Style: Conversational and Emphasis Methods

The article above dealt with text formatting. This article is about text styles. Your writing style can make a document easier to read and more effective.

Conversational Style
Use a conversational style. If the text doesn’t read well when spoken, then it should be rewritten to simplify the wording.

Active or Passive Voice
The subject of the sentence performs the action in the active voice. For example, “The supervisors initiate corrective action”. The subject receives the action in the passive voice. For example, “Corrective action is initiated by the supervisors”. Write active sentences to clearly communicate and identify responsibility.

Emphasis Techniques

  • Use typographical techniques to emphasize words, e.g., bolditalicsunderlines, CAPITALS, [brackets], and “quotation marks”
  • Add graphical emphasis by boxing (framing), shading, and coloring
  • Use spatial emphasis by surrounding the text to be highlighted with white space
  • Use verbal emphasis through special terms like Important, Note, or Caution

However, do not overuse emphasis techniques. When everything seems to be emphasized, nothing is emphasized.