Three Tips to Make Documents Effective


Streamline your format

How you format your content has a huge effect on its accessibility. Follow these three tips to make your written document more effective and to guide readers through your content:

  • Use shorter sentences and paragraphs. Readability studies confirm that readers pay closer attention to shorter sentences and paragraphs. Use this knowledge to draw — and keep — readers’ focus.
  • Use bullets. Bulleted lists help readers find the important points in dense text. Use them to help readers move through documents quickly while picking up essential bits of information. However, be sure to reserve bullets only for the truly significant points — otherwise the reader may suffer ‘bullet fatigue’ and the impact is lost.
  • Use headings and subheadings. Headings not only help to break up text, but they also help readers travel through a document quickly. Frequent, informative headings and subheadings help readers find the content they need and avoid distractions.

Use these techniques to guide readers through your document and make your point — every time.