Today’s topic is emphasis. When you’re talking, you can use your voice, eyes, face, and hands to emphasize particular points. Writers do the same thing, but in different ways.
Here’s an example. A few months ago I edited a press release about a local mathematics team. The original press release started something like this (I’m making up the details):
The Central Florida Collegiate Mathematics Tournament was held on November 13 and 14 in Smithville. The Sabal Palm College Mathematics Team won first place and took home a trophy and a $500 prize.
Here’s how I revised it:
The Sabal College Mathematics Team won first prize in The Central Florida Collegiate Mathematics Tournament, held on November 13 and 14 in Smithville.
I made the story more emphatic by putting the most important information first in the story: Our team won first prize.
Sentences often contain multiple pieces of information. It’s a good idea to decide what you want to emphasize and put that first. Take a look at these examples:
Under the leadership of coach Joan Paine, the Sabal College Mathematics Team recently won first prize in The Central Florida Collegiate Mathematics Tournament. [emphasis on the coach]
In a challenging math tournament, the Sabal College Mathematics Team recently won a trophy and a $500 prize. [emphasis on the tournament]
Sabal College is proudly displaying a beautiful trophy won by its mathematics team at a recent tournament. [emphasis on the college]
Coming soon: More ways to emphasize important facts and ideas.