Your Readers will Benefit from the Signs you Post

Mono, ON (Adam Jones) Earlier this year, the editors of my marketing book asked me to include a summary of each chapter. I wasn’t cool with that. However, they insisted on it, so I did as they said.

While listening to an audio course the other day that ended each lecture with what would be covered in the next one, I realized they were right. Knowing where you’ve been and where you’re going is comforting for the reader or listener. You know, like the signs at the airport that reassure you that you’re heading in the right direction.

A reader-friendly signpost includes simple navigation (not cute or jargony labels); explanations of subjects you feel are obvious (they usually are not); links to related content; perhaps a glossary of specialized terms (I run across acronyms every day on marketing-related sites).

If you’re tempted to think, “It shouldn’t be necessary,” don’t listen to that guy. Be thoughtful and provide signposts for your users.

1 Comment

  1. The art of summarizing can be compared to the process of panning for gold. The method helps you find and highlight the main points in each paragraph. Knowing what’s in each paragraph and what it’s about is the key to learning. Then you’ll be able to create a summary statement that looks like gold. Make sure you include the main points, key ideas, and nothing else.

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