How to write a heading – get to know the rules

27.09.21 Titles and headings Time to read: 5min

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Headings help bring out an outline of the content immediately after it. They appear at the top of a paragraph, chapter, or page to brief what the succeeding content is about. Read on to find out how to write a heading, how long headings should be, the difference between a heading and a title, and what descriptive headings are. If you know how to write a heading, you get the reader’s attention which gives them the urge to read on and on.

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How to write a heading - FAQ

A heading should be brief but must also bring out the information it’s intended to. It should be related to the content it stands for to ease the reader’s experience. Make sure it’s brief and straight to the point.

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There are 3 levels of heading formats. The first level should be centered, bold, and anywhere near font size 14. The second level should be aligned on the left, bold font, and about font size 12. The last format level is the third, whereby the font is left-aligned, bold and italics, and has a font size of about 12. You should know how to write a heading with these three formats.

There’s little difference in how to write a heading and a title. Titles and headings are pretty comparable but have their differences. A title stands for the whole reading and incorporates its content in a phrase or two. At the same time, a heading only crowns and captures the content of a section or chapter.

How to write a heading is the first step. Headings convey an overview of what the whole writing is about. The reader is supposed to find out what the entire document is about by going through the headings assigned. It’s essential to know how to write a heading because it helps you organise your thoughts and understand what content to write and where.

Do you want to know how to write a heading? Not too long or short? However long it gets, make sure you have a suitable heading. Don’t go past one line because it’ll be too long. A good understandable heading for your sections or paragraphs should intrigue the reader to read more and not be too long to bore them.

How to write a heading: Definition

A heading can be a word, phrase, or sentence at the top of a paragraph, section, or chapter describing what it’s about. There’s no big deal on how to write a heading as its similar to a caption or a title. You have to know how to write a heading for your essays or research project to maintain a logical flow of ideas as the lecturer reads on.

Headings vs. titles

Headings Titles
Introduce a section or chapter of a reading Crown the whole document in a phrase or two
The text here shows where to find what information The text is based mainly on the function of the whole document
Headings are not strictly short but provided they don't exceed one line Titles are preferably short
Headings can be several in a document You can only have one title is a document

How long should headings be?

A heading should be brief and explain the exact information the writer wants to convene in the section or chapter below. Having a heading one line or just three words long is appropriate, as long as it is precise and straight to the point. These are primary skills to knowing how to write a heading.


Descriptive headings

There’s nothing complicated on how to write a heading of this type as it focuses on giving the reader more information for easy understanding. More details of the primary subject are provided in the heading. These headings are suitable for emails, academic reports, or even on online platforms.

An example is, say, you are crafting an essay of The American Revolution. If you give a heading like “Causes,” it will not be as clear as “Causes of The American Revolution.” The latter is a descriptive heading. Another example is, maybe you have a report to submit on corn growing in the USA. A heading like “Corn farms” will not be as suitable as the descriptive heading, “Corn Farms in the USA.”

For your academic reports or essays, you can incorporate some descriptive headings to give clear information. If you know how to write a heading of this type, the lecturer or reader will peruse your document and know what it’s about by just reading the headings. You can use some descriptive subheadings too for a much more detailed report or essay.


Repetitive headings – a no-go

There’s no way two sections can have the same title. This will dilute the whole document. If you know how to write a heading, you should know that all headings in a document must be unique. Descriptive headings will help avoid repetitive headings because you explain what the section is about on the heading itself. Chapters cannot have the same content; therefore, the headings can’t be the same too. Knowing how to write a heading that is as descriptive as possible will help arrange your ideas and give the reader an easy time.

Essential tips on how to write a heading without repetition are; varying the lengths of your headings, using different transition words, and using the thesaurus to get synonyms to terms.
Knowing how to write a heading will help you know how to craft different headings for different paragraphs.

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Technical terms in headings

Technical and jargon terms used on headings of documents may not be understandable to every reader except those familiar with the languages. An example is betting site languages. If you don’t get the terms used in betting, you may not understand anything on the betting site.

For academic documents intended to be read by professionals, such as instructors, you can use jargon if it is allowed. If there’s no need to use the terminology, avoid it at any cost. If you are familiar with how to write a heading, you should know how to craft one for general readers.

In a Nutshell

  • Headings should have a length of one to five words and not exceeding a whole line, as said above. A unique tip on how to write a heading is that it looks more like a title than a subheading.
  • Not all paragraphs need a heading. If you know how to write a heading, use headings for two or more ideas, and do not overdo them.
  • Headings should boost the outline of your main topic, paragraph to another and not overshadow it. Knowing how to write a heading forms the basis of a quality document.
  • Try using descriptive headings and subheadings often to have a quality outlook of your work.
  • Do not repeat a heading at any cost, mainly if you know how to write a heading for your academic work. Use informative or descriptive headings for a logical and easy-to-understand document.