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Do You Write Past The Right Hand Margin?

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37 replies to this topic

Poll: Do You Write Past The Right Hand Margin? (71 member(s) have cast votes)

Where do you stop writing?

  1. The margin (36 votes [50.70%])

    Percentage of vote: 50.70%

  2. The end of the paper (35 votes [49.30%])

    Percentage of vote: 49.30%

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#21 Harlequin



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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:33

I have a very strong suspicion that margins aren't very useful for most people unless the work i going to be printed or reproduced. The margins on loose leaf paper are there for readability as well, seeing as how teachers usually have to rea so very many papers that their students turn in. It just makes it easier for them . It has no bearing otherwise.

Edited by Harlequin, 07 February 2013 - 03:37.

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#22 Waski_the_Squirrel



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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:47

There is a science to page layout. The human mind has trouble with a line of text that is too wide. This is why large books often have wide margins (which can be used for pictures and marginal notes).

I use two different styles of paper. When I use B5 size paper, I write edge to edge. When I use letter or A4 sized paper, I leave a margin. With the latter, I use the margins for notes about the content (in different color like a teacher correcting a paper). With the B5 paper, I can't add these notes without sufficient whitespace on the page. As a result, I prefer the larger paper for writing text (like a novel). I prefer the smaller paper for other writing work such as novel outlines, research, organizing thoughts, etc.
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#23 Harlequin



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Posted 09 February 2013 - 02:19

As I understand it, that concept is also why most magazines and newspapers use a column format.

#24 Enoch_Root



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Posted 10 February 2013 - 21:17

I have a pretty healthy respect for a left margin but the right margin is really hit or miss. For more formal stuff or stuff that I'll know see close revision or analysis, I leave a right margin. If only to leave some white space for notes etc.

But now that I think about it, almost all of my handwritten stuff is on legal-type pads, so there is that faint line from the other side of the page that does demark the left margin. That does influence even the more casual or informal side of my writing.

So my answer is... it depends! :thumbup:

#25 JohnS-MI



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Posted 10 February 2013 - 22:07

I've never seen paper with a marked right margin. I respect the left margin, and may leave an even wider margin (30-50 mm) on the left if I expect to add marginalia later. I leave a narrow right margin (6-12 mm) and I don't worry too much about it.

#26 Harlequin



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Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:47

I wonder if a right hand margin is only really produced in paper that is primarily consumed by a younger, elementary or primary school type of age group?

#27 alexander_k


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Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:31

Even though I prefer to write on plain, unlined paper, I try to have margins that make the text on paper an entity, not a characterless sprawl. It does without saying that smaller paper sizes and personal note-taking often escape this principle but on an A4 sheet I keep a top and left margin of roughly 2 cm and on the right and bottom 3 cm.

#28 Keyser


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Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:15

Never, unless I need to complete a word. I regard the margin like "You Shall Not Pass!!!" :)
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#29 gcouch


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Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:53

I never cross the margin unless I have to complete a word. IMO it looks nicer when you stay in the margins.

#30 tinta


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Posted 12 February 2013 - 03:20

I've never felt it a need to justify my pages for personal correspondence.
My A5 journals are Japanese notebooks that have ruled left margins. Except when indenting, I write each line from the margin to as close to the right of the page as I (neatly) can.

On those few occasions that I use a blank A4 Rhodia "vellin" pad, a boldly printed liner sheet is slipped under the page. There is a left & right margin on this guide. For the most part, I try to keep my writing between these two margins.
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#31 bdk



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Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:41

In formal writing for work, forms, etc. I respect the margin as much as possible. Unless I made a mistake in estimating how much space the last word of the rule would take the margin stays clean. I have always learned to respect the margin in school, for the purposes you mention (correcting, grading).
In my journals (that have no printed margin line, they're Rhodia's) I use a very small left margin and often no margin at all on the right side...
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#32 exdevlin


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Posted 12 February 2013 - 22:12

No right hand margins on most of the paper in the UK!

I'll vouch for that.

The paper I grew up writing on has a definite left-hand starting margin, but the right-hand margin isn't explicitly printed on the paper. If your paper was thin enough, you could see the left-hand margin on the other side of the page, and were you resourceful enough to have noticed that, you could use it as your stopping point. For the most part, I remember going through public school seeing lots of other schoolmates writing all the way to the end of the page.

Personally, I think it looks rude and untidy, so I've always stopped an estimated margin's width away from the edge of the page.
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#33 bemyhorcrux



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Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:32

If you weren't intended to write past the right margin, they'd make it as obvious and distinct as the left margin. Since whether it's even there at all depends on what paper you're using (I'm used to the see-thru left margin acting as a right margin as above, or no margin at all on legal pads), clearly it's down to personal choice where you stop.

I sometimes go too far and have to bend long words, because I just can't stand sticking a hyphen in - just admit you screwed up and overshot, rather than trying to say "I meant to do that, really!", when your word won't fit your space.
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#34 ziptrickhead


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Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:46

I've always written to the end of the page. Not necessarily the very end because I'll usually save maybe a centimeter on the right side. When I was going to school, my loose leaf never had a real right margin. I did find that a lot of people would stop at a margin but I think it's because they were actually seeing the margin on the backside of the paper (cheap, thin loose leaf paper), but there wasn't a real right hand margin on the writing side.

I've always honored the left hand margin though since that's where the holes were punched. I have seen people write on the entire sheet, ignoring margins all together but I always thought it was messy to be writing right up against the punched holes.

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#35 Kuryaka


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Posted 16 February 2013 - 15:53

I like the symmetry of having margins on both sides of the paper. It also lets you squeeze in a few words or edits if you've forgotten something important. That said, I just blow through it when I'm using paper for any purposes other than writing paragraphs. Two-column charts, math homework, and possibly science homework goes into the right margin.

The left margin is always kept. I use spiral notebook paper, which doesn't have that much of a left margin to write in anyway.

#36 Penguin.


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Posted 16 February 2013 - 16:37

For me it was whatever the teacher's preference was. My English teacher didn't like it, so I didn't do it in her class. History teacher didn't care. For notes, it was whatever I wanted (I'd write into it). But NEVER into the left hand margin. Unless, of course, for notes - occasionally for like sidenotes or references or something.:)
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#37 redhairedwriter



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Posted 22 February 2013 - 14:55

In general, I abide by the margins. Especially with my academic writings and and when writing letters on paper with margins. It just looks better. However my academic research notebooks really only have the left-hand margin consistently free. Sometimes I do write into the right-hand margin just so I can maximize my notebooks. I'm a research student so I go through a lot of them, and if I can squeeze a few more words onto a page I will in a heartbeat -- even though I don't like how it looks.

But, in general, I love margins! They keep everything controlled and, as you said, provide necessary space for notes and editing marks.
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#38 Eann


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Posted 08 May 2016 - 14:43

I stumbled upon this thread as I was curiously searching for why/when margins began to be printed on mass produced paper.
When writing by hand I am mindful of the edge of the page, but on ruled paper the red line is only printed on the left side of the page, front and back. So the faint pink line you see on the right side is actually the red line that is printed on the back that shows through the paper. With that being the case, my thought is that it wasn't originally intended to be a right margin per se, however it is indeed useful to begin ending the sentence without continuing so far that words get crunched at the edge and look sloppy.... There's no reason not to continue past the line one or two more words but there should definitely be some imaginary line at the end by which you don't cross for the sake of neatness. As I think about it, I don't recall ever seeing ruled notebook paper or legal pads with two margin lines printed on the same side, just the one on the left.

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