Use boldface and underlining sparingly.

Bolding and underlining are good for the occasional emphasis of certain words, but using them too often is the hallmark of a bad essay. The problem is that boldfacing and italicizing are simply methods of making some text stand out among the other text; if you use them more than a couple of times, then the reader gets used to seeing the special formatting and doesn’t think it’s anything special anymore. Effect lost!

The content of your essay needs to speak powerfully for itself – you have to resist the urge to boldface or italicize every word you want to emphasize. Writing isn’t speaking; you can’t control exactly how the reader hears what you’re saying. You’ve got to let your writing speak for itself, and if you have to rely on bolded, underlined and italicized words to provide the emphasis every time you want to make a point, then you’ve probably written a weak essay.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top