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#Fact: Informative Headings Help Readers

6 Comments on #Fact: Informative Headings Help Readers

Specific, informative headings increase readability. Simply put, if your heading tell people clearly what will follow, they are more likely to read on. That’s a #Fact.

This resource from the University of Minnesota shows the differences between generic category headings, descriptive headings, and informative headings. As you examine the three kinds of headings, think about how you can apply this fact to your proposal.

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When having to cite scientific articles and field reports for class assignments, I find that the use of both topic and descriptive headings can be helpful when trying to revert back to information in the journal. Descriptive headings can also be useful when reading because they allow the reader to tie the body of the paragraph back to its main point.

Heading design is definitely a big part of how a reader perceives the separation of information in a writing. I typically break up sections within a paper by using larger, bolded font that may sometimes be of a different color. For the proposal, I experimented with different fonts between headers and the body, and so far, I can see how a much clearer distinction between the two.

The more I learn about Proposals the more they remind me of how I take notes. Personally I prefer Informative headers because the can be used to flag information for the reader especially if the document is long. For the short proposal I used generic topic headings because informative headers felt excessive.

Heading design is very important to take note of as a writer because it’s usually the first thing a reader notices when skimming an article. As long as the headings are descriptive enough for the reader to get the gist of the article, then he/she will be able to determine right then and there if he/she will be using that article for his/her project.

As a reader, if I am trying to find a specific piece of information, a more informative heading will certainly help my search. Large, unlabeled sections or sections with vague headings are too common in professional documents. Of the three styles of headings shown in the sample, I responded best to the informative headings. I would imagine, however, that one has to be careful not to make the heading too long or unwieldy. Short, informative headings are the way to go.

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