Section Headings

Section headings are used to organize content on a page so text is easy to read and manage. They are necessary to help readers better understand your content, but too many headers may indicate that a page should be divided into smaller pages.

The style guidelines dictate which headlines should be used in specific situations. The title of the page appears at the top in the departmental color, and acts as the primary headline. Text should appear directly under this page title before any other headlines are used.

Headline Usage

The following three headline tags should be used as follows:

  • H6 is our standard headline and should appear the most often on a webpage.  If there is only one sub-section on a page, it should use an H6 headline.
    This is an example of an H6 headline.

  • H5 is the second most common headline on a page.  If you require two types of sub-sections, this one should be used first to divide the page into sections, with H6 headers dividing each H5 section further.
    This is an example of an H5 headline.

  • H4 headlines should only be used for pages that have three or more levels. Since only pages with large amounts of content will require this many levels, H4 headlines are rarely used on our site. They are most commonly used for table of contents, bylaws, legal documents, or other long pages of text that should not be divided onto separate pages.

    This is an example of an H4 headline.

Tips for Headline Usage
  • Since the page title is formatted into a page heading, it is unnecessary to place another headline directly below it. If you must place a headline just below a page title, an introductory sentence or paragraph is required to introduce the new section.
  • Shannon has come up with a way to help all you science majors remember the headline order. Using the biological classification of organisms (kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species), we can see how the three headlines should be used.
    • If we are only discussing kingdoms, each kingdom uses an H6 headline.
    • If we are talking about kingdoms and phyla, kingdoms use H5 headlines, and each phylum uses an H6 headline.
    • If kingdoms, phyla, and classes are being discussed, each kingdom used an H4, phyla use H5s and each class used an H6.
Last Updated: September 25, 2012