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Appendix 8. Heads: Guidelines for Dividing Lines

Contents Back Appendix 9: Scientific Abbreviations

Appendix 8. Heads: Guidelines for Dividing Lines

When you are proofreading lengthy heads and need to decide either where to make a break or whether a particular break is a poor one, please refer to these guidelines for assistance. The first principle is to avoid divisions that might confuse readers; the second is to avoid unaesthetic divisions. At times the only solution is to divide a head in an unaesthetic place or to break one rule to follow another; just do the best you can in the space you have. You should follow the guidelines as closely as you reasonably can. If you are proofreading, please query changes rather than marking them, unless you are absolutely certain that a break is unacceptable.

  • Don’t divide a single word between lines.
  • Avoid splitting closely related terms or groups of words, including
hyphenated words    
The Secret to Making
Goal-Oriented Decisions
not The Secret to Making Goal-
Oriented Decisions
proper names (of people, places, or things)    
The Life of Abraham Lincoln,
Our Illustrious President
not The Life of Abraham
Lincoln, Our Illustrious. . .
The Uptown New York City
Athletic Association
not The Uptown New York
City Athletic Association
an adjective, pronoun, article, or preposition and a noun    
Art. 28. "Grand Technique Holds"
(Greco and Freestyle)
not Art. 28. "Grand Technique
Holds" (Greco and Freestyle)
Tips for Increasing
Your Income Now
not Tips for Increasing Your
Income Now
How to Evaluate
a Prospective Employee
not How to Evaluate a
Prospective Employee
General Specifications
for All Foil Equipment
not General Specifications for
All Foil Equipment
  • Split at natural breaks:

1. Before a conjunction (and, or, but, etc.)
2. Before an opening parenthesis
3. After punctuation (e.g., comma, colon, em dash)

  • Keep multiple lines balanced in length.

Contents Back Appendix 9: Scientific Abbreviations




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