Guidelines for Communicating in Writing

For those who wish to communicate in writing here are some basic guidelines. A well written document will get the task done better. You will be admired for your ability to communicate clearly and effectively.

Content Plan

  • If there is a conclusion in the piece, please consider placing the conclusion first and the explanation later.
  • If it is a long piece, please state the key points at the start as far as possible. Please also consider having a small summary at the start.
  • One paragraph for one idea will help bring clarity to the content.
  • Please make the key points for the paragraph at the start of the paragraph as far as possible.
  • Please provide descriptive sub headings for each paragraph.
  • Plan to get the reader’s attention. You can then be generous and make as many points as you feel are relevant.

Writing Style

  • As far as possible please use simple words.
  • As far as possible please be concise.
  • Please use short sentences. Sentences of more than 25 words should be avoided as far as possible.
  • If you are writing for the internet, please remember a conversational tone works better than a formal tone.

Formatting & Display

  • Please make paragraphs of 20 to 150 words as far as possible. 70 words is a good average paragraph length.
  • If you can use either a bullet list or a paragraph, please choose to go with a bullet list. Please avoid long lists though. If the list is longer than 10 items, please consider breaking it up into more than one list.
  • Please pass the written content through a spell check.
  • Please proof read it for errors that spell check will not catch. Like misspelling can as van.
  • Please provide expanded forms of acronyms used if the acronym is not widely used.
  • You can also use bold letters within a paragraph for emphasis.

Use of images & videos is very helpful

  • If possible please plan for one or more images for each paragraph of 20 to 150 words or thereabouts. Please provide a brief description of a suitable image for the context. A resource will be provided to click and process images.
  • Please plan for videos to support your content, specially for the internet. They can make a big difference to the depth of the content. It is easy to make videos now since most cameras can take videos of acceptable quality for the internet.

(content courtesy IIT Kanpur)