Appendix 2: Writing Guidelines for Communications
Here are some guidelines to help you keep your writing appropriate
to your readers’ needs
- Have a clear purpose.
- Know your audience: what do they need to know? What do they get
- Put the most important information first; get right to the point.
- Use headings and sub-headings to guide readers.
- Use lists, point form, tables, and question-and-answer formats
to make the document easier to read.
- Use clear, straightforward sentences.
- Use a sentence to convey only one idea.
- Prefer a familiar word to an unfamiliar word.
- Explain technical words or concepts that you cannot avoid.
- Choose a type style and size that are easy to read.
- Use upper and lower case, not all capital letters, in text.
- Use line lengths, margins, and line spacing that are appropriate
to the text.
- Address your readers directly in a straight-forward and up-front
- Emphasize the positive.
Check with your readers
You can use focus groups, evaluation forms, or surveys, or you can test
informally with people you know who might be part of the audience or
who know the audience well.