Subheadings make text easier to read

Improve readability with subheadings

Bite-sized chunks

Readers like to have their text broken up by subheadings into bite-sized chunks for easy digestion and scanning so I add lots of subheadings.

The subheadings are reflected in the table of contents, where your readers can see an overview of your argument and logic.

Beginning, middle and end

All the way through a document, you should tell the reader what the next chapter, section or subsection will cover, then you must say what you said you would say, and at the end of each section, you should summarise what you said.  Each reiteration reinforces your argument.

Learning by repetition

Reading a document is actually a learning process, and human beings learn by repetition, building on what they knew before.  The table of contents and the list at the beginning of each section both introduce a new idea, the middle of the section explains it, and the summary clarifies it.

By the time they read the concluding summary, your readers will have learned something new.

Understanding brings acceptance

Your readers are your target audience.   They may be examiners, customers, strangers, pupils, colleagues, friends…  Your document has to make sense to them.   If they can understand it, they can accept it.  You have made your point.

What are technical manuals?

Technical Manuals

Technical manuals contain step-by-step instructions in plain language.

There are Description, Maintenance, Operation, Overhaul, and Service Manuals, as well as Illustrated Parts Catalogues (IPCs) and lists of effective pages (LEPs).

They are compiled by a technical author like Graham Denniston.