EXAMPLE of Highlighting – Study and Compare

Effectiveness Between the two Versions


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ORIGINAL VERSION of a company memo (main contents)



Sick leave shall be granted to employees when they are incapacitated for the performance of their duties by sickness, injury, pregnancy, or confinement, or for medical, dental, or optical examination or treatment, or when a member of the immediate family of the employee is affected with a contagious disease and requires care and attendance of the employee, or when, through exposure to contagious disease, the presence of the employee at his post of duty would jeopardize the health of others.


comment: This memo has all the information, but there are some problems preventing easy, clear communication.  Perhaps the writer should analyze his audience better and use language that everyone can understand (for example, “incapacitated” is not known by everyone).  Also, using highlighting will make this difficult paragraph easier to read (and even easy to look at before reading!).

See the highlight version below, which focuses on the main ideas/reasons of the paragraph.



EDITIED VERSION – Using Highlighting for Effectiveness


Employees are granted sick leave for these four reasons:


1) They cannot work because of sickness, injury, pregnancy or confinement


2) They need medical, dental or optical treatment


3) A member of their family has a contagious disease and needs their care


4) Their presence on the job would jeopardize others through exposure to contagious disease



Go to handout on Highlighting