If you write 1,200 words, you’ll end up with 4 and 4/5 pages double spaced.
Imagine this scenario. You’re an aspiring politician and you’re studying political science at a university. You’ve written a great policy plan with the help of the chair of your political science department. In order to get people to read your research paper, you’d like to write a 1,200 word article for the school newspaper, summarizing your policy. Your department chair asks you to send him a Microsoft Word document with double spacing, so that he can help you refine your argument. He’s also asking you to cite your sources, using either MLA format or APA format. Here’s the question: How many pages do you need to write?
To know how many pages you’ll need, you’ll first have to select a font. We recommend using Arial or Times New Roman in a 12-point font size. That’s a standard, easy-to-read option. Most readers prefer something classic. You could always test your limits with a more exotic font, such as Calibri or Verdana; however, think carefully before selecting anything too hard to read. You want your department chair to pay attention to the content of your writing, not your formatting.
Since you know the student newspaper accepts submissions below a certain word count, your article must be less than 1,200 words. Using the chart below, you can see that the same number of words may result in a different page count, depending on the line spacing you select. With the newspaper’s suggested word count and double spacing, your article would be approximately 4 and 4/5 pages. Had the department chair asked for single spacing, you’d end up with 2 and 2/5 pages. The word limit does not include the works cited or bibliography page.
Of course, you can imagine that the content of your article may influence the page length. Let’s say you use lots of long words in your article, like “majoritarian” and “representational”. That 1,200-word article about public policy could end up filling more pages. By changing the type of font and deviating from standard 1-inch margins, you may change the total page count. For that reason, we can’t give a definitive answer about the exact number of pages you’ll end up writing.
Here’s the good news: Most word processors contain a word counter that allows you to check the word count and character count of a document. Also, if you’re writing for a newspaper, it never hurts to ask for clarification. Check with the editor’s guidelines to see whether the publication requires a certain number of pages, font type, or headline character count.
To help students with term papers and other writing assignments, many high schools, colleges, and universities have a writing services center. The people employed there can help you with proofreading and structuring a high-quality article.
As a good rule of thumb, use this chart to approximate the number of pages you’ll get for a particular amount of words. The chart includes estimates for a single space or double space article with Times New Roman font or Arial font.
If you’d like to know how to convert a speech from pages to minutes, check out this article.