Why You Should Use Subheads

In his must-read e-newsletter, Mike Long echoes a point I recently made about the importance of subheads:

You can rely on sheer force of will and copious consumption of Red Bull, or you can take on the job one little piece at a time, using subheads to organize the effort. For instance, whenever I write a memo, there are always a handful of things I know I have to cover: an opening description, a list of deliverables, timetables, pricing, and other things depending on the topic. I used to just dive in. It rarely went well.

But by using subheads, I make the material easier to write and to understand. Instead of writing one long memo, I treat it like a handful of mini-memos on several smaller topics, each of which is titled by a subhead. This approach (which I first learned writing feature stories) works for everything, from speeches to novels to book proposals.

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