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I read a post here that asks the exact same question, but it does not have a good answer, so I will ask it here.

I understand why the side margins would be big: to make it easier to read since your eyes will have to move left and right less. However, I don't see why the top and bottom margins are just as big as the left and right margins. Furthermore, the fact that the title adds more vertical space at the top of the document makes it even bigger. I used the geometry package to fix these issues:

\usepackage[top = 1 in, bottom = 1 in, left = 1.875 in, right = 1.875 in]{geometry}

Why aren't these the default margins?

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  • If you aren't satisfied with that answer I'm afraid the best answer is that "we don't know" → tex.stackexchange.com/questions/71172/…
    – user202729
    Nov 17, 2022 at 5:39
  • Have you already read the comments to the linked questions? There are very useful references by @Johannes_B, @PaulGessler, @barbarabeeton. BTW: AFAIK it is not a good idea to have the same height for top and bottom margin. And in twoside usually left and right margins shouldn't be the same too.
    – cabohah
    Nov 17, 2022 at 7:01
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    "does not have a good answer," shocking comment:-) The real question is not "why are the magins big?", it is "why are A4 and US Letter too large for single column printing at normal font sizes?" The margins just result not by design, but by simple arithmetic subtracting the size of a reasonable text block from the physical size of the paper. Nov 17, 2022 at 8:47

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