Tips for Managing Emphasis


Trim useless stuff from the end of the sentence. In the examples below, what should be emphasized is italicized:

Sociobiologists are claiming that genes determine our social behavior in the ways we act in everyday situations.

Sociobiologists are claiming that our genes determine our social behavior. 

Shift less important stuff away from the end of the sentence:

Why that first primeval super atom exploded and thereby created the universe cannot be explained in a few words.

No one can explain in a few words why that first primeval super atom exploded and thereby created the universe. 

Shift the most important stuff to the end of the sentence:

A discovery that will change the course of human history is imminent.

A discovery is imminent that will change the course of human history.

Most often, though, you have to disassemble the sentence and then reconstruct it:

Under the Act, new national standards for the treatment of industrial waste water prior to discharge into sewers leading to publicly owned treatment plants will be promulgated by the EPA, with pre-treatment standards for types of industrial sources being discretionary, depending on local conditions, instead of imposing nationally uniform standards presently required under the Act.

Under the Act, the EPA will promulgate new national standards for the treatment of industrial waste water prior to discharge into sewers leading to publicly owned treatment plants. Unlike standards required under the present act, the new standards will not be uniform across the whole nation. They will be discretionary, depending on local conditions.