Basic Book Design/Emphasizing Words

Amateur writers emphasize words with CAPITAL LETTERS, underlining, bold, or larger letters.

Professional writers instead use italics to emphasize words.

Amateurs go on and on with really long emphasized sentences. Sometimes they emphasize entire paragraphs.

Professionals emphasize only one word, or a few words.

What about emphasizing a word in an emphasized sentence? The standard form is that in an italic sentence, the emphasized word is not in italics. Instead consider using bold italics to emphasize a word in an italic sentence.


Don't use very, really, or just. These words are just never really necessary, and always make you sound very amateurish. (Read that sentence again, removing just, really, and very.)

The compound word sky-rocketing means that the speaker is reporting a problem someone should do something about—as in, someone other than the speaker. E.g., “Dog poop in parks is sky-rocketing!”