Organizations are using different types of documents, the diversity of documents types is related to the type of audiences and the communication style. It is important to know the audience type either large or small groups of people, their similarities as classmates or a range of various customers. Classifying the audiences' needs assist in deciding the communication style and the writing language.
This report concerns with writing simple documents, including, communication styles, the different types of workplace documents, the types of the audiences and selection of appropriate communication style, reviewing draft documents, describing the responsible person for proofreading the documents, filling systems and ensuring that the documents are consistent with the organizational protocols. The practical part of the report focuses on the application of writing simple documents in the XYZ Child Care Centre.
Communication styles to be used for different levels of formality
The communication style could be formal or informal. According to the style of communication, the form of the document will be selected. Most of the organizational communications are formal communications which require a formal style of documents even if both of the sender and receiver know each other in an informal way.
Informal communication style is used in informal occasions for the organizational staff. The language style of the informal documents has to be polite and inclusive. Also, memos have to be formal and specific. Informality could reduce the importance of the memo.
Passive and active language:
Formal documents do not require the passive language, as active language is preferred. Active language means to mention the sender pf the message first to clarify the meaning to the reader.
The written language should be inclusive by writing to all of the receivers in the same way and not let any of them feel neglected or excluded. For example, to avoid gender discrimination.
Different receivers require different styles of communication. For example, emailing friends or family members is usually written in an informal way, but writing to the manager at work requires formality.
The best way to introduce the document is very important, concerning the document format and structure should be considered when writing documents.
Selection of the type of workplace document and the key points to be considered
There are different types of workplace documents, including, reports, business letters and faxes, meeting documentations, memos and emails, reports, briefing papers, tables and forms. Standard templates are required to be used for reports, letters, memos and faxes. The set of guiding rules to be followed in document formatting are called the protocol. The communication protocol provides a framework which includes the font style and page layout.
- Business letters: Are used to provide a business activity. Letters act as a communication tool between the organization and its clients, that’s why they are required to be formal to give a good impression of the organization.
- Business faxes: It is considered a secured document as it lowers the risk of being lost. It requires accuracy when sending the fax to the right number to avoid sending to the wrong person.
- Business memos: Usually sent to the big number of audiences and considered a popular format of sending information. The subject of the memo could be general announcement, performance appraisal, project time lines and guiding notes from the leader of the staff.
- Business e-mails: E-mails are frequently used in communications more than other types of documents. Email addresses must be written correctly to avoid sending information to the wrong person. Business emails should be formal and written according to the organizational communication protocol.
- Forms: Could take the form of surveys, customer feedback document, complains forms or questionnaires. Employees are responsible for filling these forms.
- Reports: Long documents that may be produced periodically, as the organizational annual reports. Reports should be formally written according to the organizational communication protocol and structure.
- Research information: The information provided through reports has to be accurate and updated. The report settings should include the targeted audiences, the required information and the timeline. There are different sources of information, including, the organization's databases, other reports, libraries, the internet and journals.
- Presentation documents: Should be attractive, specific and clear. They could take the form of brochures, power point presentations or advertisement.
- Intranet and internet documents: Intranet documents could be accessed by the authorized employees, but the internet access is almost available for all of the employees.
Examples of how audience, purpose and method of communication, influence the tone of a document
Example1: Writing a report to be submitted by the customers, which is mainly produced to provide the organizational customers with updated information about the organizational activities. The report should consider the right tone for the reader. This tone is meant to build good relations with the customers. The organizational report should be very formal in communication.
Example 2: Sending an official email to the clients to announce the introduction of a new product. This email should be formal, affect the client positively, using attractive words to influence the clients to buy the new product, it also should be polite, tacit and active as the email is used in distance communication.
Checking for the need of adding information into a draft document
The written document should be reviewed before dissemination. Accuracy of the document is very important. It is beneficial to ask someone else to double check the document to prove its accuracy, relevance and that its information is updated. A checklist should be used to verify that information is checked according to (accuracy, timeliness, relevance, clarity, all of the required resources are included, good format and good utilization of graphics).
Factors that affect planning, sequencing and prioritising tasks and managing workload when preparing draft documents
The factors that affect planning, sequencing and prioritising tasks and workload when preparing draft documents could be as follows:
- Establish key points for inclusion: It is important to decide the objectives of the document before starting to write it. Also the targeted audience should be well defined. The formatting style of the document should also be declared. Then the writer should specify what he is going to write in the document by defining its content. The writer could ask himself about the questions that the reader would like to know and provide answers to them.
- Start on a document: By listing the main points that the document will cover, which could be used as headings according to the document type. These headers may include sub headers. The headings should be ordered logically.
- Identify organisational requirements: The document should be written according to the organizational communication protocol, requirements and the way of preparation.
- The house style: Should be compatible with the style manual, which includes, the writing templates, the appropriate software program to be used, font styles, heading styles and the language style.Deciding the responsible person to proofread the draft documents and other factors to be considered
Reviewing the document requires reading the draft document to assure its accuracy, better presented, correct language and suitable tone. The responsible for proofreading the draft document should consider the clarity, conciseness, correctness and courteous. Deciding the responsible person for proofreading the draft document is done according to the internal system of the organization. The majority of documents have to be checked by the senior person, smaller documents could be reviewed by the team leader or the colleagues.
Considerations that may be built into organisational policies and procedures for filing documents copies
Organisational policies and procedures for filing document copies could be electronic or paper-based documentation system. Documentation systems include, recording the basic information of documents, making regular backups and reporting problems related to the software of the electronic system.Ensuring draft documents comply with organisational templates, style guides and procedures, and legal and regulatory requirements
In order to ensure the compliance of the draft document with the organisational templates, style guides and procedures, and legal and regulatory requirements, a checklist is used to verify that the draft document covers certain items as follows:
- Write in an active language
- Sensible order of the points
- The document is written in plain English
- The length of the sentences and its focus on one main point
- Using alternative words
- Using an appropriate number of adjectives and adverbs
- Initial spelling and grammar
Plan of the reply to Kim:
- The recipient of the document: Kim, Alex’s mother.
- The purpose of the document: preparing a reply on Kim's memo regarding her complain of the continuing loss of Alex's stuff and to offer her suggestions to solve the problem in the light of the actions to be taken in the future to ensure that Alex's belongings will be safe in the future.
- Format and structure of the reply: The reply will take the form of an "Adjustment letter". The structure of the letter will be as follows:
- Sender’s address
- The name, title and address of who you are sending the letter to
- The greeting
- Signature and identification
- Reason for choosing the method of communication based on suitable language style and level of formality: The "Adjustment letter" is selected as a formal letter to show the importance of the problem and proof the commitment of the child care centre to take care of Alex's belongings in the future. The language style will be formal and active.
- Reason for choosing the means of communication to Kim based on the Centre’s regular practices: formal communication is used to provide a formal organizational reply according to the organizational communication protocol to introduce the business activity that will be taken by the child care centre. Also, the letter should be good presented to improve the relation between the client and the child care centre.
- The key points to be included in the reply: An apology of the child care centre for the problem, investigation of the reasons that caused the problem, the future activities to be taken by the child care centre to ensure that the problem will not occur in the future.
- Ensuring that the reply gets to Alex’s mother: It is important to accurately write the address of Kim and then a phone call to her may follow sending the letter to ensure its successful delivery.
This report discussed the different ways and purposes of writing simple documents. The communication style could be formal or informal, although, most of the organizational communications are formal. There are different types of workplace documents, including, reports, business letters and faxes, meeting documentations, memos and emails, reports, briefing papers, tables and forms. The written document should be reviewed before dissemination to ensure its accuracy. Deciding the responsible person for proofreading the draft document is done according to the internal system of the organization.
Organisational policies and procedures for filing document copies could be electronic or paper-based documentation system. A checklist is used to verify that the draft document covers certain items in compliance to the organizational protocol.