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One of the most useful characteristics of technical writing is the use of headings. Headings are the titles and subtitles you see within the actual text of much professional scientific, technical, and business writing. Headings are like the parts of an outline that have been pasted into the actual pages of the document. Headings are an important feature of professional technical writing: they alert readers to upcoming topics and subtopics, help readers find their way around in long reports and skip what they are not interested in, and break up long stretches of straight text. They make text easy to navigate and enable the reader to find information they need quickly. Headings are also useful for you, the writer. They keep you organized and focused on the topic. When you begin using headings, your impulse may be to slap in the headings after you've written the rough draft. Instead, visualize the headings before you start the rough draft, and plug them in as you write. When you complete this chapter, you will be able to: Identify the uses of headings Tell the difference between the different levels of headings Evaluate the use of headings in technical documents Use the Styles tool in MicroSoft Word to create custom headings Create and use headings in your own documents

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