly recommend using Arial rather than Helvetica.

“Baskerville’s history goes all the way back to 1757 when John Baskerville designed a typeface that works well in print and easy to read.” Easy to read? Not particularly, though it’s not bad either. Baskerville is a transitional typeface, meaning the weight modulation is vertical and the contrast is high. This is the tradition of the Baroque, but it’s not the most pleasant to read. However, Baskerville does look quite academic. For typefaces that are more pleasant to read, I would look at the Garalde style. Garamond and Caslon belong to that classification. They have a diagonal weight modulation, which naturally leads the eyes to the next letters. Typefaces with vertical weight modulation and high contrast tend to feature a fence effect, which disturbs the reading experience. To see this effect well, look at Didone typefaces like Didot and Bodoni.

“This font works best when used in long blocks of text. Try to keep this font between 8 and 14pts for best results.” 14pt seems quite large. Try 9–12pt. This goes for any serif typeface to be used for body text that is intended for print (for the web try 10–14pt, also depending on which device it’s intended for). But again, it will depend on the layout, and always make test prints to make sure it’s pleasant to read.

“Garamond is a great font to be used in long proses such as textbooks, dissertations and theses. Keeping it at 9 point is optional. In fact, my master’s thesis was in Garamond.” I distinctly remember years ago I noticed my Harry Potter book was set in Garamond. Both Garamond and Caslon are still used extensively for books.

However, Garamond may be a bit much for scientific documents. It’s quite classical and it has a low x-height, which these days is not preferable. Caslon is a bit less expressive and has a taller x-height. I would say Caslon is probably better for scientific articles.

One group of typefaces that certainly seems to be missing here is Century. Typefaces like Century Roman and Century Schoolbook. They belong to the Clarendon classification and are reminiscent of typefaces like Baskerville. These typefaces have been popular since the late 19th century and are still used extensively in academic literature. But I suppose you should also make a consideration of whether your article should be about the most comfortable typefaces to read, or the best suitable for scientific work, because they most certainly don’t amount to the same thing, yet you seem to be equating the two in this article.

Hi Martin! Thank you so much for your in-depth note! I have to look over and digest all your excellent points. Would you be open to expanding your writing and be a guest author or send me a link to your website/blog so the readers can have more information about what types to use for their work?


THE quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog!!!!!


Leelawadee is a bit underrated. It is easy on the eyes, and simple. It could use a bit of a TimesNewRoman-punch to it, though.


Where can I download Helvetica from? I couldn’t find it anywhere

Charlie Stricklen

Seriously? I don’t know what this smug guy does with typography, in which he seems to be well versed, but if he were to take up writing he would need to work on his grammar.

Michael Phan

I’m not an expert on fonts, but I’m currently using Helvetica for headlines and other Sans text in my thesis and DejaVu for the main text. Feels pretty scientific to me 🙂

Michael Beshai

I enjoyed the historical aspect of this article. Thanks! PS. I see you use a sans serif font.

Best Tech

How i download these font types?

Scientific fonts: How to select the right one

Choosing the right font for the right kind of content is imperative, this article will aid your decision when it comes to scientific fonts.

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It can be very difficult to choose the ideal font for a project, as any graphics designer could confirm. Deciding the font becomes more important when you anticipate its extensive and frequent usage.

It’s an essential part of typography , which is the art of making your design appear visually cohesive. A font group’s general design usually kicks off the search, but with a little digging, you can find yourself in the creator’s most detailed selection.

There are a number of research studies that have focused on typography to discover some good grounds for selecting a particular font for a particular project category.

It is also best to pick a professional font that is easy to read without many extraneous features.

Scientific research, for example, should be written in such a manner that the reader focuses on the information, not just the format.

Some people find today’s scientific fonts boring and overdone. Because of their legibility and simplicity, these fonts are everywhere. Use a trusted font to make your work appear professional.

In terms of font selection, there are more considerations than seem to be apparent at first glance. For instance, some fonts have a reputation for being legitimate, while others don’t.

We have a handful of scientific findings to share throughout this article in the hopes that they will aid your decision-making when it comes to scientific fonts.

If you have ever found the choice of fonts intimidating, the purpose of this article is to offer guidance and information to help you make a decision.

What is the importance of Fonts?

When a typeface is carefully chosen, it is able to deliver the desired effect to the reader, and give the words the sense of life they deserve, all the while reflecting the field it represents.

The font represents the words on a page visually instead of an image, allowing the words to convey their intended meanings as they are read. A font that is too large or small may not convey the seriousness of some issues or messages.

What is the most recent time that you wrote a text or sent an email and the words were read incorrectly? We can communicate more effectively using our vocal tonality, simple hand gestures and expressions, we can convey our message more effectively than simple words on a paper.

On fancy documents such as invitations, using a script font can be spectacular, but on children’s books it can look off, and in the event of too much text it may not be readable.

As you can see, choosing the right font for the right kind of content is very important. However, using the right font is only part of the equation. Misleading fonts result in incorrect information.

7 fonts that strengthen scientific research’s credibility and professional appearance

good font research paper

In recent years, has reported that Arial is among the most used typefaces. With its distinctly contemporary design, Arial is more in sync with the last decade of the twentieth century than many of its predecessors.

There is no horizontal line at the bottom of the edges of Arial letters. They are angled instead. It helps give the face a more organic appearance by cutting the terminals on a diagonal.

The Arial family of typefaces is incredibly robust. Suitable for setting text for reports, articles, publications, and for use in display media, newspapers, and promotional materials.

Whether you’re writing small or large chunks of text, Arial makes reading easy. Figures should be formatted in Arial or Helvetica as per Nature’s instructions.

Labels and legends in particular benefit from this typeface. As a rule of thumb, keep font sizes small *8 points when using Arial for figure legends.

2. Baskerville

good font research paper

Designed by John Baskerville in 1757, Baskerville is a typeface that can be read easily and looks good in print.  The letters were straightforward and elegant according to Baskerville.

Here and there, Baskerville font was found to increase reliability of text in comparison to other fonts. The readers’ behavior on the same study was most negatively influenced by Comic Sans.

The Baskerville family of fonts are known as the first transitional roman. These fonts distinguish between thin and thick strokes. The large size of Baskerville looks good because of this feature.

Based on its serif style, Baskerville has “tails” on the edges of its letters. This font is best suited for printing. For long text blocks, it is most suitable.

For best results, try to keep the font size between 8 and 14 points. Then your text will look more professional.

3. Helvetica

good font research paper

The most commonly used font is Helvetica. Max Miedinger, a Swiss designer, initially created Helvetica in 1957.

Designed to be simple to read, the font immediately gained popularity. It is named after the Latin term for Switzerland, Helvetia. Neue Helvetica is the name of the newer version of the font, which was introduced in 1983.

Even a movie has been made about Helvetica. Helvetica is not only a Hollywood (Indie) font, it looks fantastic on screen and print. 

Science, Nature, and Cell ask for the figure captions to be in Helvetica.  Even though it looks good when printed in small formats, it looks even better when printed in large formats.

It’s hard for authors to keep track of how many figures they’ve labelled with Helvetica now, since that’s what publishers use.

good font research paper

In spite of Georgia’s role in providing clarity at low resolutions on the screen, it is imbued with a typographic aesthetic that strikes a chord with readers.

This friendly face is evident even at small sizes. A stunning, smooth italic accompanies Georgia’s design; the artwork minimizes the complexity of making a screen-friendly italic.

As opposed to many contemporary typefaces, it has authentic italics, including the slender lowercase letters a and g.

The bold weight is also carefully tailored, with a heavier weight than the regular; this is particularly useful at small screen sizes where the two weights must be distinguished(phone screens).

5. Garamond

good font research paper

The history of this font also dates back a long way. French King Francis I of France (1515-1547) commissioned Claude Garamond to design a typeface for use in a series of books.

It was revived by Robert Slimbach in 1989 as an electric typeface. Garamond comes in many different variations because there are different sources available. The most commonly used version is Adobe Garamond.

French publishers continue to use Garamond extensively. Size 9 is also a must for Garamond in France.  The history of France’s publishing industry is published in Garamond, as is Histoire de l’édition française . 

This font was chosen due to its elegance, opulence, and legibility as well as a simple layout highlighting the detailed writing and offer an enlightened insight on the contemporary aspect of the content.

In long documents such as thesis papers, dissertations, and academic books, Garamond is a reliable font to use. Garamond is the font that many master’s thesis writers use.

good font research paper

Among the long-established fonts is Caslon. The typeface was designed in the early 1700s by William Caslon. English typefaces began with this one. It was a common font used in colonial America, and even the US Declaration of Independence was written with this font.

Because there is no enforceable trademark on the name “Caslon”, there are many typefaces called “Caslon”, some of which are exact copies of the originals, while others are not.

It is best used in blocks of text since it is a serif font (with tails). If you want best results, keep the font size between 8 and 14 points, as you would with Baskerville. The best place to make use of this would be in an application or a report.

7. Times New Roman

good font research paper

First published by The Times of London newspaper in 1932, this typeface was designed for the publication.

In the years since, it has evolved into one of the most popular typefaces in the world. Victor Lardent at The Times created the original designs under the direction of Stanley Morison.

Monotype’s Type Drawing Office then further refined it in an extensive step-by-step process. Many of its characteristics were taken from Morison’s experiments with Perpetua and Plantin, but it was adapted so that it was highly readable and also very efficient.

There are vast uses for it in books and journals, in reports, in presentations, and in advertising.

Is there anything else you need to think about when selecting the right font?

When choosing a font, there are a number of things to keep in mind besides these categories. For example, does it have all the features you are looking for?

You may be able to get away with just using the letters of the alphabet for the first piece, but what if you have to write a quick article for the public?

Are there symbols such as a currency symbol or exclamation point in the text? Especially when you are submitting a funding proposal. (Read our guide to everything you need to know about Research Proposals .)

Every once in a while, we find ourselves trying to add a price but the symbol we need isn’t there.

As well as the font size, there are other considerations, such as does it come in many sizes and styles or are only light, regular and bold available?

If you don’t have a lot of specifics, that’s alright, but you should take into account a broader perspective and what you intend to accomplish.

When it comes to communicating your message, different font sizes can be really helpful. Despite the fact that it’s good to have different typefaces, there is a rule that suggests only using a maximum of three typefaces in one contribution.

If you use any more than that, you risk-taking away the emphasis of what is being said. Complementary fonts are important, but they shouldn’t be too similar as this could result in a cluttered look that could be confusing.

Lastly, when picking a font, we should consider the print aspects to ensure it will be easy to read. These factors include colour, size, and style. The most decorative script fonts may look good, but they aren’t always a good option.

Hence, make sure to put into consideration every possible aspect of the information that may be published around the world through various mediums.

How to use Scientific fonts?

A reader’s primary objective should be to understand the facts about your project clearly. An easy-to-read document will help you achieve that goal.

The editors of newspapers, as well as publishers of journals, have developed many guidelines to make text more readable. These guidelines are now available for scientific purposes.

  • Keep the main body text font size at least 16 points . Any smaller would make the text difficult to read.
  • A project title should have a minimum height of 2 inches.
  • It is recommended that headlines have at least one inch tall letters .
  • If you want to stay with the norm, use Arial , Times New Roman , or another typeface similar to these.
  • If you intend to draw attention to anything, use italics or boldface .
  • Place your text below your picture ; that makes it easier to read.
  • Please refrain from using ALL CAPS ; they can be difficult to perceive.
  • You should not use reverse typeface (light text on dark background).
  • If you type in a script font, avoid using artistic fonts , since they are harder to follow.
  • You can choose between Serif or Sans Serif depending on the medium or the audience you will be addressing to.
  • Your poster or paper should not contain more than two or three contrasting fonts .
  • For body copy and headings, Time New Roman and Arial combine nicely.

Please note that every journal or publication house has different guidelines based on how they handle submissions, so make sure you check them.

It is also important to consider the medium on which the text will appear when choosing a font. Posters will need to have better fonts that appear decent when printed.

Selecting the wrong font can negatively affect future decision-making. It is important to remember that the typeface that you select to present your research or information will have a major impact on its effectiveness.

Make sure you make the right choice because it will leave a meaningful impression on the reader. (You can learn how to create an outstanding presentation that will leave the audience impressed, here )

Fonts for scientific illustrations and infographics

Infographics, or informational graphics, are a growing trend in data presentation. This style of presentation allows you to convey your message quickly and easily.

In order to make complex topics understandable, illustrations are extremely useful. A good font is essential no matter what.(See our guide to scientific illustrations )

Your choice of font is as important as the research itself when it comes to presenting it. (In most cases.) Generally, book, journal, and newspaper fonts are serif fonts, which are characterized by small lines at the end of each stroke.

The vast majority of online content uses sans serif fonts. Serif fonts make it easier for readers to follow lines of text, which is certainly useful when designing illustrations or use the infographic maker.

The best typeface for graphic design is sans serif. Arial, Calibri, Helvetica, Verdana, and open sans, which are readily available, improve content legibility significantly.

If you understand how certain font choices affect the composition of your content, deciding on a family of fonts and a typography scheme becomes much more straightforward.

As you become more familiar with the values, tone, and vision of the work, you will begin to can identify what works. It is possible to convey your ideas in a non-verbal and yet powerful way, using fonts.

Now that we have reached our final section, you should also know where to find all the fonts in one place.

You can find all the best science fonts for graphic design at one place

We at mind the graph understand the importance of typography and how it plays an integral part in representation of scientific ideas. Mind the graph, the most user-friendly tool.

Scientists and academicians from over 100 top academic, educational, and industrial institutions trust Mind the Graph. This is why everything is up-to-date and scientifically sound.

You will find all the A to Z fonts you need for all things scientific here. Besides that, we also suggest fonts that are appropriate for your content type. You can choose from the list we have.

Furthermore, we have many templates to assist in the creation of posters and graphics. Additionally, they can be customized according to your needs. However, guess what is even better than that? We offer a FREE trial, so you can decide what plan fits you best. 

When you join, you join us in our mission to increase easy access to the best science tool for as many people as possible. Our blog section has a variety of information about everything from making Science posters to a list of the best science podcasts of 2022, definitely worth checking out.


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Calibri vs Garamond: Can font choice make or break a research paper?

What your preference says about you.

Helen Robertson

good font research paper

Credit: Markus Spiske/Unsplash

19 June 2020

good font research paper

Markus Spiske/Unsplash

From Times New Roman to Garamond to Cambria, many authors and editors have a preferred font. But does it make a difference when submitting a paper to a journal?

It’s true that a manuscript should be judged on its scientific merit, not on the way it’s presented. But it’s also true that a well-formatted manuscript is more likely to give a good first impression to an editor or reviewer.

Fonts tend to evoke passionate opinions , because appear to have personalities – from serious to comic or gothic. It’s possible that, consciously or not, readers might associate the font choice with the personality or intent of the author.

Jesse Meyer, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says he was “overwhelmed” by the heat it generated when he took the topic to Twitter .

The sans-serif font, Calibri, for example, was revealed to be particularly divisive:

Because calibri is ugly. Anything is >> calibri. — Dr. Jessika (@famplanfan) April 30, 2020
Calibri is evil- no idea who thought it should be the Word default font- to me, anything written in calibri screams “I just didn’t care enough to use a reasonable font”- HATE IT (and my lab will back ne up if anyone doubts my vehemence on this topic! — Anita Corbett- VOTE EARLY (She/her) (@acorbe2) May 1, 2020
I use Calibri default as it is the default so avoids any judgement on the font choice, but now I see that using the default creates judgement that I'm too lazy to change the font! 🙃 — Harriet Johnson (@harrietfjohnson) May 1, 2020

Don't stand out for the wrong reasons

So, why is font choice so important to some people?

Kristina Gill, an archaeobotanist and archaeologist at the University of Oregon, believes that typeface should vary between formats.

For manuscript submission, she favours Times New Roman or Garamond, “which is a little more open and easier to read”. For presentations and posters, she prefers Calibri, which she says is easier to read at a distance.

Charlotte Flatebo, an applied physics PhD candidate from Rice University says “you can’t control how your research will work”, but you can control how you present your manuscript. “It’s a little piece of victory.”

For journal submission, don’t overthink it. It defies logic that a journal would reject a manuscript on the basis of typeface alone.

Many journals have no specific requirements regarding format for submission, so if you prefer to write in a particular typeface – within reasonably standard fonts – it’s probably not going to hinder the likelihood of your paper being sent for review.

In fact, the common message from editors is that font choice doesn’t matter, unless it’s really noticeable.

“If your font draws attention to itself, it’s the wrong font,” says Andrew Bissette, senior editor at Communications Chemistry , a journal published by Springer Nature, which also publishes Nature Index. “Your reader should be thinking about your argument, not your presentation.”

Focus on formatting

It’s more important, says Bissette, to focus on “good paragraph structure, clear design of figures, and sensible spacing between lines and paragraphs”.

In other words, font choice is probably an unnecessary concern.

Something that many journals do consider very carefully, however, is the type of font they publish in.

Historically, journals were read as physical copies; now, the vast majority of researchers read academic papers online. Trends in journal fonts clearly reflect this shift from print to digital.

For example, the new Nature typeface , launched in October 2019, was designed specifically for scientific writing, to accommodate the needs of technical content including equations, formulae and symbols while also optimizing readability on a small screen.

According to Nature creative director Kelly Krause: “We aimed for an overall impression of calm, rational intelligence with perhaps a dash of British formality and wit.”

So while the context of the writing can be an important consideration in typeface choice, for an individual researcher, it is mainly a question of personal preference.

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13.1 Formatting a Research Paper

Learning objectives.

  • Identify the major components of a research paper written using American Psychological Association (APA) style.
  • Apply general APA style and formatting conventions in a research paper.

In this chapter, you will learn how to use APA style , the documentation and formatting style followed by the American Psychological Association, as well as MLA style , from the Modern Language Association. There are a few major formatting styles used in academic texts, including AMA, Chicago, and Turabian:

  • AMA (American Medical Association) for medicine, health, and biological sciences
  • APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the social sciences
  • Chicago—a common style used in everyday publications like magazines, newspapers, and books
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) for English, literature, arts, and humanities
  • Turabian—another common style designed for its universal application across all subjects and disciplines

While all the formatting and citation styles have their own use and applications, in this chapter we focus our attention on the two styles you are most likely to use in your academic studies: APA and MLA.

If you find that the rules of proper source documentation are difficult to keep straight, you are not alone. Writing a good research paper is, in and of itself, a major intellectual challenge. Having to follow detailed citation and formatting guidelines as well may seem like just one more task to add to an already-too-long list of requirements.

Following these guidelines, however, serves several important purposes. First, it signals to your readers that your paper should be taken seriously as a student’s contribution to a given academic or professional field; it is the literary equivalent of wearing a tailored suit to a job interview. Second, it shows that you respect other people’s work enough to give them proper credit for it. Finally, it helps your reader find additional materials if he or she wishes to learn more about your topic.

Furthermore, producing a letter-perfect APA-style paper need not be burdensome. Yes, it requires careful attention to detail. However, you can simplify the process if you keep these broad guidelines in mind:

  • Work ahead whenever you can. Chapter 11 “Writing from Research: What Will I Learn?” includes tips for keeping track of your sources early in the research process, which will save time later on.
  • Get it right the first time. Apply APA guidelines as you write, so you will not have much to correct during the editing stage. Again, putting in a little extra time early on can save time later.
  • Use the resources available to you. In addition to the guidelines provided in this chapter, you may wish to consult the APA website at or the Purdue University Online Writing lab at , which regularly updates its online style guidelines.

General Formatting Guidelines

This chapter provides detailed guidelines for using the citation and formatting conventions developed by the American Psychological Association, or APA. Writers in disciplines as diverse as astrophysics, biology, psychology, and education follow APA style. The major components of a paper written in APA style are listed in the following box.

These are the major components of an APA-style paper:

Body, which includes the following:

  • Headings and, if necessary, subheadings to organize the content
  • In-text citations of research sources
  • References page

All these components must be saved in one document, not as separate documents.

The title page of your paper includes the following information:

  • Title of the paper
  • Author’s name
  • Name of the institution with which the author is affiliated
  • Header at the top of the page with the paper title (in capital letters) and the page number (If the title is lengthy, you may use a shortened form of it in the header.)

List the first three elements in the order given in the previous list, centered about one third of the way down from the top of the page. Use the headers and footers tool of your word-processing program to add the header, with the title text at the left and the page number in the upper-right corner. Your title page should look like the following example.

Beyond the Hype: Evaluating Low-Carb Diets cover page

The next page of your paper provides an abstract , or brief summary of your findings. An abstract does not need to be provided in every paper, but an abstract should be used in papers that include a hypothesis. A good abstract is concise—about one hundred fifty to two hundred fifty words—and is written in an objective, impersonal style. Your writing voice will not be as apparent here as in the body of your paper. When writing the abstract, take a just-the-facts approach, and summarize your research question and your findings in a few sentences.

In Chapter 12 “Writing a Research Paper” , you read a paper written by a student named Jorge, who researched the effectiveness of low-carbohydrate diets. Read Jorge’s abstract. Note how it sums up the major ideas in his paper without going into excessive detail.

Beyond the Hype: Abstract

Write an abstract summarizing your paper. Briefly introduce the topic, state your findings, and sum up what conclusions you can draw from your research. Use the word count feature of your word-processing program to make sure your abstract does not exceed one hundred fifty words.

Depending on your field of study, you may sometimes write research papers that present extensive primary research, such as your own experiment or survey. In your abstract, summarize your research question and your findings, and briefly indicate how your study relates to prior research in the field.

Margins, Pagination, and Headings

APA style requirements also address specific formatting concerns, such as margins, pagination, and heading styles, within the body of the paper. Review the following APA guidelines.

Use these general guidelines to format the paper:

  • Set the top, bottom, and side margins of your paper at 1 inch.
  • Use double-spaced text throughout your paper.
  • Use a standard font, such as Times New Roman or Arial, in a legible size (10- to 12-point).
  • Use continuous pagination throughout the paper, including the title page and the references section. Page numbers appear flush right within your header.
  • Section headings and subsection headings within the body of your paper use different types of formatting depending on the level of information you are presenting. Additional details from Jorge’s paper are provided.

Cover Page

Begin formatting the final draft of your paper according to APA guidelines. You may work with an existing document or set up a new document if you choose. Include the following:

  • Your title page
  • The abstract you created in Note 13.8 “Exercise 1”
  • Correct headers and page numbers for your title page and abstract

APA style uses section headings to organize information, making it easy for the reader to follow the writer’s train of thought and to know immediately what major topics are covered. Depending on the length and complexity of the paper, its major sections may also be divided into subsections, sub-subsections, and so on. These smaller sections, in turn, use different heading styles to indicate different levels of information. In essence, you are using headings to create a hierarchy of information.

The following heading styles used in APA formatting are listed in order of greatest to least importance:

  • Section headings use centered, boldface type. Headings use title case, with important words in the heading capitalized.
  • Subsection headings use left-aligned, boldface type. Headings use title case.
  • The third level uses left-aligned, indented, boldface type. Headings use a capital letter only for the first word, and they end in a period.
  • The fourth level follows the same style used for the previous level, but the headings are boldfaced and italicized.
  • The fifth level follows the same style used for the previous level, but the headings are italicized and not boldfaced.

Visually, the hierarchy of information is organized as indicated in Table 13.1 “Section Headings” .

Table 13.1 Section Headings

A college research paper may not use all the heading levels shown in Table 13.1 “Section Headings” , but you are likely to encounter them in academic journal articles that use APA style. For a brief paper, you may find that level 1 headings suffice. Longer or more complex papers may need level 2 headings or other lower-level headings to organize information clearly. Use your outline to craft your major section headings and determine whether any subtopics are substantial enough to require additional levels of headings.

Working with the document you developed in Note 13.11 “Exercise 2” , begin setting up the heading structure of the final draft of your research paper according to APA guidelines. Include your title and at least two to three major section headings, and follow the formatting guidelines provided above. If your major sections should be broken into subsections, add those headings as well. Use your outline to help you.

Because Jorge used only level 1 headings, his Exercise 3 would look like the following:

Citation Guidelines

In-text citations.

Throughout the body of your paper, include a citation whenever you quote or paraphrase material from your research sources. As you learned in Chapter 11 “Writing from Research: What Will I Learn?” , the purpose of citations is twofold: to give credit to others for their ideas and to allow your reader to follow up and learn more about the topic if desired. Your in-text citations provide basic information about your source; each source you cite will have a longer entry in the references section that provides more detailed information.

In-text citations must provide the name of the author or authors and the year the source was published. (When a given source does not list an individual author, you may provide the source title or the name of the organization that published the material instead.) When directly quoting a source, it is also required that you include the page number where the quote appears in your citation.

This information may be included within the sentence or in a parenthetical reference at the end of the sentence, as in these examples.

Epstein (2010) points out that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (p. 137).

Here, the writer names the source author when introducing the quote and provides the publication date in parentheses after the author’s name. The page number appears in parentheses after the closing quotation marks and before the period that ends the sentence.

Addiction researchers caution that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (Epstein, 2010, p. 137).

Here, the writer provides a parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence that includes the author’s name, the year of publication, and the page number separated by commas. Again, the parenthetical citation is placed after the closing quotation marks and before the period at the end of the sentence.

As noted in the book Junk Food, Junk Science (Epstein, 2010, p. 137), “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive.”

Here, the writer chose to mention the source title in the sentence (an optional piece of information to include) and followed the title with a parenthetical citation. Note that the parenthetical citation is placed before the comma that signals the end of the introductory phrase.

David Epstein’s book Junk Food, Junk Science (2010) pointed out that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (p. 137).

Another variation is to introduce the author and the source title in your sentence and include the publication date and page number in parentheses within the sentence or at the end of the sentence. As long as you have included the essential information, you can choose the option that works best for that particular sentence and source.

Citing a book with a single author is usually a straightforward task. Of course, your research may require that you cite many other types of sources, such as books or articles with more than one author or sources with no individual author listed. You may also need to cite sources available in both print and online and nonprint sources, such as websites and personal interviews. Chapter 13 “APA and MLA Documentation and Formatting” , Section 13.2 “Citing and Referencing Techniques” and Section 13.3 “Creating a References Section” provide extensive guidelines for citing a variety of source types.

Writing at Work

APA is just one of several different styles with its own guidelines for documentation, formatting, and language usage. Depending on your field of interest, you may be exposed to additional styles, such as the following:

  • MLA style. Determined by the Modern Languages Association and used for papers in literature, languages, and other disciplines in the humanities.
  • Chicago style. Outlined in the Chicago Manual of Style and sometimes used for papers in the humanities and the sciences; many professional organizations use this style for publications as well.
  • Associated Press (AP) style. Used by professional journalists.

References List

The brief citations included in the body of your paper correspond to the more detailed citations provided at the end of the paper in the references section. In-text citations provide basic information—the author’s name, the publication date, and the page number if necessary—while the references section provides more extensive bibliographical information. Again, this information allows your reader to follow up on the sources you cited and do additional reading about the topic if desired.

The specific format of entries in the list of references varies slightly for different source types, but the entries generally include the following information:

  • The name(s) of the author(s) or institution that wrote the source
  • The year of publication and, where applicable, the exact date of publication
  • The full title of the source
  • For books, the city of publication
  • For articles or essays, the name of the periodical or book in which the article or essay appears
  • For magazine and journal articles, the volume number, issue number, and pages where the article appears
  • For sources on the web, the URL where the source is located

The references page is double spaced and lists entries in alphabetical order by the author’s last name. If an entry continues for more than one line, the second line and each subsequent line are indented five spaces. Review the following example. ( Chapter 13 “APA and MLA Documentation and Formatting” , Section 13.3 “Creating a References Section” provides extensive guidelines for formatting reference entries for different types of sources.)

References Section

In APA style, book and article titles are formatted in sentence case, not title case. Sentence case means that only the first word is capitalized, along with any proper nouns.

Key Takeaways

  • Following proper citation and formatting guidelines helps writers ensure that their work will be taken seriously, give proper credit to other authors for their work, and provide valuable information to readers.
  • Working ahead and taking care to cite sources correctly the first time are ways writers can save time during the editing stage of writing a research paper.
  • APA papers usually include an abstract that concisely summarizes the paper.
  • APA papers use a specific headings structure to provide a clear hierarchy of information.
  • In APA papers, in-text citations usually include the name(s) of the author(s) and the year of publication.
  • In-text citations correspond to entries in the references section, which provide detailed bibliographical information about a source.

Writing for Success Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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  • Research Paper Format | APA, MLA, & Chicago Templates

Research Paper Format | APA, MLA, & Chicago Templates

Published on November 19, 2022 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on January 20, 2023.

The formatting of a research paper is different depending on which style guide you’re following. In addition to citations , APA, MLA, and Chicago provide format guidelines for things like font choices, page layout, format of headings and the format of the reference page.

Scribbr offers free Microsoft Word templates for the most common formats. Simply download and get started on your paper.

APA |  MLA | Chicago author-date | Chicago notes & bibliography

  • Generate an automatic table of contents
  • Generate a list of tables and figures
  • Ensure consistent paragraph formatting
  • Insert page numbering

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Table of contents

Formatting an apa paper, formatting an mla paper, formatting a chicago paper, frequently asked questions about research paper formatting.

The main guidelines for formatting a paper in APA Style are as follows:

  • Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman or 11 pt Arial.
  • Set 1 inch page margins.
  • Apply double line spacing.
  • If submitting for publication, insert a APA running head on every page.
  • Indent every new paragraph ½ inch.

Watch the video below for a quick guide to setting up the format in Google Docs.

The image below shows how to format an APA Style title page for a student paper.

APA title page - student version (7th edition)

Running head

If you are submitting a paper for publication, APA requires you to include a running head on each page. The image below shows you how this should be formatted.

APA running head (7th edition)

For student papers, no running head is required unless you have been instructed to include one.

APA provides guidelines for formatting up to five levels of heading within your paper. Level 1 headings are the most general, level 5 the most specific.

APA headings (7th edition)

Reference page

APA Style citation requires (author-date) APA in-text citations throughout the text and an APA Style reference page at the end. The image below shows how the reference page should be formatted.

APA reference page (7th edition)

Note that the format of reference entries is different depending on the source type. You can easily create your citations and reference list using the free APA Citation Generator.

Generate APA citations for free

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The main guidelines for writing an MLA style paper are as follows:

  • Use an easily readable font like 12 pt Times New Roman.
  • Use title case capitalization for headings .

Check out the video below to see how to set up the format in Google Docs.

On the first page of an MLA paper, a heading appears above your title, featuring some key information:

  • Your full name
  • Your instructor’s or supervisor’s name
  • The course name or number
  • The due date of the assignment

MLA heading

Page header

A header appears at the top of each page in your paper, including your surname and the page number.

MLA page header

Works Cited page

MLA in-text citations appear wherever you refer to a source in your text. The MLA Works Cited page appears at the end of your text, listing all the sources used. It is formatted as shown below.

The format of the MLA Works Cited page

You can easily create your MLA citations and save your Works Cited list with the free MLA Citation Generator.

Generate MLA citations for free

The main guidelines for writing a paper in Chicago style (also known as Turabian style) are:

  • Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman.
  • Use 1 inch margins or larger.
  • Place page numbers in the top right or bottom center.

Format of a Chicago Style paper

Chicago doesn’t require a title page , but if you want to include one, Turabian (based on Chicago) presents some guidelines. Lay out the title page as shown below.

Example of a Chicago Style title page

Bibliography or reference list

Chicago offers two citation styles : author-date citations plus a reference list, or footnote citations plus a bibliography. Choose one style or the other and use it consistently.

The reference list or bibliography appears at the end of the paper. Both styles present this page similarly in terms of formatting, as shown below.

Chicago bibliography

To format a paper in APA Style , follow these guidelines:

  • Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman or 11 pt Arial
  • Set 1 inch page margins
  • Apply double line spacing
  • Include a title page
  • If submitting for publication, insert a running head on every page
  • Indent every new paragraph ½ inch
  • Apply APA heading styles
  • Cite your sources with APA in-text citations
  • List all sources cited on a reference page at the end

The main guidelines for formatting a paper in MLA style are as follows:

  • Use an easily readable font like 12 pt Times New Roman
  • Include a four-line MLA heading on the first page
  • Center the paper’s title
  • Use title case capitalization for headings
  • Cite your sources with MLA in-text citations
  • List all sources cited on a Works Cited page at the end

The main guidelines for formatting a paper in Chicago style are to:

  • Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman
  • Use 1 inch margins or larger
  • Place page numbers in the top right or bottom center
  • Cite your sources with author-date citations or Chicago footnotes
  • Include a bibliography or reference list

To automatically generate accurate Chicago references, you can use Scribbr’s free Chicago reference generator .

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Caulfield, J. (2023, January 20). Research Paper Format | APA, MLA, & Chicago Templates. Scribbr. Retrieved April 5, 2024, from

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Best fonts for academic papers/writing (2024)

Ralf Herrmann

By Ralf Herrmann (edited) | Views: 11913

  • March 26, 2019

A selection of free and commercial fonts for academic use. 

A robust text typeface by David Březina. Skolar’s vast character set caters for 90+ Latin-script languages, polytonic Greek, 44+ Cyrillic languages, various Latin transliterations (Pinyin, Sanskrit), Devanagari (Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, Nepali, …), and Gujarati.

good font research paper

Cambria Math

This is a variant of Cambria designed for mathematical and scientific texts. Cambria Math was the first font to implement the OpenType math extension, itself inspired by TeX.

good font research paper

The STIX Fonts project (Scientific and Technical Information Exchange) is a project sponsored by several leading scientific and technical publishers to provide, under royalty-free license, a comprehensive font set of mathematical symbols and alphabets, intended to serve the scientific and engineering community for electronic and print publication. The STIX fonts are available as hinted OpenType/CFF fonts.

good font research paper

Commissioned by Dutch publisher Brill and designed by Tiro Typework’s John Hudson, it presents complete coverage of the Latin script with the full range of diacritics and linguistics (IPA) characters used to display any language from any period correctly, and Greek and Cyrillic are also covered, for a total of 5,100 characters, each available in roman, italic, bold, and bold italic. These fonts will be especially suited for humanities scholars quoting from texts in any language, ancient or modern. Freely available for non-commercial use.

good font research paper

Designed by TypeTogether for the Google Play Books app, it supports Greek, Cyrillic, PinYin, and Vietnamese.

Now with optical sizes and also available in variable font format.

good font research paper

Andron Mega

Andron Mega Corpus is a particular comprehensive font family designed to meet the peculiar requirements of multiscriptual scientific editing. The Andron Mega 1.4 package contains now altogether about 14,700 glyphs in six separate fonts: Regular, Italic, Semibold, Semibold italic, Regular small capitals and Italic small capitals. The Regular font is by far the most comprehensive one: it contains about 5,800 glyphs.

good font research paper

Charis SIL is a Unicode-based font family that supports the wide range of languages that use the Latin and Cyrillic scripts. It is specially designed to make long texts pleasant and easy to read, even in less than ideal reproduction and display environments.

good font research paper

Designed by Matthew Butterick specifically with legal writing in mind.

good font research paper

Gentium is a typeface family designed to enable the diverse ethnic groups around the world who use the Latin, Cyrillic and Greek scripts to produce readable, high-quality publications. It supports a wide range of Latin- and Cyrillic-based alphabets.

Junicode (short for Junius-Unicode) is a TrueType/OpenType font for medievalists with extensive coverage of the Latin Unicode ranges, plus Runic and Gothic. The font comes in four faces. Of these, regular and italic are fullest, featuring complete implementation of the Medieval Unicode Font Initiative recommendation, version 4.0.

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Posted January 17, 2020

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I suppose this list could be extended ad infinitum (or perhaps even ad nauseam ), but these options (applicable especially in Linguistics work, or anything that stress-tests Latin Extended, Additional, etc. ranges) should be welcome additions here (and all “free” of one kind or another):

  • Alegreya ht :: Huerta Tipográfica
  • EB Garamond
  • Linguistics Pro | which is based on Slimbach’s Utopia
  • Vollkorn Typeface

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What font should I choose for my thesis?

This post is by DrJanene Carey, a freelance writer and editor based in Armidale NSW. She occasionally teaches academic writing at the University of New England and often edits academic theses, articles and reports. Her website is

Arguably, this question is a classic time waster and the student who poses it should be told to just get on with writing up their research. But as someone who edits theses for a living, I think a bit of time spent on fonts is part of the process of buffing and polishing what is, after all, one of the most important documents you will ever produce. Just bear in mind that there is no need to immerse yourself so deeply in the topic that you start quibbling about whether it’s a font or a typeface that you are choosing .

Times New Roman is the standard choice for academic documents, and the thesis preparation guidelines of some universities stipulate its use. For many years, it was the default body text for Microsoft Word. With the release of Office 2007, the default became a sans serif typeface called Calibri. Lacking the little projecting bits (serifs) at the end of characters makes Calibri and its many friends, such as Arial, Helvetica and Verdana, look smoother and clearer on a screen, but generally makes them less readable than a serif typeface when used for printed text . The other problem with choosing a sans serif for your body text is that if you want passages in italics (for example, lengthy participant quotes) often this will be displayed as slanted letters, rather than as a true italic font.

You would like your examiners to feel as comfortable as possible while their eyes are traversing the many, many pages of your thesis, so maximising legibility and readability is a good idea. Times New Roman is ubiquitous and familiar, which means it is probably the safest option, but it does have a couple of drawbacks. Originally designed for The Times in London, its characters are slightly narrowed, so that more of them can be squished into a newspaper column. Secondly, some people intensely dislike TNR because they think it has been overused, and regard it as the font you choose when you are not choosing a font .

If you do have the luxury of choice (your university doesn’t insist you use Times New Roman, and you have defined document styles that are easy to modify, and there’s enough time left before the submission deadline) then I think it is worth considering what other typefaces might work well with your thesis. I’m not a typographical expert, but I have the following suggestions.

  • Don’t use Calibri, or any other sans serif font, for your body text, though it is fine for headings. Most people agree that dense chunks of printed text are easier to read if the font is serif, and examiners are likely to expect a typeface that doesn’t stray too far from the standard. To my eye, Calibri looks a little too casual for the body of a thesis.
  • Typefaces like Garamond, Palatino, Century Schoolbook, Georgia, Minion Pro, Cambria and Constantia are all perfectly acceptable, and they come with Microsoft Word. However, some of them (Georgia and Constantia, for example) feature non-lining numerals, which means that instead of all sitting neatly on the base line, some will stand higher or lower than others, just like letters do. This looks nice when they are integrated with the text, but it is probably not what you want for a tabular display.
  • Consider using a different typeface for your headings. It will make them more prominent, which enhances overall readability because the eye scanning the pages can quickly take in the hierarchy of ideas. The easiest way to get a good contrast with your serif body text is to have sans serif headings. Popular combinations are Garamond/Helvetica; Minion Pro/Myriad Pro; Times New Roman/Arial Narrow. But don’t create a dog’s breakfast by having more than two typefaces in your thesis – use point sizes, bold and italics for variety.

Of late, I’ve become quite fond of Constantia. It’s an attractive serif typeface that came out with Office 2007 at the same time as Calibri, and was specifically designed to look good in print and on screen. Increasingly, theses will be read in PDF rather than book format, so screen readability is an important consideration.  Asked to review Microsoft’s six new ClearType fonts prior to their release, typographer Raph Levien said Constantia was likely to be everyone’s favourite, because ‘Even though it’s a highly readable Roman font departing only slightly from the classical model, it still manages to be fresh and new.’

By default, Constantia has non-lining numerals, but from Word 2010 onwards you can set them to be lining via the advanced font/number forms option, either throughout your document or in specific sections, such as within tables.

Here is an excerpt from a thesis, shown twice with different typefaces. The first excerpt features Calibri headings with Constantia body text, and the second has that old favourite, Times New Roman. As these examples have been rendered as screenshots, you will get a better idea of how the fonts actually look if you try them on your own computer and printer.

Calibri Constantia

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Best Research Paper Font and Size: Best Styles for an Essay

Best Research Paper Font and Size: Best Styles for an Essay

The Best Word Font in Research Paper

The Best Word Font in Research Paper

As you edit and polish your research paper, you should know the suitable font when formatting. Many students struggle to locate suitable fonts that are appropriate for academia. Thankfully, most of the writing styles such as APA or MLA end this frustration by indicating the right fonts to use in your work.

Many instructors indicate the type of fonts students should use in their assignments. That is because some fonts are large hence prompting one to use more pages than indicated in the instructions section.

good font research paper

Best Font for Research Paper

The choice of fonts can affect your academic writing work. The right font should make your work remain credible and professional. Dressing your work with the right fonts is procuring a suitable image.

Ideally, the best font for a research paper is the Times New Roman as it is clear and most requested by university and college faculties. Other common ones are the Arial and Calibri fonts, which are preferred because of their large size compared with New Times Roman.

commonly used fonts

Some fonts can be attractive but hard to read because they have several curls and curves.

When handling research work, use the correct font which has enough allowance between letters to avoid overcrowding.

The professional fonts should be easy to read. The good news for you is that Times New Roman is a popular choice for academic documents.

It is the safest option because most examiners are comfortable with it. Notably, New Times Roman has sound APA support.

Best Font Size for Research Paper

The best font size for a research paper is point 12. This size is the most common ones, especially for New Times Roman, Arial or Calibri fonts. Basically, the size of the fonts should make your work to be readable without straining the audience. We measure size using ‘points’.

Most academic research papers use MLA, APA, and Harvard references and formats.

The point is a percentage of the screen that the font is occupying. For academic papers, the recommended size is 12 points. It is the most comfortable size for the audience without looking oversized or bulky.

using different font sizes

 The font size plays a critical role in making your research work impressive and appealing.

The writer should use the official font size when submitting the project.

This size is key when you want to determine the number of pages that your project should carry.

We use font 12 to calculate and know the number of pages the entire work will have to avoid going beyond or under the given guideline.

If you use a different font size, you may exceed or hit below the word count leading to disqualification or any other penalty as the lecturer may decide.

Commonly Used Fonts for Academic Work

Different writing styles recommend certain fonts for students to use while tackling academic work. Some of them are as follows:

1) Times New Roman

Times New Roman has an authoritative look and feel. It became into practice in 1932 to enhance the legibility and economy of space. This Times New Roman has a narrow printing point that is easily readable.

Arial has been the most used font for the past thirty years. One of the characteristics of Arial fonts is that they have rounded faces. Furthermore, the edges of the letters do not manifest in the horizontal line. Instead, these edges are at an angle.

Besides, this font is easy to read whether used in both large and small blocks. It is a perfect format that one can use in academic work.

Calibri is a humanist font with variable strokes and designs. It is a pretty-looking font suitable for large displays such as presentations.

Factors Determining the Font and Size for Academic Writing

1. teachers instructions.

increasing font size

When you receive your essay assignment, peruse through and find the preferred font type and size. Some professors are comfortable with particular fonts.

The professor will indicate the preferred font for your work. You can begin by writing and polishing your work with your font and size and later format it according to instructions.

Most academic papers target certain pages of the assignments.

For example, when the instructions demand that you use Times New Roman, you should stick to that for you to produce the right number of pages as guided by the instructions.

Teachers know that when you use a particular font and size for your research, you will produce the correct quantity after researching.

2. Your Eye Ability

One will feel comfortable when using certain fonts than others. Reading and writing while you are straining your eyes to see your work can be disastrous. The cool thing is you can settle for the fonts that can make your eye enjoy beholding your work.

Several fonts exist to use for your work without straining your eyes. However, you should ensure that you settle for the right font when formatting your final documents.

For example, some fonts have curls or curves that make affect the readability of your work. Such can make your professor respond unkindly.

If the professor did not offer guidance to you, then you can use the correct font according to the writing styles recommendations.

3. Teacher’s Font Preference and Eye Abilities

A teacher may instruct that you use certain fonts when submitting your project work. More importantly, even if it is not your favorite font to use, you should stick to the instructions and complete your work as guided.  

We have varying eye abilities. Some are comfortable and safe to use a particular font like Arial because they do not strain the eyes while using it. Some fonts are not friendly to some people when working, making your entire writing experience to be hostile.

If you can work well with 12 point font size, well and good. In case the lecturer wants point size 10, use a comfortable font during your writing and editing process then change it to the recommended size before submitting.

4. Type of the Academic work, Essays vs Graphics

The type of academic work dictates the type of font to use for effective delivery. If you are writing an essay, you should use the recommended fonts and sizes as per the writing styles. These styles are MLA, APA, and so on.

You should not use any font which is not official to any writing style. If unsure, it is sensible to consult your instructor and remain on the correct track.

On the other hand, you should also use the correct font when you are working with graphics in your academic projects.

Just like essays, the graphics also have official fonts that students should use when designing and captioning them. Sticking to the rules makes your work hold a professional appeal.

Graphics are the perfect ways of presenting information to make readers create the right perceptions at a glance. Luckily, you should caption them with the recommended fonts and sizes for better delivery.

5. Personal Preference

What appeals to one writer differs from what makes a different writer excited and comfortable. What does that mean? Different writers have varying impressions about what fonts and sizes work for them.

If the instructions for your projects are open to allow you to use multiple fonts from the given list, you should settle for your favorite from the list.

That implies that the instructor may be marking papers that will come with varying font types according to the writer’s preference from the given list of options.

6. Readability

changing word font

There is no secret in this. Some fonts are more readable than others.

For example, when you are using Times New Roman as your favorite font, it will consume less space but score high on legibility.

Remember, a readable document is an attractive document. Do not compromise on this. Use the right font that is legible and easy to read.

Based on the recommended fonts for particular styles, choose the one that looks more attractive.

Check out our tips on how to name a research paper for more guidance on how to prepare your paper before submitting it. This may improve the clarity of your file and promote grading.

Josh Jasen

When not handling complex essays and academic writing tasks, Josh is busy advising students on how to pass assignments. In spare time, he loves playing football or walking with his dog around the park.

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12 Best Fonts for Academic Papers in Microsoft Word

Good academic papers deserve good academic fonts. You might not have thought too much about which font you use before, but they play a big part in whether people will take your paper seriously or not. This article will explore the best fonts for academic papers.

Best Fonts for Academic Papers in Microsoft Word

The best fonts for academic papers are Times New Roman, Baskerville Old Face, and Georgia. There are plenty of good options, but you’ll mainly want to stick to serif fonts. They look much neater and more professional while showing that the reader can trust what you say.

Best Fonts for Academic Papers in Microsoft Word

Times New Roman

Times New Roman is the most famous font on Microsoft Word. It should come as no surprise that it’s a good pick when writing academic papers. It’s got everything you could possibly need when it comes to professionalism and readability.

Times New Roman is the best font to use in most situations. If you’re looking for a more formal font, you’ll find that Times New Roman ranks very highly on the list, regardless of what else is required.

It’s a fairly small font, which looks more appealing for an academic paper. A common pitfall that most people fall for is they try to use a font that’s too large, which can make their paper look less trustworthy and more informal. Neither of those traits is good for academics.

Baskerville Old Face

Baskerville Old Face is a great font to use in an academic paper. There have been studies in the past about different fonts and how they engage readers. It’s believed that Baskerville is one of the most reliable fonts, and the writer tends to be more “truthful” when using it.

Whether you buy into studies like this or not isn’t important. What is important is that Baskerville Old Face is a fantastic choice for most academic papers. It looks really good (like a more concise Times New Roman), and it’s very popular.

Baskerville is a fairly popular choice for published novels, so you might already be familiar with the font style. If you like the way it looks in some of the novels or publications you’ve read, you’ll find that it converts very well to your academic papers.

Georgia ranks very highly when looking for a formal font that will work well in an academic paper. It’s slightly larger than Times New Roman, but a lot of people say that this helps it to become a more “readable” font.

When writing academic papers, it’s wise not to overwhelm your reader with information. The more condensed the font is, the harder it can be to make sense of what you’re writing. With Georgia, this isn’t an issue.

Georgia might be one of the larger fonts listed here, but it makes for an easy read. Plenty of readers will be happy to read through an entire paper written in Georgia, but they might be a bit against reading one in something smaller.

Garamond is another decent option that can work well for academics. Garamond is the smallest font we have included on the list, which can allow you to get a lot of information into a very small space without overwhelming a reader too much.

While it’s not always ideal for including lots of information, Garamond does it really well. It’s readable and professional, allowing your readers to make sense of even the most concise explanations you might include.

It’s also quite a popular choice for many writers. You’ll find that it ranks quite highly simply because of how popular it’s become among a lot of writers on Word.

Cambria is a solid font choice that a lot of people like to use. It’s another default font (though it’s mainly reserved for sub-headings in most Word formats). It runs true to the font size, making it a fairly decent choice if you’re looking for something compact.

The serif style of this font makes it easy to read. It’s nearly indistinguishable from some of the other more popular serif fonts like Times New Roman and Georgia, which is why it is such a popular choice.

However, since it looks so similar, it can make it difficult for people to recognize the font or to figure out which font you’re using. While this isn’t the end of the world, it certainly won’t help you to create a unique feel for your paper either.

Book Antiqua

Book Antiqua is another suitable serif font. It’s not as popular as some of the others, but it looks really good as far as formal fonts go. People like it because it offers a slightly more authentic feel and looks like it could be used in a published novel or academic study.

It’s a standard-sized font, and it’s quite easy to read. A lot of people enjoy using it because it can offer a lot of character to their writing. You might not think that a font has that much power, but you’d be surprised once you try and use Book Antiqua a bit more.

Bookman Old Style

Bookman Old Style is another good font that can look like something out of a published paper. What makes this one special is its size. It’s quite a large font with a decent amount of width to each letter (without going too overboard with the letter spacing).

This font is quite popular for people looking to make their academic papers stand out. It’s not the same style as most of the other serif fonts, allowing your paper to bring a little bit extra that some other people might miss out on.

We encourage you to try this one in multiple different situations. It can work both formally and informally, depending on what you’re looking to get out of it.

Palatino Linotype

Palatino Linotype is a good font for many occasions. You’ll often find it used in academic papers because of the interesting style that comes with it. It looks like a classical font, which takes inspiration from some of the older styles of writing that came before computers.

If you want your academic paper to come across as a bit more traditional or formal, you’ll love this font.

Palatino Linotype offers a great deal of character without changing too much of the original formula that makes fonts like Times New Roman and Georgia so special.

Lucida Bright

Lucida Bright is a great font that is very large compared to most. It works well in academic papers, but you’ve got to make sure you know when to use it. If your paper is particularly word-heavy, it might not be wise to use a font that makes each word much larger.

For example, if you have a page limit on your paper, it might be wise to use a smaller font. Lucida Bright will definitely carry you far over that page limit before you come close to the words you might need to use to explain something.

Nevertheless, it’s still a very attractive font that looks really good in most academic papers. If you’re looking for something that’s stylish and readable, Lucida Bright is a good option.

Calibri is a sans serif font, and it’s the first of its kind on the list. We have only included serif fonts because they tend to be more readable and professional. However, Calibri can work really well if you’re looking for a slightly more approachable feel with your font.

Calibri is like the Times New Roman of the sans serif fonts. It is very popular, and most Microsoft Word versions come with it preloaded as the default font for most written pieces.

That’s what makes it such a valuable choice. You can use it in almost any situation (informal and formal) to a great degree.

Arial is another popular sans serif font that you will be able to use in your academic writing. You don’t always have to use the more formal serif fonts, and Arial is a great example of what can be achieved when you’re a little less formal with your presentation.

Arial is much larger than Calibri when the same font size is used. This makes it a lot more visually appealing, though you have to make sure you don’t overdo it with the number of pages it uses.

Before Calibri replaced it, Arial was also the default sans serif font on Microsoft Word. This has allowed it to be a fairly popular choice for many users, and it remains one of the most popular ones today.

7 Best Fonts For University Essays (Teachers Choice)

7 Best Fonts For University Essays

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As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Choosing the best font for university essays is really difficult. As a university student, you have to stand out from other students’ academic papers.

What are the best fonts for university essays? Arial and Helvetica sans-serif style is a common font choice among university students. Some universities do have guidelines on their website about what fonts are allowed in academic essays, so make sure to check before you start typing.

The right font can make your paper look more professional and appealing to readers. But it’s hard to find fonts that are both beautiful and easy to read especially when there are thousands of them available online!

Best Fonts will help you easily choose the most suitable font for your project by offering expert suggestions based on your needs and interests.

I’ve dedicated myself to helping students succeed in their studies with our website full of useful tips on how to write an effective essay or research paper, as well as relevant information about different types of fonts (serif, sans serif, script, etc).

Our team consists of experienced writers who also know what it takes to get top grades at universities around the world! So if you need some extra help writing your next academic paper or just want some advice on choosing.

If you are in a hurry! Then you should be considered these quick recommended picks.

UNLIMITED DOWNLOADS: 50+ Million Resume Templates & Design Assets

good font research paper

All the Resume Templates you need and many other design elements, are available for a monthly subscription by subscribing to Envato Elements . The subscription costs $16.50 per month and gives you unlimited access to a massive and growing library of over 50 million items that can be downloaded as often as you need (stock photos too)!

good font research paper

What Are The Best Fonts For University Essays?

Students often use clear sans-serif style Arial, Times New Roman, Helvetica, Calibri fonts on their university academic essays, and some universities have a proper guideline on their website about the fonts that should be used.

But for my academic papers, I’ve been researching on the internet and find these 10 best fonts for university essays that are clear in human eyes and look so professional. Your university professor will love your academic papers and essays after using these fonts.

1. Wensley Modern Serif Font Family (Top Pick)

The font of choice for many university students, Wensley is a modern serif font typeface. If you want to impress your professors with an elegant and professional appearance then this style will be perfect for the job! This font includes non-english characters so it can fit any language perfectly.

good font research paper

Wensley Font

  • This font is known as the perfect headline maker.
  • Improved readability.
  • Available in a variety of weights and styles.
  • Fast delivery to your inbox.
  • All fonts are 100% licensed, free lifetime support.

2. Madelin Serif Font Family

The font Madeline is a well accepted serif font among the universities and colleges. This high classed font includes all types of non-english characters and basic glyphs, making it perfect for students in academia. If you are a university student then this new typeface will drastically improve your academic papers.

good font research paper

Madelin Font

  • Impress your professor with a professional looking paper.
  • Make an academic research paper look more interesting and engaging to readers.
  • Fonts that are easy to read on screens and in print.
  • The best typeface for any design project.
  • Be creative with your fonts!
  • Unique and exciting typeface
  • Can be used in any environment or situation
  • Will have your audience drooling over this font
  • Curvaceous letters make for an attractive design

3. Glamour Luxury Serif Font Family

Glamour Luxury Serif is a font for those looking to be both stylish and minimalistic. With many variations, it can make your paper stand out from the rest or you can use it on your resume as well!

good font research paper

Glamour Luxury Serif Font Family

The wide variety of options in Glamour Luxury Serif means that students will have an easy time finding this typeface for their institution work while professionals will find just what they need in order to maximize their efficiency at work with its clean design.

  • The best way to express yourself on the academic papers
  • Increase visibility, increase recognition and get a leg up on competitors
  • Make your content stand out with bold fonts that are beautifully designed
  • Fonts mixes aesthetics with readability so you can use them unapologetically

4. Adrina Modern Serif Font Family

Adrina is a modern rounded serif font with 3 weights that can be used by creatives and commercial professionals. It also has multilingual support to help university students, adults in the professional world, or anyone who needs it!

good font research paper

Aridina Font

  • Give your design a unique touch with our extensive library of stylish fonts
  • With over 100 fonts on offer you have an entire world to explore
  • Whether it’s for personal or commercial use these typefaces are perfect for all occasions, big and small
  • The variety means that there’s something to suit every project – whether it’s formal, laid back or fun.

5. Immani Serif Font Family Pack

Immani serif font is a logos-ready font with a modern, eye-catching serif look! This classy typeface is perfect for including in headings and other text collaborations within your project. With its sleek fonts, you can easily create stylish headlines or any other type of text that will catch the eyes of those all around you. It’s time to stop searching: this font is what you need!

good font research paper

Immani Font

Effortlessly design your next project with FontsTTD Serif TTF Typewriter Font. Including a variety of letter and number characters, as well as an additional 5 ornaments at each.

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  • You will be able to combine both Font Weight Regular and Light
  • Fonts with different fonts, ensuring any text is legible.
  • You will also have the option of using a web font kit or downloading an OTF or TTF file.
  • No worries about missing out on any key characters!

6. Bergen Text – Sans Serif Font

Bergen Text is an elegant, clean and minimalistic font for university and college academic papers. It has been designed specifically in a small 9-pixel size for easy legibility and accessibility reasons.

good font research paper

Bergen Font

In contrast to Fontana families (that are heavy with serifs), Bergen Text is very straightforward. This makes it the perfect candidate for creative works that need a commercial license and readability that will satisfy any customer’s needs.

UNLIMITED DOWNLOADS: 50 Million+ Fonts & Design Assets

good font research paper

All the Fonts you need and many other design elements, are available for a monthly subscription by subscribing to Envato Elements . The subscription costs $16.50 per month and gives you unlimited access to a massive and growing library of over 50 million items that can be downloaded as often as you need (stock photos too)!

good font research paper

Envato element offers key resources and parent tips about effective teaching strategies so students can learn more effectively, from pre-kindergarten to high school.

  • Fonts designed for people who use small text sizes
  • Sans font is available!
  • Get a wide variety of fonts with just one purchase
  • Improve legibility by using different weights and styles

7. Morton – Sans Serif Font

University students always find the best font to use on their academic papers and essays. However, some university has its own criteria to write these papers.

good font research paper

Morton Font

But most of the universities don’t have these font selections criteria on their academic guideline. That’s why students use basic and regular free fonts like Helvetica, Arial, Calibri.

If you want to stand out and increase your marks in academic and university essays. Then try to use a unique font. Because everyone is using the same font in their essays.

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That’s why choosing a unique and stylish sans serif font in your writing is the best way to mark better.

  • Fonts are a single click away.
  • It’s perfect for small text sizes.
  • A grotesque typeface classic.
  • Comes in nine weights and stylistic variations for the nerd in all of us.

Final Words

Unique fonts are the key to standing out and making eye-popping clear academic papers. These best fonts can be really unique with clean formatting. Students and professionals always need these great typefaces for their documents, presentations, or any other assignment that needs design

You can check out Envato elements Fonts to get the most out of it. Thank you

About the author

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Al Shariar Apon

I’m a digital content creators and tech-savvy enthusiast. In this website I would like to share my knowledge and Google productivity tools, tips, templates. Thank you.

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Which Fonts to Use on Your Scientific Poster

Choosing the right font (A.K.A. typeface) for your scientific poster is all about two things: readability and style.

But with thousands of fonts to choose from, it can be overwhelming.

So where do you start? You’ve come to the right place.

Here is what you need to know to choose a clear and stylish font for your scientific poster.

Scientific poster fonts

Serif or sans serif?

A serif font is one with those little bits on the end of the characters, the little moustaches. And, like a moustache, those little bits are just for style - they might be cool, but they’re not necessary.

What’s more, a serif font tends to give off a sophisticated, yet dated, vibe. As you want to your poster to reflect the innovative and contemporary research you’re conducting, it’s a good idea to stay away from serif fonts.

Serif and sans-serif on scientific posters

You need a font that is without serif, that’s sans serif. We recommend downloading your next favourite Sans Serifs fonts at Creative Fabrica . 👈

How many fonts?

Like so much of good design: less is more.

One or two fonts is all you need. If you have more fonts than this, your poster will look like a ransom note received in the mail.

As you know, it’s a good idea to make the headers clearly visible so help the viewer navigate the poster.

You can do this by making the headings bold or ALL CAPS. If you like the look of all caps, I strongly recommend against using any long headings. Long chucks of all caps is very difficult to read. So keep your headings short.

Decorative fonts

Look, I get it. You found the Disney font and you want to use it on your poster. A decorative font may be tempting, but it’s just not helpful - they’re very rarely easier to read than the standard sans serif fonts available. Take a look below to see what I mean.

good and bad fonts on scientific posters

Comic Sans?

Comic Sans is a sans serif font, it’s also fun - can we use it on our scientific posters?

Every time a scientist uses Comic Sans a graphic designer dies

BUT there is one exception. That is if your poster IS a comic!

If that’s the case, go for it! In this context Comic Sans is perfect and it would almost be a crime not to use it. Here’s a comic-style graphical abstract that is a perfect partner for the much maligned Comic Sans.

Comic cartoon style graphical abstract

Bigger is better. At Animate Your Science, we believe posters are best served as a visual representation of your abstract. It’s about starting a conversation and that’s it - the rest is up to you.

So a poster with few elements, that can be seen from across the room, is perfect.

For this we recommend the following font sizes as a minimum for your text (based on an A0 size):

Headers : 40

Body text : 36

Your body text should be easily readable from 1 metre away.

To check that you have the right sizes, I suggest zooming in on your poster to 100 %. Then, take a step back to a metre or so. If you can clearly read the body text, then at a minimum, your text is big enough. You can use the same technique to test the sizes of your headers and title too.

Some suitable fonts

You have plenty of fonts to choose from. You’re not even limited to those default fonts installed on your computer. Check out Font Squirrel , Dafont , and 1001freefonts where you can download some new fonts for free.

For some ideas, check out these fonts:

Good fonts for scientific posters

That’s plenty of info dedicated to fonts for your scientific poster, so thanks for hanging in there with me.

But, we’ve only just scratched the surface on what makes a great scientific poster.

To properly cover this topic, we’ve developed a whole online course: How to Design an Award-Winning Scientific Poster. You can learn at your own pace and arm yourself with the tools, templates, skills and knowledge to create your own award-winning scientific posters. We’ve had excellent feedback on the 33 video lessons, 3 hours of learning and 8 templates & downloads included - so we’re confident that you’ll love it too.

good font research paper

Take-Away Points

One or two fonts

Sans serif is your friend

Make it large enough to be easily readable

Dr Tullio Rossi

Dr Flynn Slattery

#scicomm #poster #science

Related Posts

How to select the best images for your scientific poster

How to write engaging headings to make your scientific poster pop!

How to effectively incorporate citations into your scientific poster

How to Design an Award-Winning Scientific Poster - Animate Your Science Online Course

good font research paper

7 Best Fonts For University Essays

7 Best Fonts For University Essays

When it comes to writing essays for university, the type of font you use can be just as important as the content itself. Different fonts can help set the tone and create a specific mood or atmosphere. Today, we’ll discuss seven of the best fonts to use for your college essays. These fonts are professional yet easy to read, so they’ll help you produce a high-quality paper that will definitely impress your professor!

What are the best fonts for academic essays?

When it comes to university essays, there are a few things that are more important than the font. The content, of course, is the essential part. But the font can also be important, as it can help to set the tone of the essay and make it more visually appealing. As you might already know, some fonts are better suited for academic works than others.

For example, Times New Roman is a classic choice that conveys seriousness and sophistication; but if you want to add a little personality to your essay, you could try a handwriting font like Comic Sans. Anyway, the best font for your school essay is the one that makes your work look its best. So experiment with different fonts until you find the perfect match. And if you’re still not sure what font to use, contact an essay help professional and ask them for advice. Sometimes getting the help we need can easily solve the issue we’re experiencing.

Why is font selection important when writing an essay?

Just as a well-tailored suit can make you look more professional, the right font can make your writing appear more polished. Of course, there’s more to font selection than simply finding something that looks good on the page. For instance, a playful script font might be appropriate for a casual invitation, but it would look out of place in a formal business letter. Likewise, a serious serif font would be inappropriate for a child’s homework assignment.

What are some of the most common types of fonts used in academic papers?

There’s no need to get too fancy when it comes to fonts for academic papers. In most cases, simple is best. Here are seven of the most common types used in academic writings:

  • Times New Roman: This classic serif font is a go-to for many writers. It’s easy to read and has a timeless look.
  • Arial: A popular sans serif font, Arial is also easy to read and works well for long paragraphs of text.
  • Calibri: Another sans serif font, Calibri is slightly more modern than Arial and is a good choice for papers that need to make a strong visual impact.
  • Courier: Courier is a classic monospaced font that works well for lengthy blocks of text, such as code or large tables.
  • Helvetica: Helvetica is another popular sans serif font that exudes professionalism and simplicity.
  • Georgia: Georgia is a beautiful serif font with a slightly more playful feel than Times New Roman. It’s perfect for papers that need a touch of personality.
  • Comic Sans : Comic Sans might not be appropriate for all academic papers, but it can be used sparingly to add visual interest or levity to an otherwise dry subject matter. Just use caution with this one – too much Comic Sans can be overwhelming!

How can you choose the right font for your paper’s tone and style?

The font you choose should be legible and appropriate for the tone of your paper. For instance, a formal research paper would benefit from a more serious font, while a lighthearted personal essay could be written in a playful script. In the end, the best way to choose the right font is to experiment with different options until you find one that feels right for your project, as explained above.

What should you avoid when selecting a font for your essay?

While there are a few general guidelines you can follow, ultimately it comes down to personal preference (and the whims of your teacher). That being said, there are a few things you should avoid when selecting a font for your essay.

  • Steer clear of any fancy script fonts – they may look nice, but they’re hard to read and will likely decrease your chances of getting a good grade.
  • Avoid using excessively small or large fonts; stick to something that’s easy on the eyes and won’t annoy your reader.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment a bit – try out different fonts and see which one works best for you.

Choosing the right font for your university essay is important. The type you choose should be legible, appropriate for the tone of your paper, and easy on the eyes. When in doubt, experiment with different fonts until you find the perfect match.

What are some of your favorite fonts? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • v.13(Suppl 1); 2019 Apr

Writing the title and abstract for a research paper: Being concise, precise, and meticulous is the key

Milind s. tullu.

Department of Pediatrics, Seth G.S. Medical College and KEM Hospital, Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

This article deals with formulating a suitable title and an appropriate abstract for an original research paper. The “title” and the “abstract” are the “initial impressions” of a research article, and hence they need to be drafted correctly, accurately, carefully, and meticulously. Often both of these are drafted after the full manuscript is ready. Most readers read only the title and the abstract of a research paper and very few will go on to read the full paper. The title and the abstract are the most important parts of a research paper and should be pleasant to read. The “title” should be descriptive, direct, accurate, appropriate, interesting, concise, precise, unique, and should not be misleading. The “abstract” needs to be simple, specific, clear, unbiased, honest, concise, precise, stand-alone, complete, scholarly, (preferably) structured, and should not be misrepresentative. The abstract should be consistent with the main text of the paper, especially after a revision is made to the paper and should include the key message prominently. It is very important to include the most important words and terms (the “keywords”) in the title and the abstract for appropriate indexing purpose and for retrieval from the search engines and scientific databases. Such keywords should be listed after the abstract. One must adhere to the instructions laid down by the target journal with regard to the style and number of words permitted for the title and the abstract.


This article deals with drafting a suitable “title” and an appropriate “abstract” for an original research paper. Because the “title” and the “abstract” are the “initial impressions” or the “face” of a research article, they need to be drafted correctly, accurately, carefully, meticulously, and consume time and energy.[ 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 ] Often, these are drafted after the complete manuscript draft is ready.[ 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 9 , 10 , 11 ] Most readers will read only the title and the abstract of a published research paper, and very few “interested ones” (especially, if the paper is of use to them) will go on to read the full paper.[ 1 , 2 ] One must remember to adhere to the instructions laid down by the “target journal” (the journal for which the author is writing) regarding the style and number of words permitted for the title and the abstract.[ 2 , 4 , 5 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 12 ] Both the title and the abstract are the most important parts of a research paper – for editors (to decide whether to process the paper for further review), for reviewers (to get an initial impression of the paper), and for the readers (as these may be the only parts of the paper available freely and hence, read widely).[ 4 , 8 , 12 ] It may be worth for the novice author to browse through titles and abstracts of several prominent journals (and their target journal as well) to learn more about the wording and styles of the titles and abstracts, as well as the aims and scope of the particular journal.[ 5 , 7 , 9 , 13 ]

The details of the title are discussed under the subheadings of importance, types, drafting, and checklist.

Importance of the title

When a reader browses through the table of contents of a journal issue (hard copy or on website), the title is the “ first detail” or “face” of the paper that is read.[ 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 13 ] Hence, it needs to be simple, direct, accurate, appropriate, specific, functional, interesting, attractive/appealing, concise/brief, precise/focused, unambiguous, memorable, captivating, informative (enough to encourage the reader to read further), unique, catchy, and it should not be misleading.[ 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 9 , 12 ] It should have “just enough details” to arouse the interest and curiosity of the reader so that the reader then goes ahead with studying the abstract and then (if still interested) the full paper.[ 1 , 2 , 4 , 13 ] Journal websites, electronic databases, and search engines use the words in the title and abstract (the “keywords”) to retrieve a particular paper during a search; hence, the importance of these words in accessing the paper by the readers has been emphasized.[ 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 12 , 14 ] Such important words (or keywords) should be arranged in appropriate order of importance as per the context of the paper and should be placed at the beginning of the title (rather than the later part of the title, as some search engines like Google may just display only the first six to seven words of the title).[ 3 , 5 , 12 ] Whimsical, amusing, or clever titles, though initially appealing, may be missed or misread by the busy reader and very short titles may miss the essential scientific words (the “keywords”) used by the indexing agencies to catch and categorize the paper.[ 1 , 3 , 4 , 9 ] Also, amusing or hilarious titles may be taken less seriously by the readers and may be cited less often.[ 4 , 15 ] An excessively long or complicated title may put off the readers.[ 3 , 9 ] It may be a good idea to draft the title after the main body of the text and the abstract are drafted.[ 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 ]

Types of titles

Titles can be descriptive, declarative, or interrogative. They can also be classified as nominal, compound, or full-sentence titles.

Descriptive or neutral title

This has the essential elements of the research theme, that is, the patients/subjects, design, interventions, comparisons/control, and outcome, but does not reveal the main result or the conclusion.[ 3 , 4 , 12 , 16 ] Such a title allows the reader to interpret the findings of the research paper in an impartial manner and with an open mind.[ 3 ] These titles also give complete information about the contents of the article, have several keywords (thus increasing the visibility of the article in search engines), and have increased chances of being read and (then) being cited as well.[ 4 ] Hence, such descriptive titles giving a glimpse of the paper are generally preferred.[ 4 , 16 ]

Declarative title

This title states the main finding of the study in the title itself; it reduces the curiosity of the reader, may point toward a bias on the part of the author, and hence is best avoided.[ 3 , 4 , 12 , 16 ]

Interrogative title

This is the one which has a query or the research question in the title.[ 3 , 4 , 16 ] Though a query in the title has the ability to sensationalize the topic, and has more downloads (but less citations), it can be distracting to the reader and is again best avoided for a research article (but can, at times, be used for a review article).[ 3 , 6 , 16 , 17 ]

From a sentence construct point of view, titles may be nominal (capturing only the main theme of the study), compound (with subtitles to provide additional relevant information such as context, design, location/country, temporal aspect, sample size, importance, and a provocative or a literary; for example, see the title of this review), or full-sentence titles (which are longer and indicate an added degree of certainty of the results).[ 4 , 6 , 9 , 16 ] Any of these constructs may be used depending on the type of article, the key message, and the author's preference or judgement.[ 4 ]

Drafting a suitable title

A stepwise process can be followed to draft the appropriate title. The author should describe the paper in about three sentences, avoiding the results and ensuring that these sentences contain important scientific words/keywords that describe the main contents and subject of the paper.[ 1 , 4 , 6 , 12 ] Then the author should join the sentences to form a single sentence, shorten the length (by removing redundant words or adjectives or phrases), and finally edit the title (thus drafted) to make it more accurate, concise (about 10–15 words), and precise.[ 1 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 9 ] Some journals require that the study design be included in the title, and this may be placed (using a colon) after the primary title.[ 2 , 3 , 4 , 14 ] The title should try to incorporate the Patients, Interventions, Comparisons and Outcome (PICO).[ 3 ] The place of the study may be included in the title (if absolutely necessary), that is, if the patient characteristics (such as study population, socioeconomic conditions, or cultural practices) are expected to vary as per the country (or the place of the study) and have a bearing on the possible outcomes.[ 3 , 6 ] Lengthy titles can be boring and appear unfocused, whereas very short titles may not be representative of the contents of the article; hence, optimum length is required to ensure that the title explains the main theme and content of the manuscript.[ 4 , 5 , 9 ] Abbreviations (except the standard or commonly interpreted ones such as HIV, AIDS, DNA, RNA, CDC, FDA, ECG, and EEG) or acronyms should be avoided in the title, as a reader not familiar with them may skip such an article and nonstandard abbreviations may create problems in indexing the article.[ 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 9 , 12 ] Also, too much of technical jargon or chemical formulas in the title may confuse the readers and the article may be skipped by them.[ 4 , 9 ] Numerical values of various parameters (stating study period or sample size) should also be avoided in the titles (unless deemed extremely essential).[ 4 ] It may be worthwhile to take an opinion from a impartial colleague before finalizing the title.[ 4 , 5 , 6 ] Thus, multiple factors (which are, at times, a bit conflicting or contrasting) need to be considered while formulating a title, and hence this should not be done in a hurry.[ 4 , 6 ] Many journals ask the authors to draft a “short title” or “running head” or “running title” for printing in the header or footer of the printed paper.[ 3 , 12 ] This is an abridged version of the main title of up to 40–50 characters, may have standard abbreviations, and helps the reader to navigate through the paper.[ 3 , 12 , 14 ]

Checklist for a good title

Table 1 gives a checklist/useful tips for drafting a good title for a research paper.[ 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 12 ] Table 2 presents some of the titles used by the author of this article in his earlier research papers, and the appropriateness of the titles has been commented upon. As an individual exercise, the reader may try to improvise upon the titles (further) after reading the corresponding abstract and full paper.

Checklist/useful tips for drafting a good title for a research paper

Some titles used by author of this article in his earlier publications and remark/comment on their appropriateness

The Abstract

The details of the abstract are discussed under the subheadings of importance, types, drafting, and checklist.

Importance of the abstract

The abstract is a summary or synopsis of the full research paper and also needs to have similar characteristics like the title. It needs to be simple, direct, specific, functional, clear, unbiased, honest, concise, precise, self-sufficient, complete, comprehensive, scholarly, balanced, and should not be misleading.[ 1 , 2 , 3 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 13 , 17 ] Writing an abstract is to extract and summarize (AB – absolutely, STR – straightforward, ACT – actual data presentation and interpretation).[ 17 ] The title and abstracts are the only sections of the research paper that are often freely available to the readers on the journal websites, search engines, and in many abstracting agencies/databases, whereas the full paper may attract a payment per view or a fee for downloading the pdf copy.[ 1 , 2 , 3 , 7 , 8 , 10 , 11 , 13 , 14 ] The abstract is an independent and stand-alone (that is, well understood without reading the full paper) section of the manuscript and is used by the editor to decide the fate of the article and to choose appropriate reviewers.[ 2 , 7 , 10 , 12 , 13 ] Even the reviewers are initially supplied only with the title and the abstract before they agree to review the full manuscript.[ 7 , 13 ] This is the second most commonly read part of the manuscript, and therefore it should reflect the contents of the main text of the paper accurately and thus act as a “real trailer” of the full article.[ 2 , 7 , 11 ] The readers will go through the full paper only if they find the abstract interesting and relevant to their practice; else they may skip the paper if the abstract is unimpressive.[ 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 13 ] The abstract needs to highlight the selling point of the manuscript and succeed in luring the reader to read the complete paper.[ 3 , 7 ] The title and the abstract should be constructed using keywords (key terms/important words) from all the sections of the main text.[ 12 ] Abstracts are also used for submitting research papers to a conference for consideration for presentation (as oral paper or poster).[ 9 , 13 , 17 ] Grammatical and typographic errors reflect poorly on the quality of the abstract, may indicate carelessness/casual attitude on part of the author, and hence should be avoided at all times.[ 9 ]

Types of abstracts

The abstracts can be structured or unstructured. They can also be classified as descriptive or informative abstracts.

Structured and unstructured abstracts

Structured abstracts are followed by most journals, are more informative, and include specific subheadings/subsections under which the abstract needs to be composed.[ 1 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 13 , 17 , 18 ] These subheadings usually include context/background, objectives, design, setting, participants, interventions, main outcome measures, results, and conclusions.[ 1 ] Some journals stick to the standard IMRAD format for the structure of the abstracts, and the subheadings would include Introduction/Background, Methods, Results, And (instead of Discussion) the Conclusion/s.[ 1 , 2 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 13 , 17 , 18 ] Structured abstracts are more elaborate, informative, easy to read, recall, and peer-review, and hence are preferred; however, they consume more space and can have same limitations as an unstructured abstract.[ 7 , 9 , 18 ] The structured abstracts are (possibly) better understood by the reviewers and readers. Anyway, the choice of the type of the abstract and the subheadings of a structured abstract depend on the particular journal style and is not left to the author's wish.[ 7 , 10 , 12 ] Separate subheadings may be necessary for reporting meta-analysis, educational research, quality improvement work, review, or case study.[ 1 ] Clinical trial abstracts need to include the essential items mentioned in the CONSORT (Consolidated Standards Of Reporting Trials) guidelines.[ 7 , 9 , 14 , 19 ] Similar guidelines exist for various other types of studies, including observational studies and for studies of diagnostic accuracy.[ 20 , 21 ] A useful resource for the above guidelines is available at (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research). Unstructured (or non-structured) abstracts are free-flowing, do not have predefined subheadings, and are commonly used for papers that (usually) do not describe original research.[ 1 , 7 , 9 , 10 ]

The four-point structured abstract: This has the following elements which need to be properly balanced with regard to the content/matter under each subheading:[ 9 ]

Background and/or Objectives: This states why the work was undertaken and is usually written in just a couple of sentences.[ 3 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 12 , 13 ] The hypothesis/study question and the major objectives are also stated under this subheading.[ 3 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 12 , 13 ]

Methods: This subsection is the longest, states what was done, and gives essential details of the study design, setting, participants, blinding, sample size, sampling method, intervention/s, duration and follow-up, research instruments, main outcome measures, parameters evaluated, and how the outcomes were assessed or analyzed.[ 3 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 12 , 13 , 14 , 17 ]

Results/Observations/Findings: This subheading states what was found, is longer, is difficult to draft, and needs to mention important details including the number of study participants, results of analysis (of primary and secondary objectives), and include actual data (numbers, mean, median, standard deviation, “P” values, 95% confidence intervals, effect sizes, relative risks, odds ratio, etc.).[ 3 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 12 , 13 , 14 , 17 ]

Conclusions: The take-home message (the “so what” of the paper) and other significant/important findings should be stated here, considering the interpretation of the research question/hypothesis and results put together (without overinterpreting the findings) and may also include the author's views on the implications of the study.[ 3 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 12 , 13 , 14 , 17 ]

The eight-point structured abstract: This has the following eight subheadings – Objectives, Study Design, Study Setting, Participants/Patients, Methods/Intervention, Outcome Measures, Results, and Conclusions.[ 3 , 9 , 18 ] The instructions to authors given by the particular journal state whether they use the four- or eight-point abstract or variants thereof.[ 3 , 14 ]

Descriptive and Informative abstracts

Descriptive abstracts are short (75–150 words), only portray what the paper contains without providing any more details; the reader has to read the full paper to know about its contents and are rarely used for original research papers.[ 7 , 10 ] These are used for case reports, reviews, opinions, and so on.[ 7 , 10 ] Informative abstracts (which may be structured or unstructured as described above) give a complete detailed summary of the article contents and truly reflect the actual research done.[ 7 , 10 ]

Drafting a suitable abstract

It is important to religiously stick to the instructions to authors (format, word limit, font size/style, and subheadings) provided by the journal for which the abstract and the paper are being written.[ 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 13 ] Most journals allow 200–300 words for formulating the abstract and it is wise to restrict oneself to this word limit.[ 1 , 2 , 3 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 13 , 22 ] Though some authors prefer to draft the abstract initially, followed by the main text of the paper, it is recommended to draft the abstract in the end to maintain accuracy and conformity with the main text of the paper (thus maintaining an easy linkage/alignment with title, on one hand, and the introduction section of the main text, on the other hand).[ 2 , 7 , 9 , 10 , 11 ] The authors should check the subheadings (of the structured abstract) permitted by the target journal, use phrases rather than sentences to draft the content of the abstract, and avoid passive voice.[ 1 , 7 , 9 , 12 ] Next, the authors need to get rid of redundant words and edit the abstract (extensively) to the correct word count permitted (every word in the abstract “counts”!).[ 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 13 ] It is important to ensure that the key message, focus, and novelty of the paper are not compromised; the rationale of the study and the basis of the conclusions are clear; and that the abstract is consistent with the main text of the paper.[ 1 , 2 , 3 , 7 , 9 , 11 , 12 , 13 , 14 , 17 , 22 ] This is especially important while submitting a revision of the paper (modified after addressing the reviewer's comments), as the changes made in the main (revised) text of the paper need to be reflected in the (revised) abstract as well.[ 2 , 10 , 12 , 14 , 22 ] Abbreviations should be avoided in an abstract, unless they are conventionally accepted or standard; references, tables, or figures should not be cited in the abstract.[ 7 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 13 ] It may be worthwhile not to rush with the abstract and to get an opinion by an impartial colleague on the content of the abstract; and if possible, the full paper (an “informal” peer-review).[ 1 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 11 , 17 ] Appropriate “Keywords” (three to ten words or phrases) should follow the abstract and should be preferably chosen from the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) list of the U.S. National Library of Medicine ( ) and are used for indexing purposes.[ 2 , 3 , 11 , 12 ] These keywords need to be different from the words in the main title (the title words are automatically used for indexing the article) and can be variants of the terms/phrases used in the title, or words from the abstract and the main text.[ 3 , 12 ] The ICMJE (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors; ) also recommends publishing the clinical trial registration number at the end of the abstract.[ 7 , 14 ]

Checklist for a good abstract

Table 3 gives a checklist/useful tips for formulating a good abstract for a research paper.[ 1 , 2 , 3 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 13 , 14 , 17 , 22 ]

Checklist/useful tips for formulating a good abstract for a research paper

Concluding Remarks

This review article has given a detailed account of the importance and types of titles and abstracts. It has also attempted to give useful hints for drafting an appropriate title and a complete abstract for a research paper. It is hoped that this review will help the authors in their career in medical writing.

Financial support and sponsorship

Conflicts of interest.

There are no conflicts of interest.


The author thanks Dr. Hemant Deshmukh - Dean, Seth G.S. Medical College & KEM Hospital, for granting permission to publish this manuscript.

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Logo of the Poisonous Potato Update!

Poisonous Potato Update

The (s)mashing update you always asked for!

Imagine being a potato. Now imagine being the potato’s less popular sibling who didn’t inherit the tuber-licious looks the rest of your family possesses. What’s worse is – you're facing the impossible decision of what to do with all this starch? Since neither French fries nor couch potato sat right with you, there's only one option remaining. Congratulations friend, you’re a poisonous potato. 

For years, Minecraft’s own toxic tuber has been neglected and underappreciated, lacking both purpose and usefulness. For years, you – the community – tried to highlight this, working tirelessly to bring it to our attention and literally begging us for more functionality. As of today, your concerns are a thing of the past. 

Mojang Studios is proud to release our most well-boiled update to date that will add so much usability to the poisonous potato that even tater-haters will become devoted spud-buds. The Poisonous Potato Update – rich in both carbs AND features! You asked. We delivered. Or maybe you didn’t ask, but we delivered anyway? In any case, it is HERE! 

Poisonous Potate Update


Snapshots are available for Minecraft: Java Edition. To install the snapshot, open up the Minecraft Launcher and enable snapshots in the "Installations" tab. You can even play the snapshot on your own Java Realms together with your friends! 

Remember, snapshots can corrupt your world, so please back up your world and/or run the snapshot in a different folder from your main worlds.  


Poisonous potato add-on.

Steve dressed up in poisonous potatoes.

The roots of the poisonous potato run deep within Minecraft and extends far beyond Java Edition. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the tuber-lar sensation has spread its influence to Bedrock Edition as well. With Jigarbov’s Poisonous Potato add-on , you’ll be able to experience the joy of the poisonous potato the way it was always intended – through blocks and furniture to weapons and armor.


Gameplay & features.

  • Poisonous potatoes – LOTS of poisonous potatoes! 
  • A few normal potatoes too! 
  • The homeland of all potato kind
  • Five spud-tastic biomes: fields, hash, arboretum, corruption, and wasteland 
  • Experience the life of a potato – from its inception as a raw potato picked from the fields, through cooked hash browns, to its eventual decay
  • Local weather with a-mashing effects 
  • Added the Colosseum, home to the lord of potato kind... 
  • A whole sack of a-peeling new blocks 
  • Rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and Niacin! 
  • No new mineral blocks. No need! The blocks themselves contain minerals: Potassium, Magnesium, and Iron! 
  • Added the frying table – everyone asked for it, so we added it. It fries potato things. It's a really nice model! 
  • Added functionality to the fletching table. You can now fletch toxic resin into more refined versions of the resin. 
  • Added impurities because purity is overrated 
  • Added a whole bunch new gadgets that will tune your poisonous potato game up to eleven! 
  • You get it by now. They’re all poisonous potatoes... 


  • The flux capacitor integration now synergizes with quantum voxelization, which enables a 360-noscope enhancing real-time RTX terrain-rendering nightshade multibox spectrum acceleration while optimizing transdimensional entity synchronization for seamless vitelotte-king edwards-russel burbank experiences! 


Then you will be the proud owner of the file that contains the update. 


Poisonous potatoes. We hope this article has made that perfectly clear. 


You might not have – but your brain (or maybe belly) did! 


Great question! Please look forward to the Radioactive Rice Update and Toxic Taro Update in the very distant future! 



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  • Tools for Deep-Searching, Close-Looking, or Special Focus
  • Generating Research Leads From What You Have in Hand
  • Getting around Paywalls on the Web
  • Citing Your Sources

HOLLIS  is two databases in one. 

It combines the extensive contents of our library catalog , the record every item owned by every Harvard Library with those of another, large and multidisciplinary database of journal, newspaper, and magazine articles. 

Think of HOLLIS as a discovery platform -- a way to search panoramically across subjects, languages, time periods, and information formats.

In HOLLIS, you'll only get at articles by using the default "Catalog & Articles" option. That's the most common way users approach HOLLIS: they take a wide-angled approach to their information seeking and work to sharpen their focus from there.

Creating search strings with some of the techniques below can help you get better results up front. 

conventions to use quotation marks, Boolean operators, truncation with an asterisk, parenthesis for synonyms

While the broad and panoramic approach to searching  HOLLIS  can be mind-opening, you can sometimes find yourself overwhelmed by either the numbers or types of results your search returns.

When that happens, try one of these easy tricks to bring your results into sharper focus:

Limit your search results set to BOOKS or BOOK CHAPTERS.

  • Your numbers will immediately get smaller. And with book chapters, you may discover a great resource that you might not have seen by relying solely on the titles of books.

 Limit your search results set to PEER REVIEWED ARTICLES.

  • You'll eliminate newspaper and magazine materials as well as books, of course, but you'll also raise the visibility of scholarly journal articles in what displays. 

Think about limiting your results to publications from the last 5, 10, 15, or 20 years.

  • By doing so you'll get a snapshot of the most recent research trends and scholarly approaches in a field (or around a particular issue).

Try adding an additional keyword (or keywords) to add precision or definition.

  • handbook   or companion or encyclopedia   are common words to help identify good background or overview sources.
  • history is a way to get at full-length studies not just of countries or events, but also of ideas and concepts and broad subjects. 
  • debate or controversy (or controvers * to pick up variants), or contested or  disputed are words that will often help you surface works that identify the "stakes" of a particular argument, action, conclusion, etc. 
  • biography: for book-length studies of an individaul or an inistitution (like.a fashion house). 
  • << Previous: Fashion Icons: Research Guide
  • Next: Tools for Deep-Searching, Close-Looking, or Special Focus >>

Except where otherwise noted, this work is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which allows anyone to share and adapt our material as long as proper attribution is given. For details and exceptions, see the Harvard Library Copyright Policy ©2021 Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College.


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