The shape of your message depends on the purpose you set out to achieve, which is why a clearly formulated purpose must be kept in mind throughout the writing process. Whether your purpose is to inform, instruct, persuade, or entertain, structuring your message according to set patterns associated with each purpose helps achieve those goals. Without those familiar structures guiding your reader toward the intended effect, your reader can get lost and confused, perhaps reflecting the confusion in your own mind if your thoughts aren’t clearly focused and organized enough themselves. Or perhaps your message is crystal clear in your own mind, but you articulate it in an unstructured way that assumes your reader sees what you think is an obvious main point. Either way, miscommunication results because your point gets lost in the noise. Lucky for us, we have standard patterns of organization to structure our thoughts and messages to make them understandable to our audiences. We’ll review the importance of the direct and indirect approach to business communication, and how these patterns will influence formatting in order to produce reader-friendly documents.
This chapter has been adapted from the following text:
- Communication at Work by Jordan Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.