Italics Gives light emphasis. Use for subtle stressing of words.
More insistent. Works well for emphasis of a complete phrase. Some people
only use italic and bold, in which case the difference will cause attention.
Is clearly visible when you first look at the whole page. Can create tension as
they read towards it. This can be useful if done deliberately.
Bigger fonts stand out more and small fonts recede. But beware of reducing
readability by mixing font sizes too much.
In particular the exclamation mark, gives a strong emphasis. Use sparingly. Be
very careful when using multiple marks!!! It can be interpreted as either
enthusiasm or attempted manipulation.
Is the written equivalent of shouting. Avoid where possible, including use in
There are many colors you can use. Brighter colors and those towards the red
end of the spectrum stand out more. Blues and dark colors are more subtle. A
neat usage is in headings (which often include the key message).
COMBINATIONS And you can combine any of the above, shouting in a deafening way.
OtherWays to Emphasize
Strong words One way of enlivening and emphasizing in written text is to use strong words that trigger
emotional reactions. Just as strong words in spoken language grab attention, so they also work in
"If you really love me then you will...“
Use of the
The passive voice is used when focusing on the person or thing affected by an action. Generally,
more emphasis is given to the beginning of a sentence. By using a passive sentence, we emphasize
by showing what happens to something rather than who or what does something.
Reports are expected by the end of the week.
In this example, attention is called to what is expected of students (reports).
Use the continuous form modified by 'always', 'forever', etc. to express annoyance at another
person's action. This form is considered an exception as it used to express a routine rather than an
action occurring at a particular moment in time.
Martha is always getting into trouble.
Peter is forever asking tricky questions.
George was always being reprimanded by his teachers.
Note that this form is generally used with the present or past continuous (he is always doing, they
were always doing).
1. Replace several vague words with more
powerful and specific words
2. Interrogate every word in a sentence
3. Combine sentences
4. Stay on message
5. Avoid “There is” or “There are” Constructions
-other phrases to avoid: “for the most part” and “for the purpose of”
• For the most part, people’s suspicions are based on a
misunderstanding of the facts.
- Revised: For the most part, people’s suspicions are based on a
misunderstanding of the facts.
• Many woodlands, in fact, have been purchased for the
purpose of creating public parks.
- Revised: Many woodlands, in fact, have been purchased for the purpose of
creating as public parks.
• There is a snow-capped mountain that appears on the
left, and there are storm clouds that are gathering in
- Revised: A snow-capped mountain appears on the left, and storm clouds
are gathering in the background.
• Avoiding grammatical errors
• Having clear structure sentence
• Avoiding problems with modifiers
• Limiting modifiers such as only, even, almost,
nearly, and just should appear in front of a
verb only if they modify the verb.
• Using parallel sentence structure
• Mary likes hiking, swimming, and
• Avoid unclear pronoun references
• This, that, these, those, he, she, it, they,
and we are useful pronouns for
referring back to something previously
1. There are children that are playing near the
base of the mountain.
Ans. Children are playing near the base of the
2. Our website has made available many of the
things you can use for making a decision on the
Ans. Our website presents criteria for
determining the best dentist.
3. Working as a pupil under someone who
develops photos was an experience that really
helped me learn a lot.
Ans. Working as a photo technician's
apprentice was an educational experience.
4. The teacher demonstrated some of the various
ways and methods for cutting words from my
essay that I had written for class.
Ans. The teacher demonstrated methods for
cutting words from my essay.
5. Many have made the wise observation that when
a stone is in motion rolling down a hill or incline
that that moving stone is not as likely to be covered
all over with the kind of thick green moss that
grows on stationary unmoving things and becomes a
nuisance and suggests that those things haven’t
moved in a long time and probably won’t move any
Ans. A rolling stone gathers no moss.
6. Ludwig's castles are an astounding marriage of
beauty and madness. By his death, he had
commissioned three castles.
Ans. Ludwig's three castles are an astounding
marriage of beauty and madness.
7. Industrial spying, because of the growing use
of computers to store and process corporate
information, is increasing rapidly.
Ans. Industrial spying is increasing rapidly
because of the growing use of computers to store
and process corporate information.
8. A decision was reached to postpone the vote.
Ans. The committee decided to postpone the
9. This report explains our investment growth
Ans. This report explains our projects to
stimulate growth in investments.
10. The implementation of the plan was
Ans. The plan was implemented successfully.