How can I emphasise points visually

■ make use of tables, graphs, charts and other visual forms of illustration in support of your written text. It is easier for many readers to extract information from a diagram than to follow the detail of your written argument. However, you should realise that the more tables you include, the less will be the impact of each.

■ visually, text that has white space around it stands out more than something that is surrounded by a lot of other text. Therefore

* make use of headings, separated from the body of writing

* occasionally break up your paragraph into bullet points. (Though this should not be overused, except perhaps in a report where it is more acceptable)

Gallium arsenide is a remarkable material with a battery of useful qualities:

■ It moves electrons around three to six times faster than silicon.

■ It emits light - something silicon cannot do.

■ It absorbs sunlight more efficiently than silicon, making possible better solar cells

■ It uses less power than silicon.

* make sure you put the main idea at the start or at the end of your paragraph so that its importance is not concealed by other sentences around it

* vary the length of your sentences, and of your paragraphs. In particular, sentences or paragraphs that are shorter than the norm do stand out.

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