The Journal of Extension -

June 2015 // Volume 53 // Number 3 // Editorial // v53-3ed1

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Extension & Heading Hierarchy

In "Extension & Heading Hierarchy," I explain that it's JOE style to capitalize the first letter of Extension and that CES is not used. I also explain that you shouldn't have only a single subheading in a larger section That's not good style—in JOE or anywhere. In "June JOE," I talk about the two Commentaries in the issue and point out that the topics of April's two Commentaries are addressed in four articles in June.

Laura Hoelscher
Editor, Journal of Extension
Department of Agricultural Communication
Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana

Extension & Heading Hierarchy


An underscore beneath a letter is a printers proof mark to indicate that the letter should be capitalized. I've included it above to emphasize that JOE style is to capitalize the first letter of Extension. (The exception, of course, is eXtension.)

Speaking of Extension, it's also JOE style to use that word as the permissible shorthand for Cooperative Extension Service or Cooperative Extension System. No CES, please.

Heading Hierarchy

I've written about headings before, in "Headings Help Readers & Authors" <>," a link on the Help for JOE Authors page <>. There, I talked about how headings and subheadings help readers to navigate and authors to organize their thoughts. Headings and subheadings are also a way to increase accessibility of text.

I said something about heading hierarchy, though, which is ignored all too often:

A word to the wise when it comes to second- and third-level subheadings. You should provide at least two sections with subheadings when you "divide" a larger section, because the result of division must logically be more than a single unit. If you can't come up with a second subheading, maybe subheadings are, in that case, inappropriate, and you should consider recasting your higher level heading, instead.

I had to remove single subheadings from a number of articles in this issue. I shouldn't have had to. So, if you find you have a single subheading in a section, it's a signal that something's wrong and that you should rethink your heading hierarchy.

June JOE

The first Commentary, "A Call to Embrace Program Innovation" <>, maintains that "it is critical for Extension to embrace the innovation at the core of our birth and success." The second, "Injecting Extension into the American Zeitgeist" <>, certainly calls for innovation: "Extension should examine popular culture and realize that story-driven and relatable visual media, such as television and film, are what capture the public interest."

The topics of the two Commentaries in the April issue, "The Role of Extension in Energy Education" <> and "Farmers and Health Care Reform: A Challenge and Opportunity for Extension" <> are also addressed in this issue. See "Building Sustainability in Gas- and Oil-Producing Communities" <>, "The Oil and Gas Boom: Basic Information About Oil and Gas Activities for Extension Professionals" <>, "Strategic Directions for Extension Health and Wellness Programs" <>, and "You and Health Insurance: Making a Smart Choice for Farm Families" <>.

That's just six out of 34 articles in the June issue—every one of which is well worth reading.