How to write a Double-Spaced Essay as a College student

Writing a double-spaced essay is a common requirement in academic essays and papers. Double spacing not only enhances readability but also allows room for comments and corrections. Here are essential steps and tips to help you write a well-organized and properly formatted double-spaced essay.

What is a double-spaced Essay?

A double-spaced essay refers to a standard essay  where each line of text is separated by an empty line, effectively creating double the amount of space between each line compared to single spacing. This format is commonly used in academic writing, as it makes the text more readable and allows room for your Professor to write comments or corrections in between the lines.

When writing a double-spaced essay, you typically set the line spacing in your word processor or text editor to "2.0" or "double spacing." This ensures consistent spacing throughout the document. Double spacing is preferred in academic settings because it makes it easier for readers, such as instructors or peer reviewers, to provide feedback, make edits, and add comments without cluttering the text.

In terms of word count, a double spaced essay contains 250-300 words depending on:

  • Page margins - An A4 or A3 page will certainlyn have fewer words compared to to standard sized page with one ich margins all round

  • Font used- A larger font size means less word count per page

Example of a double spaced essay

Double-spaced essay example

Other types of essays spacing commonly encountered

  1. Single Spacing:

    • Single spacing is the opposite of double spacing. This is where there is no extra space between lines of text. This format is not common and is often used for informal writing, short documents, or when space is limited.

    • It's important to note that single spacing may make the text appear dense and less readable when compared to double spacing, so it's crucial to use it judiciously.

Example of a Single Spaced Essay

Single Spaced Essay

  1. 1.5 Line Spacing:

    • A 1.5 line spacing provides a compromise between single spacing and double spacing. It offers a slightly bigger space between lines compared to single spacing. This  makes the text easier to read while conserving space.

    • This format is suitable for longer documents or academic essays where double spacing may result in excessive page lengths.

Example of a 1.5 line spaced essay

1.5 line spaced essay


  1. Custom Line Spacing:

    • Some word processing software allows you to customize the line spacing to specific values. This can be 1.25, 1.75, or any other desired spacing. This flexibility allows you to adjust the spacing according to your preferences or requirements.

    • Custom line spacing can be particularly useful when you need to strike a balance between readability and space utilization.

  2. Block Paragraph Formatting:

    • Instead of using line spacing, you can opt for block paragraph formatting. This is where each paragraph is separated by a larger vertical space. This method visually distinguishes paragraphs without altering the line spacing within each paragraph.

    • Block paragraph formatting is commonly used in creative writing, online content writing and some specific academic disciplines.

  3. Indented Paragraphs:

    • In addition to or rather than line spacing, you can use paragraph indentation to separate paragraphs. By indenting the first line of each paragraph, you create a clear visual separation between them, improving readability.

    • Indented paragraphs are a common formatting style in academic writing, especially in disciplines like literature, history, and philosophy.

  4. Combination Styles:

    • You can also combine different spacing styles within the same document or sections of the paper. For instance, you might use double spacing for the main body of the text and single spacing for block quotes or footnotes.

    • Mixing spacing styles can help you achieve specific formatting requirements or enhance the visual appeal of your document.

Advantages of Double- spacing your essay

1. A double-spaced essay is more appealing to the reader as the words don't look clumped. It's easy on the eye of the reader and makes the paper look well organized

2. They leave enough space for comments- If your essay is to be submitted for grading, double spacing it gives enough room for the Professor to write his/her comments and provide feedback

3.Ease of reading- A double-spaced essay is easier to read through quickly as the lines do not blur

4. Spacing an essay enhances it's spatial mode hence it becomes easier to read

How to edit your paper to  double-spaced essay format on microsoft Word

To make an essay double-spaced using Microsoft Word, Follow the steps below;

  1. Highlight the text you want to edit to double spaced format. You can use the short-cut "CTRL+A"

Highlighted text

2.Scroll to the Home tab, under the paragraph section there should be a small arrow as shown below. Click on the arrow 

3.Once you click on the arrow a new window will open as shown below. Under the 'Indents and Spacing" section ,Click on the line spacing tab

Double spacing

4.From the drop down menu, click on double spacing option the check the "Don't add space between paragraphs of the same style." box below it as shown

Double spacing

  1. Press OK to save the settings. This will format your whole essay into a double-spaced essay format

How to make your essay double spaced from the start

If you want to write an essay as double-spaced from the begining and not have to edit it at the end theres is an easier alternative

  1. Scroll to the Home tab on Microsoft word, Scroll to the paragraph section and identify the line spacing tab as shown below

Double spaced essays

2.Select the preferred spacing size, for double spacing choose 2.0 and save the selection by clicking OK

How to make your essay double-spaced on Mac Os

To make an essay double spaced on a Mac computer, you can follow these steps:

  1. Open your Essay: Open the essay document in Pages (Apple's native word processor),

  2. Select All Text: Use your mouse cursor or keyboard shortcuts to highlight all the text in your essay. You can  use a shortcut by pressing "Command + A" on your keyboard (⌘A).

  3. Adjust Line Spacing:

      • Go to the "Format" menu at the top of the screen.

      • Choose "Paragraph" from the dropdown menu to open the Paragraph settings.

      • In the Paragraph settings, you'll find options for line spacing. Select "Double" to set the line spacing to double.

      • Close the Paragraph settings to apply the changes.

  4. Review and Save: After setting the line spacing to double, review your essay to ensure that the spacing looks correct and consistent throughout the document. Make any necessary adjustments.

  5. Save Your Document: Once you're satisfied with the double spacing and the overall content of your essay, save your document to preserve the changes.

A brief of how to edit your essay on Mac OS is explained in the video below

Disadvantages of Double spacing your Essay


Double spacing your essay can have some serious drawbacks, especially depending on the context and requirements of the assignment. Here are some potential cons of double spacing your essay:

  1. Higher Page Count: Double spacing your essay will significantly increase the number of pages it occupies compared to single spacing. This might be seen as unnecessary if there are strict page limits or if you are trying to keep the document concise. 

  2. Perceived Padding: In some contexts, double spacing can be seen as a way to artificially inflate the length of the essay, particulary essays graded on the number of pages  If the content is not substantial enough to fill the required space, double spacing may give the impression that you are trying to make up for lost space with meaningless content.

  3. Formatting Expectations: Depending on the guidelines or standards of the institution or publication, double spacing might not suffice. Some academic disciplines or journals may require single spacing for readability or space constraints.

  4. Aesthetics: While double spacing can significantly improve readability for some readers, others may find it less aesthetically pleasing, especially in certain types of documents like resumes, business letters, or creative writing where single spacing is more common and visually appealing.

  5. Less Dense Appearance: Double spacing can make your text appear less dense, which may not be suitable for conveying complex or technical information where a more compact layout could enhance clarity and understanding.

  6. Printing and Paper Consumption: Double spacing consumes more paper when printing, which can be a concern in environments where paper conservation or cost is a factor.

  7. Formatting Challenges: Double spacing might cause formatting issues if the document needs to be converted to a different format or if it's being submitted electronically where specific formatting requirements are in place.

  8. Reader Preferences: Some readers may prefer single spacing for easier reading, especially if they are accustomed to denser text layouts or have specific accessibility needs.

Effect of Double spacing on page numbers

Double spacing significantly affects the number of pages of an essay. This is because a double spaced essay consumes more space compared to single spaced essays.

For example a 275 word essay would fill up a page if Double spaced but would only consume half a page if single spaced

Word Count Single Spaced  Double spaced
275 0.5 1
550 1 2
825 1.5 3
1100 2 4




In summary, mastering the technique of double spacing in your essay is an essential skill that contributes to the clarity and organization of your writing. This article has provided straightforward steps to help you achieve the standard formatting expected in academic and professional contexts. Implementing double spacing not only enhances the visual appeal of your essay but also facilitates better comprehension for your readers. By adopting this practice, you demonstrate your meticulousness and dedication to delivering top-notch written content. Whether you're a student composing an assignment or a professional crafting a report, becoming proficient in double spacing will significantly enhance the quality and impact of your writing












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Published on: 19, Mar 2024
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