Start journaling your heart out today. Have your very own Journaling Kit™ shipped to your doorstep...FREE!

E-books Workshops
Free Course
Support Us
Founded April 2000. A Writer's Digest Magazine 101 best Web sites for writers (2001 & 2003)
Writing from the Inside Out by Dennis Palumbo
The Secret Behind Creativity REVEALED!
The Country Connection

Buy a novel by Lucille Bellucci at and receive these .pdf bonuses:

  • 17 Ways to Make Amazon Your River of Gold
  • Make Money with Radio
  • Success Bound
  • Book Promotion: NOT for Sissies
  • Harvey Mackay Rolodex
  • Top 20 Talk Radio Topics
  • Harrison Bonus
  • Million Dollar Rolodex

    E-mail Lucille at lucil95783 AT aol DOT com to claim your bonuses.
  • Write Any Book in 28 Days... Or Less!
    Write Any Book in 28 Days... Or Less! New course reveals fresh secrets. Click here to learn more.

    The Secret Behind Creativity REVEALED! It's all in the brainwaves. Find out here!

    EasyEbookPro Books

    Click here to advertise with us for 2 whole months for only $35!

    Home Articles

    Adding Emphasis to Plain Text Writin

    As an entrepreneur, you probably realize the importance of adding emphasis to your business writing -- as in the form of strong, underline and italics -- especially when creating advertising copy or ezine articles. The problem is how to add emphasis when writing copy that will be viewed as plain text.

    Here are some ideas to help you draw attention to your writing without the benefit of the popular word processing features.

    Use Asterisks

    Setting off a word or phrase with asterisks is the plain text equivalent of bold.

    Emphasis can be created in a *number* of ways when writing in plain text.

    Use Headings and Sub-Headings

    Headings, such as the one above, especially when set off by equal signs, carets, "greater than" symbols or dashes, work well to draw attention to important points in your text.

    Vary the Indentation

    Simply indenting a paragraph by one or two spaces draws added attention.

    Be sure to keep your indentation uniform, however.


    Uppercase letters are another great way to emphasize important points, but use them sparingly! One or two words is sufficient. Too many uppercase words has the same effective as shouting in your reader's face.

    Exclamation Points are Great, too!

    Use exclamation points to drive home your message. A sentence that ends in a period simply does not evoke the same response as the same sentence when followed by an exclamation mark.

    This is a great deal.

    This is a great deal!

    See the difference?

    Add a Little Dash

    One or two dashes -- preferably with a space on each side -- also works well to set off a sentence or line of text. Don't you agree?

    Create Paragraph "Borders"

    Dashes also take the place of horizontal lines and work well to create borders that set off full paragraphs of text.

    Remember that your spellcheck program
    looks for *correctly spelled words,* it doesn't
    determine if the word used is the proper
    one. You must still proofread!

    Reorder Your Words

    Simply changing the order of words in a sentence can change the emphasis.

    The sales manager posted the advertisement.

    It was the sales manager who posted the advertisement.

    Capitalize on Certain Words

    Capitalizing a word that is not typically capitalized is a great way to add empahsis.

    Proofreading is crucial to effective writing.

    Proofreading is Crucial to effective writing.

    Repeat Yourself

    Repetition of specific words can be extremely effective.

    To succeed, you must consider yourself successful.
    Act as if you're successful. Think as if you're successful.
    Talk as if you're successful. And you'll be successful.

    Break the Pattern

    Another possibility is to alter the pattern of repetition for emphasis.

    To succeed, you must consider yourself successful.
    Act as if you're successful. Think as if you're successful.
    Talk as if you're successful. Or you'll fail miserably.

    One final note... if you must err when adding empahsis to your writing, let it be on the side of understatement rather than overstatement. You'll present a much more polished and professional image with your writing.

    Copyright © 2000 Darlene Bishop

    Darlene Bishop is a Christian minister, speaker, freelance writer and editor with over 20 years experience. She has published numerous articles for both print and online publications. You can reach Darlene through her website at: or by email to

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ

    WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! Kick start your imagination, ignite your creativity, and begin your journey towards becoming an outstanding writer.

    Grab a copy of WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! from and receive 2 free e-books to encourage and nurture the writer in you. You'll also receive Write Memories, a journaling workbook available for free only to WEEKLY WRITES book owners. And finally, as a WEEKLY WRITES book owner, you'll have free access to e-mail courses such as JOYFUL WRITES: Celebrate Your Life through Writing

    For excerpts, reviews and what you need to do to receive the 2 free e-books, Write Memories and sign up for free e-mail courses, just head on to the Weekly Writes Book Official Site. (Clicking on the link will open a new window.)


    The Journaling Life: 21 Types of Journals You Can Create to Express Yourself and Record Pieces of Your Life

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between

    Journaling Kit - Four Journaling Books to help you put your life and memories on paper


    The Web
    This Site

    Celebrate Your Life through Writing

    Creative Nurturing of the Writer Within

    6 Approaches to Journaling

    21 Ways to Jumpstart Your Muse

    Imagery in Writing


    Children's Writing
    Freelance Writing
    Science Fiction & Fantasy
    Technical Writing


    The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publishers Won't by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

    WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! by Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

    Home | Articles | Columns | Workshops | E-books | Free Course | Quotes | E-zines | Top Fives | Support Us
    © Copyright 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ & The e-Writer's Place.
    Materials appearing in this Web site are owned and copyrighted by their respective authors and/or writers. Please read our Privacy Policy and TOS. No part of this website may be reproduced without consent from its owner. Original site design by Shery Russ. Hosting & maintenance by
    WriteSparks! Lite free software for writers
    Our sister sites: | | | | | | | | Writers Web Designs | | Aspiring Authors | Books | | | | | |