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Draft

Start by writing a rough draft of your message. Concentrate on the message you need to communicate and think about the best way to make it relevant and interesting to your target audience.

Don’t worry too much about getting the words exactly right to start with. If you find it hard to get going, jot down the main ideas as bullet points first and then turn them into sentences later.

Put the important information up the top, then fill in the details below. Background information or links to more information can be inserted at the end.

A useful tactic for writing long messages is to write the subheadings first, making sure they are structured logically, and then fill in the sentences and paragraphs underneath each one.

Less is more

Limit your message to one single idea or piece of information. Use the tips in the writing toolkit to shorten your message by cutting out unnecessary words or phrases and choosing simple words over complex ones.

Writing in short, simple words doesn’t mean you are ‘dumbing down’ the message. It means you are communicating as clearly and effectively as possible.

TIP

Beating writer's block.

If you find yourself staring at a blank page or screen and can’t get started, adopt writer Anne Lamott’s approach of giving yourself permission to write a terrible first draft. Don’t edit or overthink your writing. Just get the words down and fix them later.