Re: Single subheading allowed?

Subject: Re: Single subheading allowed?
From: Keith Hood <klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 07:30:15 -0700 (PDT)

Personally, wouldn't have a single subheading. Partly because that's something I was taught when I was doing docs that had to be structured according to Air Force ISD concepts. The rule was, if you don't have enough content to sensibly divide it into two subsections, you should put it all in one section. The logic behind that was, if there's so little content and you divide it anyway, the reader might get confused because there's two headings but the content is very similar, so he might wonder if the presence of one of the headings is a mistake.

(Yes, AFISD is built to take into account the possibility of a lot of readers with sub-average IQs.)

Another thought about not subdividing such content was, if you have that little content, perhaps you should go back and reconsider the structure of the document, and see if it would make sense to streamline it a bit. That thought actually has good value for the TW, because it provides a reason and a means of making the Table of Contents leaner and easier to read.

And I have to wonder - you're saying that in some buildings, the inhabitants will implement no more than ONE method of trying to conserve energy? That sounds odd. I mean, there's got to be all kinds of things that could be common to all buildings, like changing the thermostat settings or tightening the rules about turning off lights in unused areas or things like that. It seems that the document for every building could have a block of common topics, a chunk of boilerplate that, if used, would obviate any concerns about a single-division heading. Maybe you could point that out to the boss and that may even spark some more thought on their part about other measures they could enact.

--- On Wed, 7/9/08, Jeff Jansen <jeff2 -dot- 0 -at- modestsystems -dot- com> wrote:

> From: Jeff Jansen <jeff2 -dot- 0 -at- modestsystems -dot- com>
> Subject: Single subheading allowed?
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Date: Wednesday, July 9, 2008, 9:18 PM
> I'm developing a template in Microsoft Word for a
> client. It will be used to
> create documents that document energy-conservation measures
> (ECMs) installed
> in a series of buildings. There will be a separate document
> for each
> building. It makes sense to organize the document such that
> several sections
> of a document each have a subheading for each ECM in the
> building.
> The problem is that some buildings have only a single ECM,
> so the documents
> for those buildings would have some headings with only a
> single
> next-level-down subheading. This is usually considered a
> violation of
> document-structure conventions, so I'm asking for
> advice on how to deal with
> this situation.
> Since the heading will have its own copy text that does not
> apply
> specifically to an individual ECM, I don't think
> merging the subheading copy
> with the heading copy (that is, omitting the subheading
> altogether) is
> appropriate. So is it acceptable, for the sake of
> cross-document
> consistency, that some documents be allowed to violate the
> structure
> convention? Or is there some widely accepted method for
> dealing with this?
> Has anyone dealt with this or a similar situation in
> another way?


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Single subheading allowed?: From: Jeff Jansen

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