Emphasis means relative stress. In composition, emphasis is the principle that re-
quires that more important thoughts be made to stand out from less important
thoughts. Your composition is properly emphatic when your reader knows, without
thinking the matter over, which thoughts you consider most important, which less,
and which least important.

Clearness in writing is largely a matter of unity, coherence, and emphasis. It is
necessary, of course, that the writer's ideas be clear to begin with. But unity, co-
herence, and emphasis go far to make sure that these ideas will also become clear
to the reader.

What unifies a composition often makes it coherent and lends it proper emphasis —
and vice versa. Hence there is a certain amount of overlapping in fact and in rule.

Emphasis in the sentence

Save the independent clause of a sentence for the main idea; and do not put two
ideas into two independent clauses unless the ideas are of equal or very nearly im-

Put emphasis in a sentence by arranging a series in the order of climax:important
idea, more important idea, most important idea.

Do not admit a word by which a sentence does not gain in pleasant clarity.

Occasionally, but not regularly, give emphasis to an idea by saying in so many
words that it is important.

Occasionally, but not regularly, give emphasis to a word or an expression by taking
it out of its usual place in a sentence or clause and placing it at the beginning or at
the end. Take care to do this without awkwardness or loss of clarity.

There is a strong literary flavor about many inverted sentence orders. In very nat-
ural, informal, conversational or matter-of-fact writing, be careful to use only
those that do not sound grand — too big for the subject matter, the mood of the
piece, or the audience.

Emphasize thoughts by repeating them; but do this only sparingly.

Suspense sentences

Suspense could be defined as a state in which the person does not yet know, but
wants to know, and feels that he will get to know. Its effect is to sharpen the im-
pact, the importance, the appeal of the thing that one wants to know.

Occasionally write a rather long sentence in which you do not release the predicate
verb or (in the case of a complex sentence) the independent clause until the end or
nearly the end of the sentence.