Written Communication Checklist

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This Written Communication checklist will help you to produce written communications that have clarity, are easily understood and ensure your success whether you need to inform, educate or persuade your recipients. Written communication has two main aspects, that of the layout and the words used. Both of these areas need to be appropriate for the situation and audience your document or message is aimed at.

The written word is a vital communication skill all managers need as more and more communication is conducted in this form. It is essential that you can successfully communicate your message and gain the understanding required to achieve your objective whether in a report, instant message, text or email.

This checklist will help you to produce written communications that have clarity, are easily understood and ensure your success whether you need to inform, educate or persuade your recipients.

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Written communication has two main aspects that of the layout and the words used. Both of these areas need to be appropriate for the situation and audience your document or message is aimed at.

Layout
• Must be clear
• Information easily identified
• Appropriate length
• Objective clearly shown
• Actions required with associated responsibilities plainly displayed
• Deadlines openly shown
• Version easily identified
• Additional or supporting information easily identified e.g. attachments, podcasts, appendices etc.

Words
• Appropriate for whole audience
• Easily understood
• Jargon free
• Spelt correctly
• Correct grammatical use
• Clarity of meaning
• Proper labeling of diagrams and images
• Evidenced arguments
• Clear references

Common Sections
• Circulation & Version
• Title
• Communication Objective
• Information and data - main body of communication
• Actions, responsibilities and deadlines

Before sending or printing, always:
• Write at least ONE draft
• Proof read your message
• Check spelling and grammar

(Proof reading means checking your written words are spelt correctly, read as you wanted and convey the meaning you intended. It is not a simple scanning of your message.)

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