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What Is The Best Font For A Dissertation?

Published by at April 9th, 2024 , Revised On April 9, 2024

For many students, embarking on a dissertation is a daunting task. Beyond the research, writing, and analysis, a seemingly insignificant detail can cause unexpected stress: font selection. While it might seem like a minor concern, the right font can significantly impact the readability, professionalism, and overall look of your dissertation and can highly influence the decision of the readers. 

This blog will help you in choosing the right font for your dissertation. Let’s explore!

Why Does Font Choice Matter?

While the content of your dissertation is paramount, the presentation also plays a crucial role. The chosen font can influence how easily your reader absorbs the information. A poorly chosen font can lead to eye strain, reduced comprehension, and even a negative first impression.

Here are some specific reasons why font choice matters:

  • Readability: The primary function of your dissertation is to communicate your research effectively. A clear and readable font is essential for ensuring your reader can easily grasp the information presented.
  • Professionalism: Certain fonts convey a sense of seriousness and formality, aligning with the academic tone of your dissertation.
  • Consistency: Maintaining a consistent font throughout your dissertation creates a sense of unity and professionalism.

Key Factors To Consider When Choosing A Font

Before discussing the specific font recommendations, let’s explore some key factors to consider when making your decision:

University Guidelines

Many universities have specific guidelines regarding font choices for dissertations. Always refer to your university’s style guide or handbook to ensure you adhere to any established requirements.


Opt for fonts with clear letterforms, adequate spacing, and sufficient contrast between the font and background colour. Avoid decorative or script fonts that can be challenging to read.

Serif Vs Sans-Serif

Serif fonts, characterised by small lines extending from the ends of characters (e.g., Times New Roman), are generally considered more readable for extended reading, making them ideal for the body text of your dissertation. Sans-serif fonts lacking these serifs (e.g., Arial) can be suitable for headings or short text snippets.

Font Size & Line Spacing

Maintain a comfortable reading experience with an appropriate font size (typically 10-12 points) and line spacing (usually 1.15 or 1.5 lines).

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Popular Font Choices For Dissertations

Now, let’s explore some popular font options that meet the criteria for dissertation writing:

Times New Roman

The classic academic font, Times New Roman, remains a widely accepted and safe choice for dissertations due to its readability and formal appearance.


Similar to Times New Roman, Georgia offers good readability with a slightly wider design, making it suitable for screen-based reading.


This elegant serif font adds a touch of sophistication while maintaining excellent readability.


A modern serif font, Cambria provides a clean and professional look often favoured for on-screen reading.


While not ideal for the body text due to its lack of serifs, Arial can be a good choice for headings and subheadings due to its clarity and clean lines.

Additional Tips for Font Selection

Here are some additional tips to ensure your font choice shines:

  • Consistency is key: Maintain the same font throughout your dissertation, including body text, headings, subheadings, and captions.
  • Avoid excessive font variations: Stick to one or two fonts, with variations reserved for specific purposes (e.g., different fonts for headings).
  • Consider the overall design: Ensure your chosen font complements the overall visual style of your dissertation, including layout and graphics.

Frequently Asked Questions

Use a clear and readable font like Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri for a UK dissertation. Most universities recommend a serif font like Times New Roman, size 12, for the main text, with clear distinctions for headings and subheadings. Always follow your institution’s guidelines for formatting and font selection.

Use a legible serif font such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri for a dissertation. Typically, the font size should be 12 points for the main text, with variations for headings and subheadings as specified by your institution’s guidelines. Consistency and readability are key for academic documents.

Your dissertation’s main text should generally be in a 12-point font size for readability and consistency. Headings and subheadings may vary, typically larger than the main text, to emphasise hierarchy and organisation. Always adhere to your institution’s specific formatting requirements for font sizes and styles to ensure compliance.

For an undergraduate dissertation, using a clear and legible font like Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri is advisable. Aim for a font size of 12 points for the main text to ensure readability. Follow any specific formatting guidelines your university or department provides for consistency and professional presentation.

About Alvin Nicolas

Avatar for Alvin NicolasNicolas has a master's degree in literature and a PhD degree in statistics. He is a content manager at ResearchProspect. He loves to write, cook and run. Nicolas is passionate about helping students at all levels.