Look at this typical structure for written

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Look at this typical structure for written communication, whether short message or longer text: Reason for writing Problem or Objectiv e Solution or Strategy Closing comment Identify the four stages in Version B on the previous page. 11 © CPBE 2019
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Formatting: Designing your text visually “Don’t send me thick grey clouds on the page! My time is valuable. Direct my eyes to the important stuff.” – Insurance broker, New York. Source: Andrus, C: Fat-free Writing. Crisp Publications. 2000. Text is also easier-on-the-eye. You can make documents easier to read by making them more visually appealing. Here are five ways to do this: 1 Use lists, labels, bullets, bolding, underlining , and eye-catching symbols e.g. , This will help you present information clearly. 2 Use headings to highlight key sections of text . Examples: Problem(s) Purpose Background Possible Solution(s) Advantages Disadvantages Action to take Costs Recommendation(s) 3 Left-justify your text . Notice that the text on page 8 is justified differently to the text on page 7. On page 7, the text is fully justified (i.e. each line is exactly the same width). The text on page 8 is left-justified only. Research shows this is easier to read 4 Use serif-fonts for continuous text Serif fonts have letters with little lines on their ends. Sans serif fonts do not. Times New Roman is a serif font Arial is a sans serif font Palatino Linotype is a serif font Tahoma is a sans serif font Research shows that people read serif fonts faster , and with less eye-strain. By contrast, sans-serif fonts can be very effective as headings. 5 Leave plenty of white space. Spacing is also a visual tool for highlighting information. Leave lots of white space and see how your message jumps off the page as a result. 12 © CPBE 2019
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1.3 Frontloading key information One key way to make your document easy to use is to ask yourself the following questions: a. Who is my reader? b. What does s/he already know about the subject that I’m going to write about? c. Why am I writing? - Do I want to inform the reader about something? If so, what? - Do I want the reader to do something? If so, what? Then, open your text by answering c. for the benefit of your reader. This is called frontloading your text. Frontloading helps the reader(s) to immediately understand what you are writing about and makes your text easier to navigate. Look at this example of a text that is not frontloaded: To: All Staff The University periodically conducts a campus-wide check on room utilization, and takes a serious view against any violations of the regulations on classroom booking, and failure to observe such regulations will result in imposition of heavy penalty. In more serious sense, these violation records will form the basis of consideration for future allocation of classrooms.
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