Quick tips for e-mails:
- Keep your messages brief.
- Use short paragraphs.
- Use the subject line to specify your message.
- Use headings to identify the sections of your message.
- Ask simple yes/no questions.
Five principles will help you plan your document’s visual design:
- Know what decisions are yours to make.
- Choose a design that fits your situation.
- Plan your design from the beginning.
- Reveal your design to your readers.
- Keep your design consistent.
Four ways to help your readers find information:
- Use frequent headings.
- Write descriptive headings.
- Design distinctive headings.
- Use page numbers and headers or footers.
Five suggestions will help you write useful headings:
- Use concrete language.
- Use questions, verb phrases, and sentences instead of nouns alone.
- Use standard keywords if readers expect them.
- Make the headings at a given level parallel.
- Make sure the headings match any list or table of contents in the document.
Seven suggestions to help you design distinctive headings:
- Limit the number of heading levels.
- Create a pattern for the headings and stick to it.
- Match size to importance.
- Put more space before a heading than after it.
- Keep each heading with the section it covers.
- Use headings frequently.
- Consider using numbers with your headings.
Key Quotations and Terms
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“Readers judge a document by how it looks as much as by what it contains.”