Manuscript Preparation, Copyediting, and Proofreading

Q. The levels of the subheads in a MS I’m editing are confusing. For instance, in chapter 1, all the subheads appear to be level 1 (based on the way the author has sent them, typeface-wise), but then under a level 1, there is sometimes a level 3 with no intervening level 2. Maybe the author was just inconsistent with his use of bold and italics for heads. I guess if it doesn’t make sense when I’m reading I should just query?

A. Yes, and perhaps ask the author to label the subheadings with numbers or letters in order to clarify their hierarchy. Remember that it’s fine to skip a level here and there so that similar content will be headed at the same level of importance or organization across all the chapters.