Subheads should briefly summarize the section whenever possible. Readers scanning the article for interest should know based on subheads what the article will tell them.
- Write subheads in title case.
- Use short, declarative sentences to summarize each section, whenever possible.
- Be concise. Two to five words is sufficient. Avoid one-word subheads.
- Emphasize benefits. Summarize what the reader might learn from the section or identify information that is particularly worth knowing.
- Express actions, avoid questions.
- Engage readers. Clarity is the primary objective, but subheads should also compel.
- Consider the segment and title: Match the subhead tone to the topic. A playful puppy article can feature lighthearted subheads. Subheads in a piece on dealing with divorce should be serious and authoritative.
- Use parallel construction. Subheads should follow the same construction. EX:
- Establish Efficiencies
- Monitor Production
- Measure Outcomes
- Summarize Results
- Tip: Write subheads last. Craft your section content, then utilize that material to devise the subhead.
Adding Section Heads & Subheads
From the formatting bar, you can convert text to a section head (H1) or subheads (H2). The H2 option should be reserved for subheads within your section.
If you are going to use section heads in your article, you must have a minimum of two.
If you’re writing an informational article that contains multiple instructional sections, the section head should define the process itself like Make the Pie Pastry.