Writing Effectively at The World Health Organization


Brainstorming allows you to establish the main ideas you wish to convey in your document; organizing now requires you to put some order to those ideas. The process of structuring your ideas is quite different than generating them.

It’s not essential for your readers to know about the process you went through to get to your main ideas. They definitely do want to know that your ideas make sense. Readers want a clear, concise end product, with evidence of adequate information and logical thought processes. Organizing your document means prioritizing your ideas and even deciding not to include some of the ones you came up with in your prewriting stage.

For longer documents, like reports, organizing involves creating an outline with a hierarchy of headings and subheadings. For short documents you don’t need to do this. However, you still need to be able to arrange your ideas in a way that will make sense to your readers. In this case, your outline may not exist as a separate document, but you still need a sense of the hierarchy of your ideas as you wish to present them.

© WHO 2011