How to Use the Stress Position Strategically


At the most general level, you can use the stress position to emphasize a point in a sentence:

Lines 9-21 show that when the compounds are compared in terms of the gross amount administered to the test animals in order to obtain the desired inhibition of xylene uptake, the (+) isomer is about 10 times as potent as the (-) isomer.

At present, excessive flows from rainfall and groundwater are entering the City of Hopewell and/or Churchville Sanitary District sewer systems, exceeding the transport capacity in some reaches of these systems. 

You can also use the stress position to create positive emphasis in your document and to focus on reader benefits:

If the summer is hot and very dry, Kentucky bluegrass may go dormant: although the leaves will brown and die, the crown and roots will remain alive and capable of regenerating the plant when moisture returns.

You can use the stress position to create "negative emphasis."

That is, if you're writing a persuasive document and need to convince your readers that they have a serious problem on their hands, then you can use the stress position to focus on these troubles – which you go on to show your plan will solve:

Currently, each student learns how to preflight the aircraft on a one-on-one basis with his or herindividual flight instructor over the course of many weeks. While generally effective, this individualized approach is quite labor-intensive, time-consuming, and apt to result in a lack of standardization. The individual flight instructor models his or her own procedures and providesvarious comments about the different tasks to be performed and the different significances of these tasks. After being walked through the procedure as many times as necessary, each individual student conducts the check while being monitored by his or her instructor. The instructor evaluates the student's success based upon her or his own particular criteria.

You can use the stress position as a signpost that alerts your reader about what will come next in your paragraph, section, or document.

At present, excessive flows from rainfall and groundwater are entering the City of Hopewell and/or Churchville Sanitary District sewer systems, exceeding the transport capacity in some reaches of these systems. We propose to. . . .