Writing Effectively at The World Health Organization


The principles of writing effective correspondence are the same, whether you’re writing a formal letter or an informal email, a responsive letter or an initiative memo: focus on your purpose, your main message, and your reader’s needs.

Here are some guidelines to help you draft your correspondence.

  1. Explain your reason for writing and the relevance of your correspondence to the reader early in your correspondence.
  2. Be brief, concise and specific, but make sure you have included all essential information.
  3. End with a clear statement that tells the reader what to do next, or tells the reader what you will do next, and builds goodwill.
  4. For formal letters, consult the appropriate guides for the correct protocols of salutations and closings, and opening and closing statements.

© WHO 2011