Doing math with lined or blank paper? (Solved)

Doing the math on lined paper or blank paper? A lot of students are interested to know what is the best tool to use for doing math.

In this article, we’re going to give you 13 facts about lined and blank paper allowing you to choose the best paper type for math work.

Lined paper is not flexible

According to Recordation, 300 million tonnes are produced every year, this is a huge number and indicates the importance of paper need in our daily life. Some users prefer to use lined paper rather than blank paper for math.

But blank paper seems more flexible, gives the aspiration and feeling of freedom. Some students consider doing math with lined paper, like reading a book under a shower. The lines don’t give the flexibility and ease for reading.

While the blank paper has more space getting rid of lines and margins, students hate to deal with those multiple blue lines.

lined paper have margins

According to Languagepacifica, the lined papers machine was invented in 1770, after 30 years blue color lines were included in the paper. So the traditional notebook that students are using was born in the 1800s with all the margins and stuff that students find.

But the weirdest thing about these red lines or margins is they were invented for an unexpected reason. Rats and mice were eating notebooks on the edges, so the constructors decided to draw the famous red lines keeping safe space from rats and mice.

you could watch this video to discover the wired story about red margin lines.

Mathematical students don’t love to write on paper who have a red straight line, they have two choices. Either they have to start from the edge, thus losing the important amount of space, or write across the red line, which is very annoying.

Math require space to experience fast ideas

Average hard worker mathematician works 4 to 5 hours a day, the rest of the day is devoted to a workday job. Hence mathematicians love to express fast their ideas, thus choosing to do that with blank paper.

Blank paper doesn’t force mathematicians to choose where they have to write or give them limited choices. they can write on the right or at the left wherever they want. Also, don’t have to hesitate if they should skip the line for more space or not.

Mathematicians love to apply fast their thought and take advantage of time doing other useful things.

Lined paper are noisy

According to Scientific American, the human mind consumes 12w of energy which is 20% of the human power but for complicated stuff like mathematics operations, the mind consumes quickly this energy. This explains feeling hungry after a hard and complex mathematic exercise.

Math is a subject that requires taking attention to the details and preventing making mistakes.

So many students find that lined paper is noisier than blank paper and disturb them studying math. Whereas blank paper helps them more focusing and see by eliminating the noisy lines in front of their regards.

Especially for notebooks with dark-colored lines, it is hard for them to go back and revise their precedent works.

You have to follow the line

The average distance between each paper line is 0.8 cm, mathematics students are forced to follow Theses lines. Writing a little bit down or up from these lines will seem not tidy and comfortable for reading.

This is noticeable more with notebooks that have a wider distance between each line such as 10mm. Mathematicians don’t take benefit totally from surface paper and lose a lot of space.

The blank paper doesn’t help organize notes

According to Jstor, 99% take of students take notes during instructors’ lessons, lined papers are more useful for taking notes. Taking notes on blank paper is hard for people who have bad writing and don’t know how to organize their notes.

lines paper help these kinds of students to write effectively a good looking and appealing notes. As a result, students could go back and know what they wrote about.

Some mathematics students love taking notes in notebooks that have numerated pages and dedicated space. As a result, can write time, titles, and other things related to lectures. It is useful for them to use notebooks lined papers to have more organized notes.

Blank paper help to write larger

The average square or spot for writing between two lines is 6 to 8mm. So, that creates problems for people who have broader or bigger writing, which leads to two possibilities:

The first possibility is to write with a stuffing style like this image below.

doing math with lined or blank paper

or the second reason is to skip the line and lose the space as seen below

doing math with lined or blank paper

lined paper forces users to write with a determined size font which becomes very disgusting and annoying for people. Doing math with stuffing writings is terrible when writing details mathematics equations.

is going to be easy reading the minuscule mathematics details such -∞ or ∞ is easy in one square lined paper?

lined paper is for doing tidy and neat writings

According to Wikipedia, the ruling machine was invented in 1770, the goal of this machine was to make lined papers for music papers. It wasn’t expected that after 30 years, this machine will be an essential part of notebooks history.

1800 lined paper was born and the use of lined paper was expanded from music to all writing fields.

Lined paper help users to write tidy and organized, having straight blue lines help the writer to have reference and preserve a good-looking context.

blank paper can be filled 30% more than lined ones

The average A4 lined paper can hold 300 words using 12 point font size. If we eliminate the lines margins page, we could add 30% of free space. That means adding 100 words or even more for one single page.

So doing math in black A4 allow a student to write 100 words more than lined paper. This is so interesting for mathematics students because they consume a lot of paper.

1000 of blank sheet paper cost on average about $8 as well as a lined paper, they have some price. But using blank paper help reduce consumption by 25% which means $2 per 1000 sheets.

The blank paper reflects light better

The white paper reflects 96% of light is shiny and clear more than lined paper. This is one of the reasons why college students prefer using pens doing math instead of pencils. Because blank paper is shinier and the ink pen reflects well on it.

lined paper is not quite clear such blank are. The blue lines especially the darkest ones absorb light and makes reading mathematical equation less clear and annoying a bit for blank paper users.

Many people don’t notice that until they switch or test blank paper. They observe the ease and clarity of those papers.

You can write from any direction

Using blank paper allows users to start from any direction, there are no red lines or margins that can bother you. You can start from right to left or left to write nothing is going to bother you.

Lined paper notebooks always let between 3 to 4 cm as space margin. It’s so annoying for mathematicians who are doing math in different languages such as Arabic or Hebrew.

lined paper is more helpful for drawing graphs

The American high schooler spends more than 3.5 hours a day doing homework. But the big part of this time is consumed in mathematics. Mathematics has many fields and subjects, but the advantage that students can take of using lined paper is in statistics.

Statistics are based on a lot of calculations and numbers and require an important amount of drawing. Drawing tables or graphs in blank paper is hard, the blue line paper helps a lot of students to get references and scale easily their graphs.

doing math in statistics is very recommendable with lined papers.

Lined paper is good for student struggle writing straight

According to Usnews, it is estimated that 10% to 30% of children experience difficulty with writing, some of which can be attributed to dysgraphia. In other words, having problems holding pen the right way and writing straight lines.

But many students still have this problem and it shows up in their writings with blank papers. Many students can’t keep writing horizontally or straight they struggle to finish one sheet of paper straight as it should be.

For these students, they have two choices either they should use lined paper to guide them or learn how to write straight in this video below. If they still love using blank paper.


According to the 13 facts we listed about lined and blank paper, you could currently know what is fittable for you.

but as a recap from our article and personal recommendation blank paper are:


But finally, it depends on each one and which one you could find more comfortable.

if you are interested in how to take notes for math…

you could read this article talking about the 9 best options to take notes for math and physics.


Yassin ajanif is a physics graduate and electromechanical engineer width more than 5 years in the field. My goal and my team are to share our experience to help you succeed in your career as a stem major. we talk about all tips, problems, and struggle STEM students face in their career and how to overcome them.