Poor use of the page

This is another common error that can creep up on advisers who roll their SOA templates forward from one client to the next. Common errors include:

Leaving more than one line between paragraphs.  Modern writing uses only one space between paragraphs, because it looks better. It really does. If advisers really want to use two spaces between paragraphs, they should use two spaces every time. A problem arises when SOAs use one space sometimes, two spaces sometimes and three spaces sometimes.

The key is to be consistent. Decide how many spaces you want and stick with it.

Inconsistent indentations. The indentation is the distance from the left hand side of the page to the first word of each line of text. Sometimes within the same SOA, these differ even for paragraphs of similar importance and purpose. The actual distance of the indentation is not that important; what is important is that the distance used is standard throughout the document.

It is sometimes a good idea to indent further a bullet point or extract or some other form of text that benefits from being differentiated from the other text within the document. Something like the following:

This is a normal paragraph:

  1. This is the first bullet point; and
  2. This is the second bullet point. Both bullet points are indented more than the preceding text.

Poor pagination. Poor pagination is where the way things are laid out on the page is inappropriate. A very common example is where a heading appears on the last line of a page, followed immediately by a break in the page. What the author should do is use a page break and place the heading on the top of the next page.

In Microsoft Word, the page break is accessed by clicking on the INSERT tab at the top left of the document, and then clicking on Page Break, as follows:

insert-page-break-ms-word

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