Make it scannable

A quick guide on how to make your first draft scannable, while writing for the Wednesday website.

When busy developers read technical content, they often quickly scan through to find what they’re interested in. Here are some things you can do to help with that.

  • Don’t be wordy: Remove excess words and say things concisely. To do this, here are tons of great tips.

  • Keep paragraphs short: Keep paragraphs nice and short (1-3 sentences max) for easy reading/scannability.

  • Break into short sections: Break your article into sections with section headings, too. Don’t let sections get too long. Readers appreciate opportunities to take a rest!

  • Descriptive section headings: Headings should be short and descriptive, covering what’s inside the section (such as “Drawing Arcs”), rather than something “funny” (like “Launching the Arc-Capacitor”). This makes it easier to scan.

  • Use lists: Whenever you’re describing a list of terms and definitions, rather than using paragraphs, put the content in an ordered or bulleted list. Use the format [bolded term]: definition - just like you see in this list!

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