A double-spaced essay is an academic paper that has double spacing between lines. This means there is a full, blank line between each line of text in the essay. Double spacing is typically required or highly recommended by teachers and professors for essay submissions, making the essay easier to read and grade.

Essay Double-Spaced Examples

When an essay is double-spaced, it looks something like this:

  • The key to writing a clear essay is properly organizing your thoughts.
  • You can map out your main arguments and the key points to cover in each paragraph with an outline.
  • Be sure to include an engaging introduction that previews your main ideas.
  • Then, use the essay’s body to expand on your main points, providing specific examples and evidence that reinforce your claims.
  • Finally, wrap up with a conclusion summarizing your central arguments and leaving a lasting impression on the reader.

As you can see, there is a full, blank line between each line of text. This provides more white space and prevents the text from being crowded or cramped. The ample spacing makes each line stand out and restates the eyes between reading each line.

Some key examples of when to use double spacing include:

  • Academic essay assignments
  • Research papers
  • Argumentative essays
  • Literary analyses
  • Application essays
  • Reports
  • Book reviews

Double spacing is the standard format for most essay and research paper submissions unless otherwise specified.

What does it mean to use double spacing?

Double spacing means two spaces between each line of text rather than the standard single space. So when a teacher requests a double-spaced essay, they want you to format the essay with two spaces between each line rather than one.

Some key things to note about double spacing:

  • There should be no extra spaces between paragraphs – just the double spacing between lines.
  • Any headings or subheadings included should also be double-spaced.
  • The entire paper should use the double line spacing including quotations and references.
  • On most word processors like Microsoft Word, you can select the entire essay and choose “Double” under spacing settings to properly format.

Difference Between Single and Double-Spaced Essays

The key difference between single and double-spaced essays is the space between the lines.

  • A single-spaced essay has no blank space between each line of text. The lines simply follow each other immediately with no gap in between. This can make the text look crowded and hard to read.
  • A double-spaced essay has one full blank line between each line of text. This extra white space makes the different lines distinct and provides breathing room so the text is less visually crowded.

Double spacing improves readability and allows space for editor or teacher notes and comments. Single spacing is typically used only in drafts or personal notes, while published or submitted essays are usually double-spaced.

How to Write a Double-spaced Essay

Writing a properly double-spaced essay is easy to do if you follow these steps:

Choose an essay topic

Like any essay, you must decide on a topic based on the assignment requirements. Research and prepare your ideas.

Format properly

  • Set the line spacing to “Double” under paragraph settings.
  • Use 1″ margins on all sides.
  • Choose a standard font like Times New Roman 12pt.

Provide proof

Back up your claims and ideas with evidence like quotes, statistics, examples etc.

Write well-structured essays

Double-check that you have an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.


Use clear, straightforward language and avoid unnecessary filler words.

Be factual

Keep opinions to a minimum and focus on facts and objective analysis.

Read the prompt

Before submitting, re-read the essay prompt and ensure you have properly addressed it.

Paragraph balance

Aim for paragraphs in the 3-5 sentence range and avoid very long blocks of text.

6 Benefits of Double Spacing in Essays

Using double spacing for academic papers provides several advantages:

1. It makes your writing easier to read

The extra space between lines improves readability and reduces eye strain for the reader.

2. More space for important notes

Double spacing allows editors or teachers to circle, highlight or add notes directly on the essay.

3. It makes for fewer typos

With more space between lines, it’s easier to spot spelling and grammar mistakes.

4. More emphasis on important points

You can use double spacing to draw attention to key points and quotes.

5. You can use it as a guide when writing your essay

The ample line spacing gives you room to make revisions right on the page.

6. It makes your essay look professional

Proper double spacing shows the reader that you formatted the essay correctly.

Is it Better to Use a Single or Double Space?

For most academic essays and published papers, double spacing is the preferred and more professional format. The extra spacing improves readability compared to single spacing, which can strain the eyes and make texts look messy.

However, single spacing can be used strategically in circumstances like handwritten drafts, notes, and personal journals to conserve space on the page. But double spacing is the standard you should follow for essay assignments and final submissions unless explicitly told otherwise by an instructor. The ample line height helps prevent a cluttered look and allows room for edits or comments.

Final Thoughts ON how to write a double-spaced essay

Double-spacing essay submissions is a key formatting rule for academic papers and published works. Adding an extra blank line between each line of text enhances readability and provides space for instructor feedback. While it may take up more paper, the benefits of double spacing outweigh the downsides for serious essays. 

Just be sure to double-check the exact requirements from your professor and use proper double spacing throughout your essay for the best results. With the right formatting approach, your double-spaced essay will look clean, professional, and ready for submission.

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