Design – Editing for the Main Points
Now that you have gathered your
information, organized the information the way you want it, have gotten over your writer’s block, it is finally time
to sit down and begin to write your paper, When you write the first task you want to perform is Editing For The Main Points.
One thing to remember about writing
is that whoever is reading what you are writing will first skim your document looking for the main points. This is done to insure that
1. Using Headlines and Subheadings
Do not use heading and subheading to make you
paper into a an outline but use heading and subheadings so whatever the writing project a reader will be able to skim for
the main ideas without too much trouble. Headings and Subheadings give the person reading the paper all the
main points at a glance which will allow them to comprehend much easier what you are trying to say. There are three basic types of headings:
Stand Alone Headings
These are heading that make sense all by themselves. A reader can read these headings and subheading and know what is going on.
Ineffective as a stand-alone heading:
Effective stand-alone heading:
Procedures on how to start you own home business.
All headings and subheadings must use the same
parallel form. There are two types of parallel headings: Grammatical and Conceptual. Below are examples of both
Step to get you car running
1. Insert the Key in the ignition switch
2. Rotate the key clockwise
3. Release the key after the car starts.
Notice that these all have the same grammatical
construction and ideas of equal importance. You can also start each heading with
an active verb, an ing verb, a pronoun or whatever as long as they are consistent and fit in with the series
This differs from the grammatical parallelism
in that the headings not only have to grammatically correct but also conceptually parallel.
Cost Effective MBA
Option 1: Personal Funding
Option 2: Government Sources
Option 3: Private Funding
2 What is White Space?
The term white space refers empty space on
the written page. White space is crucial to the organization of your paper
because it visually indicates section breaks, lets you emphasize important ideas or concepts and allows you to present you
information in usable amounts of information instead of large chunks.
Some effective ways to use white space are:
Shorter blocks of text
Medium sized paragraphs or sections of material
make it whole lot easier for you reader because they offer:
topic sentences or heading
support information that amplify you main points
bullet points for all items in a list
All of these add up to making it a whole lot
easier for your reader to comprehended what your are saying
Most writers do not utilize
the idea of lists in a paper effectively. As a general rule lists must contain
at least two items and no more than seven items.
Here are some general rules
of thumb about lists:
Microsoft Word you will automatically indent your list when using bullets, numbers
Bullets are ok to use if your list does not go in order of importance or time
sequence other otherwise use numbers.
Indentation can be used to differentiate your list from the main point and headings.
Which makes it easier for the reader to follow what you are saying
List can also be sued to emphasize he points you what you reader to remember
Lists are also a way to effectively organize showcase headings versus subheadings
and then bulleted points.
Use what is commonly referred to as “ragged right margins as opposed to
justified margins when using lists
Simply put typography
is the arrangement and appearance of printed matter or how well you put your document
together with the use of boldface, italics, underlining, fonts and so on. One
thing to remember use but do not overuse typography. There is point where you
document will go from looking readable to looking like a typographical nightmare. Remember
you want people to be able to read your document not to be chased away from your document.
Typography Adds Emphasis
For headings only – Use
boldface and italics only on those points you want the reader to remember. Do
not use boldface on random words or thoughts where you are trying to change your voice inflection.
In a consistent pattern – Make
sure you typography follows a set pattern all the way through your paper, document or book do not use a random heading here
and there it will only confuse your reader
· In a differential
pattern – Make sure your headings at each level look the same and can be differentiated
from those of other levels. Do not use boldface at one level and then use boldface
again at the next level. Use boldface at the first level then switch to boldface
italics or some other way to differentiate each level of your document from the one before it level.
Typography Adds Readability
Make sure you do not get to fancy when setting up your document. Take the time to use fonts that are easy to read and follow. Serif fonts are fonts that have the extra
tail added on. These fonts are easier to read and gentler on the eyes. For a traditional look or for densely printed documents choose a serif font
A lot of websites use fonts like this one Arial, which are unserifed fonts meaning
that do not have the extra little tail. These fonts are used on websites because they have a modern look and because of the
display capabilities of computer monitors
When using any typography make sure that you choose a readable size. Here is a
general rule of thumb:
Use 10-point type sparingly, and only if you feel the reader will be able to easily
Use 12-point type for all business documents. This si standard size in word and
other Microsoft products.
Use 14 or 16-point type on documents to be read on a computer or on a desktop
4. Some other Readability Issues
Always use sentence case when writing. That
is to say that unless what you are writing is the title of a paper or a heading only capitalize the first letter of each sentence.
Never use tile case throughout the paper because it will only slow down the reader’s
ability to get through your paper. Think of title case, as a speed bump the reader
must get over in order to read your paper.
Do not use italics for extended text because it is hard to read and get through
· Use proportionately spaced
fonts like this one and avoid mono fonts like this one, which
is courier because as you can see it is harder for your eye to read it. Mono fonts are
usually those that have the names of a city or
5. Throughout the Document
Here a couple of
suggestions for making it easier for you reader to get though your document
Use Back and Forth references: Along some breathing room throughout
the document to let the reader know where you’ve been and where you are going. Means that you connect your paragraphs
by using a key word or phrase at the end of one section and then picking up that idea in the next.
Ex. If you
adopt my proposal (backswords reference) you can expect the following changes to take place. (Forward reference)
Use section previews: The longer the document the more section
previews you will want to use in order to let the reader know what the whole document is about. This whole document is an
example of section previews. By reading each preview and heading you can get
a good idea of what the document is about.
Document design techniques: Check you document for design
to make sure everything flows and that the design is easy to read and follow. There
is nothing worse then having something great to say, but your reader can’t figure out what it is.
6. Opening and Closing
Make sire the opening and closing of your document
contains a capsule review of what your document is about. The reason for this
is that many times this is all your audience will remember about your document because of the audience memory curve.
Opening: Catches the reader’s attentions and gets them interested in what you are going to say so your opening must:
1. Explain your purpose for writing the document while at the same time
2. Prepares your reader for what is to come by previewing the document
3. Helps to build interest in your document.
Many times people leave writing the opening
till last because they do not know where the document is going so do not have a firm grasp on how to begin.
You also are not locked into a specify
order in writing the opening to your document. You can start out by explaining what is to come, then building interest in
and finally preparing the reader to read your document write the opening that you feel best describes you document to your
Closing: Like the opening prepares the reader to read your document the closing must offer the reader some closure to your document.
The closing must offer the reader:
Feedback about your document i.e. what you want them to do
Inform them on what the next step is
Give them a good ending to what you have written
You closing should not, introduce a new
topic to be discussed, offer an apology for what you have just written and should never be an abrupt ending like the words
The only thing I am going to say about paragraphs
is this that a paragraph is to be set up similarly to your whole document
1. Have a good Topic sentence that generalizes what is to come.
2. Use the rest of the paragraph to support that sentence.
3. Use the last sentence of each paragraph or section as a transition into he next section.
If your paragraph differs from what the topic
sentence is then you will loose the reader’s interest and have wasted you time in writing the document. Each
Each sentence must also be written in such
a way as to allow for the way the sentence fits into the document as well as the words used.
This is covered in the next section under Writing Paragraph by Paragraph