Handling Attention Points: Data, Charts and Graphics
When readers first scan your text they will pay disproportionate attention to any organizers and summaries they encounter, but also to visually distinctive ‘attention points’ which stand out from the main text — especially tables, charts, diagrams, maps, photographs and text boxes. At this ‘eye-balling’ stage readers will often try to make sense of each attention point on its own, without reading closely the accompanying text, since they are trying to decide whether to focus down for serious study, and where. If data presentation is important to your thesis, or other elements play a key role in the exposition (for instance, diagrams in a theoretical argument or photographs in project work), then how you handle attention points will strongly influence readers’ views of the professionalism of your approach. Even if attention points are few and far between in your text, PhD examiners and subsequent readers (such as journal editors and reviewers) will expect them to be competently delivered. Later, too, you will go to conferences, and have only 15 or 20 minutes to give an oral presentation, or possibly secure only a poster session in a crowded conference venue. On these occasions people focus a lot of attention on your presentation slides or other exhibits. Usually these slides will either be versions of your existing attention points or designed on similar principles.
KeywordsCataract Operation Main Text Decimal Point Health Board Attention Point
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