When developing a new document, it is important that you decide on the formatting styles you want to use. It is far easier to establish formatting at the beginning of a document than it is to back track and develop formatting after the content is in place.
Formatting helps guide readers through your document, so here are some ways you can structure your content to aid in reader comprehension:
Headings are common in academic papers, especially theses and dissertations. Create one to five heading levels in your document. Using headings helps group related content and separate different content.
Bulleted lists are an effective way to format like items. Bulleted lists attract the reader’s eye in a way a lengthy paragraph cannot. When using bulleted lists, make sure the items are in parallel structure.
Place emphasis on important words or phrases with basic formatting tools. Bold or italicized text focuses the reader’s eye on those words. Be sure to use one formatting style for emphasis. Do not alternate between bold and italics in your paper.