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Organization and Correctness

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Organization: Fitting the Form to Message and Audience

  1. Have I structured my letter or report according to what my reader's reaction to my message is likely to be?
    • Have I used the direct approach (which begins with good news or the main idea and fills in necessary explanation later) when my reader is likely to consider my message favorable or neutral?
    • Have I used the indirect approach (which begins with a buffer and requires necessary explanation and detail before the decision is stated) when my reader is likely to consider my message unfavorably or when he or she will need to be persuaded?
  2. Have I included transitions which will show my reader the relationships between my sentences and paragraphs?
  3. Does one paragraph logically follow the preceding paragraph and lead into the one which follows?

Correctness: Using Conventional Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation

Since most writers have problems with only particular types of spelling, grammar, and/or punctuation errors, you should read through your final drafts carefully—looking for those errors which you frequently commit. Slowly reading through your letter or report once for EACH of these errors will, in most cases, insure that your reader's attention will be focused on your message, not on your mechanical errors.