Paragraphs and Subheads

Some people use paragraphs that are so large, it’s like trying to scale an enormous wall of text. Give the reader a break by busting that wall up into smaller chunks so they can get over the material more easily.

As a general rule, each idea should have its own paragraph, with several supporting sentences that have a unified flow. You can use synonyms and pronouns so you are not repeating the same words over and over in the same paragraph while keeping to the same topic. A new idea deserves its own paragraph, and the best writers have a smooth transition from one paragraph to the next.

Another way to break up your text is to use subheads. Consider these as toe-holds on your rock-climbing wall. They give your reader a new place to grab hold of the information you are presenting. Subheads also act as road signs alerting the traveler that something new and interesting is coming up soon. Try to have at least one per page or column of solid text just to break things up visually.

The secret to selecting good subheads is to consider which word or phrase in the upcoming several related paragraphs will grab the reader’s curiosity.
Choose something stimulating, perhaps “Results of the Study” or “Recommendations.” Capitalize subheads as you would a title.

Don’t make your subheads too short.
For example, if you use “Porosity” as a subhead, your reader might wonder: “What about the porosity?” Not very intriguing. “Porosity Increases with Depth” is far more interesting, and those skimming the material will get more out of it. Put a verb in your subhead to keep things active.

With the proper grouping of sentences into paragraphs, and paragraphs into subheads, your technical writing will look polished and professional.

2 Responses to “Paragraphs and Subheads”

  1. i love lucy Says:

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    blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web savvy so I’m not 100% positive. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks

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