How to emphasize your message.

    © Kathryn Tosney
    Chair of Biology
    The University of Miami

Tosney home page
Society for Developmental Biology

5. Emphasize essential information.

State the take-home messages in large section headings.

    Be explicit

    Emphasize the message, not the categories

Section headings should emphasize the experimental logic by identifying the results explicitly.

“In situ hybridization” is noncommittal; "X is expressed in Y” is explicit.

“Results” is noncommittal;
“transgenics grow extra feet” is explicit.

Go beyond merely identifying meaningless categories like “Results” in section headings: state the message instead.

Forego the temptation to classify results by methods alone: a large heading that states only a method says that you care more about techniques than answers.


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examine positive series in order:
next: page 6 of positive examples

or compare corresponding examples:
negative example, page 5
1. negative
1. positive

2. negative
2. positive

7. negative
7. positive

8. negative
8. positive

3. negative
3. positive

4. negative
4. positive

9. negative
9. positive

10. negative
10. positive

5. negative
5. positive

6. negative
6. positive

11. negative
11. positive

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