Notice to students of 2022! We’ve found the best composition notebooks for classroom work.

Are you preparing for a new school year? You will surely need an empty composition notebook or several. These notebooks, which are usually lined, are necessary for note taking, personal writing, and use for dedicated projects. Unlike taking notes on a computer, with an essay notebook, there’s no threat of a technological glitch that will wipe out all your stored ideas in cyberspace, or get sent where they shouldn’t go. Hardcovers are a smart choice because their covers act as built-in shields to keep pages from bending and folding. But softcover notebooks tend to be lighter and easier to open, so they lay flat. Trust a classic and browse our selection of composition notebooks below, all of which measure approximately 9 3/4 by 7 1/2 inches.

How we select each product:

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1. Composition book set by Mead College

The go-to composition journal for decades, the Mead College-run composition book is a classic. This 100-sheet double-sided journal has a traditional black marble cover made of thin but stiff cardboard, and has space to write your name or topic on the front. Smooth sewn binding helps pages lay flat, and inside covers feature a blank lesson schedule, multiplication and conversion tables, and brief grammar rules for all your school needs. As for the paper, it is not coated, which offers a pleasant fibrous touch and allows the ink to be absorbed correctly with little penetration. The lines are medium rule, which means they have about 9/32 inch between them. Available in a pack of three books.

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Buy: Mead College Lined Composition Notebook

2. Roaring Spring Composition Book

Shopping for a younger student? You might want to consider a notebook with wider lines, which is handy for those who are still learning form letters. The 3/8 inch lines in this level 3 book are also divided by a dotted line to provide additional calligraphy guidance. This notebook is slimmer than our top pick, at just 50 sheets, but that makes it a slim size and extra portable. It also has some flexibility, allowing you to fold the book and write on smaller surfaces. The paper is thin, so we recommend using it with a pencil to avoid ghosting on the underside of the sheets. Its marbled cover is bright red, making this notebook easy to spot in a backpack.

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Buy: Roaring Spring Composition Book

3. Oxford Poly Composition Notebook

These medium-ruled notebooks immediately stand out from the competition with their bold, modern look. But we especially love them for their polythene covers, which are light, flexible and stronger than cardboard – they’re really hard to tear. Stains can be wiped clean, and if a water bottle spilled nearby, your pages would likely survive. The 80 sheets are sewn together securely, but you can also tear them easily. Available in packs of four different colors.

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Buy: Oxford Poly Composition Notebook

4. Michael Roger’s Honeycomb Decay Book

Trying to buy with climate change in mind? Consider getting a few Decomposition notebooks, made in the USA by a small family business. They are made of 100% recycled paper and feature university lineages printed with soy ink. The sheets themselves are properly bound and provide a quality writing experience: they’re smooth for scratch-free doodling, and they resist bleeding with ink pens. The books feature original covers (we love that honeycomb pattern) by artist Nicholas Moegly.

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Buy: Michael Roger Honeycomb Decomposition Book

5. Rhodia Classical Composition Book

If you know your notebooks, you know that Rhodia is cult, and for good reason. They are bound with high quality smooth European paper, ideal for taking ink from fountain pens. The historic brand, in business since 1934, offers a beautiful composition notebook with 80 lined and lined detachable sheets in a soft grey. The 80g paper is clean white and exceptionally smooth, so pens glide effortlessly over it. The signature orange cover is easy to fold up and has space to write their name and school subject or project title.

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Buy: Rhodia Classic Composition Book

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