Monday, January 8, 2018, 15:30

How many subtitles should I use? The use of subtitles seems to be increasing. Many times, they really are useful to a reader. However, when you have a subtitle for each method or variable, or between each paragraph, it is not useful any more.

Many times, I would use fewer subtitles in the Methods (and consistently in the Results). I would use them, not for each method. I would use them for instance, for each experiment. Alternatively, I would group the methods under a couple of titles, such as 'Chemical methods' and 'Molecular biology methods'. I think that it would increase clarity.

A reviewer tries to follow your text and remember the great lines. More than, let’s say, five subtitles in the methods do not help in organizing the study in one’s mind. A reader does not remember more than five method subtitles, instead they start to be in a mess in one’s mind. Therefore, many times less is better.

By no means you are able to increase the quality of your study and your data by using many subtitles, one for each small thing.

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