• 4 hours
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Last updated on 2/11/20

Identify your target

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You now need to identify your target. This will also allow you to select your medium and choose between the drafting options.

Identify the type of recipient

Professional written documents may be intended to be internal or external to the organisation.

Written documents intended to be internal to the organisation include, in particular:

  • internal reports;

  • emails giving work instructions or taking stock of the organisation;

  • instruction notes;

  • internal training; and

  • information distributed over an intranet or an internal email system.

Written documents intended as external to the organisation include, in particular:

  • Letters

  • Emails

  • Press releases

  • Advertising

  • Written documents intended for publication on the organisation’s website or on social networks (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook etc.)

Suit your writing to your target

Personalise your writing

Personalise your professional written documents as much as possible, especially emails. The reader will feel much more involved. In particular, suit the salutation (i.e. the first words of your document), to the target.

For the first few sentences, start if possible with a formula such as “As agreed / as mentioned when …”, this will enable you to personalise your message and to set the context, which will help your reader understand the issues faster.

Give preference to normal language that everyone understands. This will avoid blunders and will be simpler for you.

Adapt the first few lines to your recipient

To anticipate how your document will be received, put yourself in your recipient’s shoes.

  • The recipient wants a clear text, i.e. one that doesn’t require any effort on their part to understand. So, show you can use teaching skills.

  • When they receive your document, the reader will not want to have to make an effort to research additional information. Your document must be concise but complete.

  • Finally, you need to ask yourself before writing why your reader would care to spend time reading what you have written: will they get new information? Be able to decide on an action to take? Will they learn something? So, ensure that your writing meets their needs.

Example of an introductory summary:

Dear Matthew,

As mentioned during the meeting on the 12th March, I am getting back to you about the possibility of obtaining a corporate donations tax rebate for donations made in 2017.

Donations made in 2017 can qualify for a corporate donations tax rebate of 60% of the amount given.

The conditions of substance and form to be complied with are as follows:

(…)

Best regards,

Thomas

You now know how to draft your professional written documents according to your goal and the target. Next, learn how to choose the most appropriate medium.

Example of certificate of achievement
Example of certificate of achievement