Can an Essay Have Subheadings, Subtitles or Subtopics? | Assignment Collections |


Some argue that an essay doesn’t contain subheadings, subtitles, or subtopics. Others would contend the opposite. No matter how you slice it, using subheadings, subtitles and subtopics are essential for communicating your ideas efficiently while avoiding confusing your readers.

Can an essay have subheadings, subtitles, or subtopics? Many students wonder about this, especially those just beginning to write essays. Fortunately, the answer is “yes” – your essay does have subheadings and other divisions within the essay. Subtopics can be used to organize the material in longer essays.

Before you start thinking about writing the body of your essay, it is important to organize the information you want to present, and many students forget this very important step. The most popular way of organizing information in an essay is by using headings, subtitles, and subtopics. You may be wondering if an essay can have subtitles. Yes, sure, it can and here is how.

What are Subheadings in a Paper?

Subheadings are smaller titles that appear below the main heading or above a section of text. Subheadings are a part of the outline for a longer paper. They help organize the paper and make it easier to read. They also divide up the information in a paper into easily digestible sections.

The first paragraph of each section should begin with a topic sentence that clearly states what the section is about. This helps readers immediately understand where they are in the paper, even if they have never seen it before.

Subheadings are useful because they help organize your thoughts, but they don’t need to be used all across your paper. For instance, you might use subheadings when discussing different topics within one section or every other paragraph within a single topic. In general, you should use subheadings when:

  • Your topic is complex and requires many points to be discussed;
  • You have many different points to make on one particular topic; or
  • You think readers will find it helpful or interesting to see how your ideas fit together.

How to Write Subtitles in an Essay

A good subtitle should be catchy, informative and relevant to the main topic. You can use words like “how to” or “why.” The point of your subtitle should be to help readers understand what they will learn from reading your essay.

You can also use subtitles as hooks, especially if you are writing an academic essay like an MLA paper, where every sentence counts toward your word count. The following are some tips on how to write a subtitle in an essay:

  • Try framing your question as the heading

The use of a question as a heading can entice readers to keep reading. All you have to do is make sure the solution is presented early on. This advice is especially useful for non-fiction readers.

  • Be as clear and unambiguous as possible

To attract more readers, craft a headline that does not waste their time getting to the point. Subheadings, even if they’re just simple, give readers a break and make it easier for them to decide whether or not to continue reading.

Headings do not require bold, italics, or underlining. When put together, they’re too much. It’s just a little bit of guts. Also, no need to shout in capital letters. They make it harder for everyone to read quickly and efficiently.

  • Keep the typeface simple and neat

Experts disagree on which font is easiest to read, but I agree with the consensus that serif fonts like Times New Roman are ideal for body copy. Sans serif fonts, like Arial, work best for headings.

  • Make use of headings and subheadings to arrange your data better

Use short subheadings that tell the reader what to expect next if you want to appeal to a larger audience. Don’t waste your readers’ time the next time you sit down to write; instead, use these easy strategies to hook and keep them.

Format for the 5 APA-style Heading Levels

Uses the format shown here for the five levels of headings required by APA style. Though the headings in the sample are titled “First Level,” “Second Level,” and so on, your paper’s headings should be more specifically titled to reflect the content they describe.

The first level

Each word in a heading at the top level is capitalized and italicized, and the heading itself is bold and centred. Please start typing your paragraph on the new line below, indenting it five spaces to the left.

Second level

The second-level heading is bolded, aligned flush left, and all the initial letters of the words in the heading are capitalized. Paragraph text should start on a new line, five spaces to the left of the previous line.

Third level

Subheading 3 is bold, aligned five spaces to the left, and terminated with a period. All proper nouns and headings should be capitalized. The first paragraph that follows this heading should be typed on the same line.

Fourth level

It uses bold, italics, a five-space left indent, and a period for the fourth level of the heading. Only the first letter of the heading and proper nouns should be capitalized. The first paragraph that follows this heading should be typed on the same line.

Fifth Level

The period comes after the italicized, five-space-to-the-left-aligned heading for the fifth level. All proper nouns and headings should be capitalized. The first paragraph that follows this heading should be typed on the same line.

11 Benefits of Using Subtopics

The following are some advantages of using subtopics:

  1. It helps readers understand complex topics better: When you write about a complex topic in detail, readers will find it difficult to understand everything at once. Using subtopics can help break down your main idea into smaller parts so that readers can focus on one aspect at a time.
  2. It helps writers organize their thoughts: If you are writing an article that covers several aspects of a topic, subtopics will help you organize your thoughts and ideas on each aspect separately before compiling them into one main article or post. This will make it easier for readers to follow along and for writers like yourself who do not have much experience writing long posts or articles yet.
  3. It makes your content SEO-friendly, which improves your website’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). This can help you get more traffic from organic search and ultimately increase your website or blog sales. They also help with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) because search engines like Google rank websites higher when they have well-written articles with keywords throughout them!
  4. It creates a sense of structure and organization for readers who visit your website or blog for information about a specific topic that interests them most about the subject matter at hand. For example, suppose you’re writing about how to build a new deck in your home. In that case, you can break down the process into different steps, such as getting permits, choosing materials and tools, building the frame, installing rails and stairs, etc., so that readers don’t have to go through all of your content just to find what they’re looking for; they can simply scroll down until they reach the section that interests them most and starts reading there instead (which will also make them happier customers).
  5. Subtopic pages are easier to rank for your target keyword(s) because they’re generally more specific than the broader parent page they belong to.
  6. Google tends to prefer subtopics over its parent pages when it comes to choosing which one it ranks at the top of its search results. If you have many subtopics about one main topic, Google will choose which subtopic best suits a particular user’s needs. This means that you can use subtopics to optimize your website for multiple search terms at once!
  7. Subtopic pages tend to attract more links from other sites than their parent pages do because they are more specific (and thus relevant), which makes them more likely to be shared on social networks and other websites.
  8. You can create an outline for each subtopic that is specific to your paper’s content and structure; this will help direct your research and make it easier to organize your thoughts in writing.
  9. Since each subtopic has its own unique information, each one will also have its own bibliography page at the end of your research paper; this means that there won’t be any duplicate citations within the body of the text itself because each citation will only appear once in the bibliography section at the end of your research paper!
  10. By using subtopics, you can provide more details about your products/services without making it too complicated for customers to read through them all at once
  11. Subtopics allow users to skim through your website without having to read everything at once – this makes things simpler for them!

The Best Way to Write Subheadings

Subheadings are one of the most important components of any business document. They help the reader to follow your writing and understand the content easily. The best ways to write subheadings are below:

First, let’s take a look at some of the things that people look for when it comes to writing good subheadings:

  • The content should be informative
  • It should be written in an active voice
  • The headings should be concise
  • The headings must contain catchy titles.

1. Employ a symmetrical framework

Similarities in word or phrase patterns are known as parallel structures. They facilitate the reader’s understanding of your message. Headings that use the same grammar are easier to remember and stand out more. For instance, consider the following:

Title of article: Advice on Laying Tiles in Your Own Home

  • Subheader 1: Preparing Your House
  • Subheader 2: Identifying the Best Tiles
  • Subheading 3: Understanding Your Lateral Tilt
  • Subheading 4: Tiling and Fastening
  • Subheading 5: Allowing Ceramic Tiles to Air Dry

Grammar-wise, the subheadings in the preceding examples are consistent because they all use words with the same ending pattern (-ing). Such as obtaining, selecting, determining, etc. Using verbs (such as evaluate, write, and edit) or a question format for each subheading is another example of parallel structure use in headings.

2. Keep it fun, but relevant

Subheadings that try to be funny by using puns or cliches may come off as trite to the reader. Sometimes writers rely on tools like puns, phrases, or clichéd sayings when they are unsure of how to describe the paragraph they have written in a more succinct, real way; naming a section in your dating article “Its Raining Men!” might feel like a fun choice.

  • Please explain the relevance of this paragraph.
  • Which of the following best summarizes the key point(s) of this paragraph?
  • To what end am I presenting this paragraph?

You may find the answers lead you to a subheading that serves as a preview for your paragraph. Perhaps “The Best Places to Meet Men” would make a more appropriate subheading. Since they have an idea of what they’re getting into, the reader will be more motivated to keep going.

3. Adjust the length of any subheadings 

Though the subheadings’ contents may vary, they should all be the same length for coherence’s sake. If some are very short while others are very long, it will be very noticeable to the reader. Subheadings should not be too long (no more than five or six words) so that the impact of the sentence is not diminished. Subheadings necessitate a high degree of word economy or the art of selecting words with minimal repetition because each and every one of those words must be used to maximum effect.

4. Drop the coded language

A common pitfall of coming up with subheadings is the instinct to make them clever. This is great because it increases the likelihood of a successful subheading being both interesting and original; however, it is important not to mislead the reader.

5. To introduce new topics

Use subheadings as an opportunity to introduce new topics and tie them together logically with other parts of your document. A good way to do this is by using an introductory phrase before each subheading, such as “Next,” or “Also.” For example:

  • “What Are Subheadings?”
  • “Why Use Subheadings?”
  • “When Should You Use Subheadings?”

6. Ensure your writing style and tone are consistent

You should make sure that the writing style and tone are consistent throughout your entire article. If you have been using informal language, then you should continue using the same tone for all your headings as well. You can also use bold fonts for headings if you want them to stand out from the rest of your content. Make sure that your headings do not contain too many words so that reading becomes easier for users and also ensure that there are no grammatical errors in them so that readers get an accurate idea about your content from first glance itself.

Bottom Line

An essay can have subtitles, subtopics and sub-sections when you are writing on a topic that needs appropriate explanation or details. You can use subtitles to divide the overall topic into smaller sections, which is helpful in putting across an argument or proving points. Subtopics can be used to provide details of some specific aspect in a particular section.


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