25 PRS Proofreading and Editing Service PhD Experts • All Academic Areas • Fast Turnaround • High Quality 3.1 titles, Headings and subheadings: not Just Fancy words Although journals differ in the amount of detail they provide about the kind of titles, headings and subheadings they want authors to use, most journals offer some instructions on how to format these elements, and since headings in general are probably the single most immediately visible aspect of your paper, following those instructions to the letter is vital. If a journal’s guidelines ask that the title contain no more than 80 characters, use capitals for the first letter of both the title and the subtitle and include no abbreviations, then your title should observe all of these requirements. If the guidelines indicate that the abstract should be divided into sections using particular headings in italic font with each followed by a colon also in italic font, then you should format your abstract in precisely this way. If the guidelines insist that all first-level headings should appear in 14-point bold font and sport capitals on every main word, all second-level headings should appear in 12-point italics with only the first letter uppercase, and all third-level headings should be in bold font and tucked into the beginning of paragraphs as a short sentence and followed by a full stop (also in bold), then your headings should use these formats consistently and accurately. In many cases, the headings themselves, especially for the first level, will be specified in the journal guidelines as well: Background, Methodology, Results, Discussion and Conclusions, for instance. If this is the case with the journal to which you’re submitting your paper, you should do your very best to use these headings. If absolutely necessary, you can add a colon and brief subtitle to designated headings – Background: Previous Trials and Literature, for example, or Methodology: Participants and Questionnaires – but these extra words can instead become subheadings or second-level PARt II: PRePARIng, PResentIng And PolIsHIng YoUR woRk