Planning your message

Before you start to write, it is helpful to plan your message: what are you going to say? If you are clear about what you want to say, your final version will be clear and easy to understand.

An initial outline or plan will result in a better-organised piece of writing and will save time in the end. A plan will help you to be clear in your own mind why you are writing, who your readers are and what to include or exclude.

Before you start writing, you need to consider the following.

Your reader

Your purpose

Your message

We need to be sure that we have made ourselves clear to those who will read what we have written. This will probably mean a different approach for different readers. We all need to ask ourselves, "Is what I have written likely to make a reader feel well disposed towards me, my department and Hampshire County Council?"