I prefer Consolas as a monospaced font myself.I'd use it, if it wasn't so fugly!
1 and 2 would be caught by my English teacher, he would measure EVERY paper with a ruler. I once set it to 1.05 inch margins and I got marked down for it. 2.2 line spacing would have been caught as well.I gotta add that to my "toolbox".
Here are a couple techniques I've used over the last couple years:
1) All papers that I hand in have to be double spaced. However, I set the line spacing to "2.2" - you really can't tell the difference
2) Same thing with page margins. Instead of 1 inch margins, I make them 1.1 inch margins.
It doesn't seem like a lot, but it really does add up!
Basically all you have to do is take advantage of the fact that TAs have dozens of papers to grade, so they won't catch on the "little details" that you add
I love writing too, but it's really hard to get excited writing about some topics, but sometimes **** gets in the way, even if you do try to be perfect in everything you do. And, why should you have to add useless fluff to a paper? I use to be very verbose, now I'm all for being concise.I loved writing. Unfortunately, I was typically limited to a certain word count or page count
Instead of wasting time getting around limits, use that time to fill the space with useful work
Short-cuts may cut short your life (ok, that works better as a driving reference but you know what I mean).