Business Writing Tip #3

Use headings and subheadings to make content easy to scan.

Each and every one of us has to read. And we have to read and take in information from many different sources. And we have to take in a lot of it.

When we’re writing, we need to think of our reader. We need to make it easy for our reader to get the main points of our message.

Ways to Do It

  • Use headings to break up the text and make it easy to scan.
  • Make them bold, so they stand out from the rest of the text.

Do Headings Really Make Documents Easier to Read?

Absolutely. Your reader can quickly run their eyes down a page or a screen and find the information that they need.

Example

If you’re writing a proposal you will have different sections that you need to include, but not everyone will be interested in all the detail. A proposal might include:

  • Executive Summary
  • Background
  • Identification of Needs
  • Proposed Services
    • Benefits
    • Implementation Plan
      • Methodology
      • Implementation Team
      • Implementation Schedule
      • Testing and Evaluation
      • Costs
      • Conclusion

By using headings and sub-headings, your reader can skim through the document and read the parts that concern them most. If the document is written without headings, it’s much more difficult to find your way through and some people just won’t bother.

Remember, it’s all about your reader. You want them to be able to get the information that they need quickly and easily.

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