Have any questions? Live chat

Writing Blog

Guidelines to Write Eye-Catching Headings

January 18, 2022| Category: Writing Tips

If you write several pages of sheer text without headings, it will never work to your benefit. First of all, your readers will get bored too fast when trying to grasp the presented information. Secondly, if you are writing an academic essay or a blog article, it will look incomplete in terms of proper formatting. Hence, you need to provide logical headings to each separate part of your text.

Anyway, the aim of headings and subheadings is not only to make your written work esthetically pleasant. The main goal is to create a simplified navigation map between the parts of your piece, especially if this document is quite lengthy. Also, you have to face the fact, which writers usually find rather unfavorable, – only the minority of your target audience will read your paper from the start to finish. Therefore, your readers need headings to skip less interesting parts and concentrate on the most relevant information for them. Moreover, you have to remember that all headings have to create coherent connections between paragraphs. Even if they define separate parts, they still revolve around your principal subject.

It is also useful to check whether your headings reflect clarity. To do this, read the headings in sequence as if they represent your Table of Contents. Afterwards, ask yourself whether your prospective readers will be able to comprehend the following:

  • The main idea of your written work.
  • The contrasting content of each separate part.
  • The connections between your sections and their embodiment of the focal points.

If you cannot firmly answer at least one of these questions, then you have to edit your headings and subheadings before submitting the final work.

The Difference between Headings and Titles

There is a difference between titles and headings, which may seem to be insignificant at first glance. A title indicates the major idea of the document and defines the most appropriate name for your subject matter. Typically, there cannot be many titles. In contrast, a heading labels only a specific chapter, revealing the main idea of the content written in a separate part. Usually, an academic text or a blog article consists of several part and has corresponding number of headings.

Can Headings Be Lengthy?

Generally, headings should not look like extensive sentences, if not like ordinary sentences at all. In some instances, you can create longer headings than usual if there is no other option to communicate the idea of the section. The primary goal of your heading is to unravel the key ideas of the information presented in that section. Still, you have to be careful not to break the rules of academic or literary concision. Do your best to shorten a lengthy heading to one line.

Two Types of Headings: Higher-Level and Lower-Level

When we talk about higher-level headings, we usually refer to single-word general technical headings such as Abstract, Introduction, Methodology, Literature Review, etc. It is common to use higher-level headings in academic papers. We do not commonly invent some alternative names for introductory or concluding parts. On the contrary, lower-level headings are aimed at elucidating the matter in question. Hence, you can make use of a subject-related terminology or other clarifying features, which reflect the content of the subsequent subsections.

The Usage of Headings to Describe Your Subject Matter

Brief unambiguous description of the investigated issue draws attention of the potential readers, especially if you present it wittily. It is beneficial to experiment with your headings to come up with the most suitable ones. Sometimes, it takes effort not to use cliches in your headings, but some alternative approaches can make your content unique. In any case, there should be a balance between uncliched phrases and relative simplicity. If you do not intend to write a highly complicated literary oeuvre, then highfalutin vocabulary will be totally inappropriate. Look at the examples of a non-descriptive heading and some succinct descriptive headings and see the difference for yourself.

Incorrect non-descriptive heading: TikTok

Correct descriptive headings:

  1. TikTok: Social Networking Service, which Changed the Digital World.
  2. From an Awkward Name to the Trendiest Game. “TikTok” History.
  3. How TikTok Influences the Intellectual Capacity of Modern Teenagers.

Further, you can find brief tips on creating the most effective headings.

Avoid repetition in headings

Of course, every writer understands that it would be strange to present two identical headings in one article. Yet, there have been frequent instances when headings for different paper parts sounded too similar. Always choose compelling but different words for each chapter.

Be careful with technical terms

If you write a paper based on technical terms, then it is difficult to avoid them in headings. Yet, it is wrong to satiate every new starting headline with complicated scientific terms. It is always more advantageous to keep a broader target audience in mind, not only technicians and scientists.

Capitalize and format your headings according to the rules

Remember that there may be different levels of headings. Heading levels should be formatted identically and consistently throughout the paper. Also, scrutinize the features of parallel structure.

Various academic writing styles offer slightly different requirements regarding capitalization, formatting, and sequencing of headings. Thus, you have to be fully aware of the differences between MLA headings, APA headings, Harvard headings, and Turabian headings.

Check academic formatting updates before selecting automatic heading styles

In order to simplify the process of formatting headings, many use automatic features, which can be quite brilliant in Google Docs and Microsoft Word. However, relying solely on automatic formatting features may lead to the unexpected failures because many colleges and universities constantly update their formatting requirements. The mentioned tools cannot predict those changes, so relying on preformatted headings can result in a surprising drawback rather than simplified process. For this reason, it is always wise to check the updates of formatting rules of the necessary educational establishment or updates in the formatting style.

Tags
"sandwich" approach A+ essay abstract abstract writing academic paper academic papers academic paper writing academic requirements academic sources academic writer academic writing academic writing tips active and passive voice in research writing active voice additive transitions adversative transitions a good book report a good summary Alternative hypothesis an introduction to academic writing annotated bibliography annotation APA style appeals to trust and connection argument argument analysis argument analysis assignment argument analysis essay argumentative essay argumentative writing argument paragraph arguments article articles a thesis statement become a better writer become a writing guru bias bias-free writing blogs Bloom’s Taxonomy body sentences boost academic vocabulary brainstorming business capitalization capitalization rule capitalize capstone paper capstone project career career in writing causal transitions challenges a new freelance writer may face with characteristics of academic writing chronological order citation cite the source clarity in writing clients closing sentences college essays college writing common mistakes comparative essay compare and contrast paragraph Complex hypothesis concept map concluding paragraph concluding sentence conclusion conclusion in academic writing conclusion writing conduct a search content content writing counterargument Covid-19 creating concluding sentences creating PowerPoint presentations credible sources customer feedback decode instructions decoding professors’ instructions definition of proofreading descriptive headings descriptive paragraph difference between a literature review and an annotated bibliography edit your writing effective conclusion effective headings effective paragraph elements of academic language elements of paper writing emotional appeals Empirical hypothesis essay paragraph essays essay structure essays writing essays writing tips essays writitng tips essay writing ethos explain complex concepts expository essay features of academic writing figure figures and tables first-person pronouns flow of ideas free freelance freelance jobs freelancer freelance writer freelance writers freelance writing freelance writing business Google in academic writing headings heuristics high-quality papers higher-level headings high grades high school-level composition high school assignments how reading helps you become a better writer how to avoid plagiarism how to write how to write a good film review how to write capstone paper how to write phd hypothesis hypothesis writing important improve writing skills in-text citations intellectual property interpret instructions intransitive verb introduction introduction paragraph introductory paragraph job journal judgmental language language and style literature review Logical hypothesis logos lower-level headings main point of the paragraph make the article engaging meeting deadlines meeting the requirements meet the deadlines methodology methodology chapter methodology section MLA style narrative paragraph non-descriptive heading note taking Null hypothesis objective tone objective writing objectivity online online writers opening paragraph opinion essay order of importance outline outline writing papers paraphrase paraphrasing passive voice past simple pathos peer response peer review personal pronouns personal response personal response essay personal response paper persuasion persuasive essay persuasive writing PhD research proposal plagiarism plan for writing planning positive feedback PowerPoint presentation PowerPoint Presentation tips PPT PPTs presenting data in figures and tables present perfect present simple primary research procrastination profession professional freelance writer pronouns proofreading tips qualitative methods quality quantitative methods quote quoting reduce word count redundancy redundant reliable sources repetition repetitive sentences repetitive writing reputable sources research research paper research paper in college research paper in high school research paper writing revising an essay rhetoric rhetorical devices rules of academic writing satisfy your customers scholarly archives second-person pronouns secondary research sentence structure sequential transitions Simple hypothesis skills sources spatial order specificity spell checker spelling spelling error spelling rules start writing Statistical hypothesis stop procrastinating strong topic sentences structure of an expository essay subheadings success successful academic writing successful papers successful paraphrasing suitable concluding sentences summary summary writing supporting evidence synthesis paper synthesize information synthesize sources table techniques for writing summaries techniques to explain a difficult subject tenses in academic writing text structure the contents of the paper the main intention of the assignment thesis statement thinking levels third-person pronouns time management tips on revising an essay tips to writing a PhD research proposal tips to writing a social science paper token sentences topic of the paragraph topic sentence transitional words transitions transition terms transitive and intransitive verbs transitive verb types of academic texts typical writing problems unique idea use Google for research vocabulary vocabulary building well-structured essay what writers can learn from reading novels word choice word count work wrap sentences write a conclusion writer writer job write unique texts writing writing a book report writing a film review writing a good PhD research proposal writing an A+ film review writing an essay writing an outline writing a paragraph writing as profession writing a statement writing a summary writing burnout writing clear writing essays writing fast writing hacks writing job writing papers writing process writing skills writing style writing tips