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How to Use Subheadings for More Effective Writing

April 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 177

When you've missed the big final of your favourite sporting tournament, what do you do? You quickly catch the highlights! That way you can see the most important moments in the game and still follow what happened. And if you want to see the details, you can wait for a full rerun.

Subheadings are like the highlights of your article. Readers should be able to see by your subheadings whether your article has the information they need. With a big lump of text, all of your information is useless at first glance. Here are some helpful tips on using subheadings.

Map out the article

Readers should be able to skim just your subheadings and from there get an idea of what exactly your article is about. In other words, your subheadings alone should be telling your readers a short story on it's own. Think of it as a map - you're giving all the major destination points of your article. So each subheading should present a new idea, and it should give the reader a clear idea of what is to follow in the section that follows.

Give just the highlights

That being said, you also don't want to give away your entire article in just the subheadings. You should give just enough information so that your readers know what they can expect in the article. But be careful not to provide too much information, remember - you still want them to read the whole article. So you want to provide an outline, and at the same time you want to intrigue your readers and make them want to read on.

Sell the benefits

In order for them to keep reading, readers need to feel like they'll be gaining more, the further they keep reading. So, just as you promise a benefit in the title of your article, you need to spell out the benefits of each section. This helps to keep the reader interested.

Use them frequently

You want to use subheadings as much as you can - because the more you can cut your copy into smaller, manageable bits, the better. This is especially true if you're writing for the web. With that in mind however, you also don't want to overdo it. Subheadings are there to add to and enhance your copy, not replace it. The general rule is that every new idea, point or section deserves its own subheading. So scrutinize your article to see how many sections you can possibly break it up into.

There are many other aspects of subheading use to consider before you can be an expert. There are many different types of subheadings, and there are different ways you can word your subheadings to get a desired effect. Professional article writers should have all of these skills in their inventory in order to write effective articles.

Jessica Smit works as a writer at Jo Watson Productions - a writing collective that offers full writing services. Have your brochures, newsletters, press releases, articles and even television, radio or corporate scripts written for you. Visit for more information.

Source: EzineArticles
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