How to write effective headings
Difference between headings and titles
Even though titles and headings share similarities, their roles in your paper are different. While your title should contain the content of your whole document in one or two phrases, your headings should specifically focus on capturing the content of a particular section such as the introduction, body paragraphs, or conclusion.
Length of headings
Your headings should be long enough to present the content of the specific section. However, be as concise as you can be, and try to limit your heading to one line if possible.
Higher-level and lower-level headings
Writing descriptive headings
How to use technical terms
Some papers may rely heavily on technical terms and jargon that an average reader might not be familiar with. Always know your audience and adjust your headings according to your reader’s level of knowledge. Still, if it doesn’t add a benefit to explaining your content, skip using technical terms and jargon.
When planning for your paper, make sure to plan how you will be dealing with the formatting and capitalization of your headings.
Your assignment sheet or university might provide you with a guideline to follow on how to format, capitalize, and sequence your headings.
Different writing styles require different heading formatting. Therefore, learn the specific formatting style for different academic writing types (e.g. APA headings, MLA headings).
Automatic heading styles in Word
Microsoft Word, Google docs, Pages, and other similar software programs offer different heading style templates to make formatting your headings easier.
Once you use the heading styles provided by these word-processing software programs, it is also easier to automatically create a table of contents, which will save you a lot of time.
Things to avoid
Frequently Asked Questions
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