Bullets and Headings

A key feature of documents that are easy to read and understand is the way in which they break up the text into smaller chunks with sub headings and use white space to highlight and further sub-divide the text. By giving these breaks and pauses, the readability and comprehension of the text are improved and the reader can navigate through the text more easily; an important point when they may need to refer back to previous topics or ideas.

To help break up the text use meaningful headings and subheadings, ie ‘Section 2a, how to break up text effectively’ not ‘Section 2a’. Another way to help readers find information is to use bulletted lists.

For example:

      • Investigate own experience and assumptions around assessment
      • Identify and begin discussions about current university and own assessment issues

There can be sub categories within a bulleted list, though too many of these can be confusing to the reader. eg

      • subject-related practical/professional skills and attitudes, eg
        • experimental skills
        • mathematical modelling
        • attitudes towards society, the environment, patients
      • key (potentially transferable) skills, eg
        • report writing
        • presentation skills
        • communication skills

Techniques

Office 2010

Word 2010: Create a bulletted list (Dummies.com)

Office 2007

Word 2007: Create a bulletted list (Office Online)