General Education

How to Use H2s (Also: What Are H2s?)

How to Use H2s (Also: What Are H2s?)
H2s are the subheadings that break your article into chunks of relevant information. Image from Unsplash
Merin Curotto profile
Merin Curotto October 7, 2019

H2s are the subheadings that break your article into chunks of relevant information.

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For articles that break out multiple components of earning a degree or pursuing a career type—or, really, any "guide" that walks readers through steps or common questions—at the end of your introduction, give readers a preview of what's to come. Use bullet points, and make them as straightforward and specific as possible. These bullets will also become your H2s, which are the subheadings that break up your article.

How to Use H2s

H2s are used to outline your article for the reader. For example, because this article is all about H2s, a good outline might look like this:

In this section, we'll cover

  • What are H2s?
  • Why are H2s important?
  • What are the best H2s?
  • Resources for writing H2s
  • And so on...

If you already know everything there is to know about writing introductions and think you landed here by accident, consider checking out other Noodle resources, like:

What are H2s? (Hint: You're reading one.)

H2s are the subheadings that break your article into chunks of relevant information.

1. H2s help readers find information quickly.

Most people scan an article before they read it. H2s make articles easy to scan.

2. H2s tell search engines we're writing good stuff.

Search engines use H2s to identify the structure and content of your article—and if those search engines (let's be honest: Google) deem the structure and content of your article to be high quality, they'll deliver your article to readers in search results. Think about the last time you Googled something. Did you click to the second page of the search results? Probably not. So, we use H2s to get on the first page of search results—ideally, in the top position.

What are the best H2s?

Usually, the best H2s are the questions your article will answer. Even if you're writing a personal essay, questions still make great H2s (example: "Why did I drop out of college?").

To figure out the best H2s for your article, start by making a list of questions you think readers want to be answered. Now, use those questions to (H2s) to guide your writing. Review those questions again when you have finished writing to make sure you have addressed them all (some may be redundant or irrelevant, in which case it is fine not to address them).

When it comes to writing H2s, above all, be straightforward. H2s don't always need to be questions, but they do always need to be clear. Subheadings (H2s) that are too quirky will likely confuse readers. So, please don't waste time writing New York Post-quality headers—there are other places to get creative.

Resources for writing H2s:

Pro Tip: Use bullet points and numbers to make information easy to read.

Like H2s, bullet points and numbers also make articles easy to skim. Without forcing it, use bullets and numbers whenever possible.

Common ways to use bullets and numbers in articles include:

  • Step-by-step guides
  • Listing skills, requirements, considerations
  • Comparing careers, schools, degrees
  • Breaking down the pros and cons
  • Sharing recommended resources

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