It’s not always true that your readers will want to read everything you’ve written – particularly if it’s a 300 page document. Even if you’ve done all you can to break it up and make it as readable as possible, the demands of time we all face may mean they can only skim it.
Subheads can signal to your reader what linked paragraphs are about and help them to navigate through more easily to the most relevant parts. They also help you to check back over your own ‘route’: did you pick the best way?
Transition words (so, however, on the other hand, nevertheless, moreover, furthermore etc.) also signpost meaning to your reader, helping them to understand your points and stay with you through your changes of direction as you motor towards your conclusion.
Be careful though: endless ‘moreovers’ and ‘furthermores’ can be tedious and won’t stitch a loose collection of random thoughts into a compelling argument, no matter how many you use. Far better to plan first and work out a logical structure even before you touch your keyboard.
There’s more on subheads and structure in our 60-page Write Stuff style guide. To get your complimentary copy, click here and select ‘style guide’ from the drop-down menu.