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Text: justified or left-aligned

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Ok guys, fun topic to discuss:


Do you justify your texts, or left-align them?


Yes, if you're submitting a paper to a journal, or your dissertation to the library, you keep to whatever protocols are required; but what if when you have a choice? Do you justify your seminar papers / conference papers / homework assignments / etc. etc.? 

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Depends on the paper. 


Some look better left, some justified. It also depends whether I'm writing columns or whole-page.


Generally, I find smaller columns lend themselves to justified, whereas full page (wider margins better) lends to left. 

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Justified of course. Practically every journal article, book (academic and non-academic) etc I've ever read is justified (really, pick a random book off your shelf and take a look). As such I can't even look at aligned text without recoiling at the sense of amateurism. When it's so clear what the accepted standard for published work is, I can't imagine ever submitting something with aligned text considering how unprofessional it looks.


If the text spacing bothers you (which is more prominent the thinner/more columns you have as the word processor has less to play with), you should use LaTeX or at the very least some other program that will hyphenate if spacing gets too obnoxious. 

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