Writing Effectively at The World Health Organization

Types of documents

This module focuses on a variety of short documents that reflect common written communication activities at WHO. You will consider three main types of documents:

Each of these types has its own set of rules and guidelines for style and presentation. However, even though the rules and formats differ, they are all correspondence media, through which you communicate with your colleagues. Writing them effectively involves two common elements: defining your purpose, and focusing on your readers’ needs. With these two elements as your foundation, you can feel confident that you can engage your readers, and make your meaning and message understood.

You can write each type of document effectively by following the steps of the writing process we introduced in Module 1:

Note: We will focus on writing the different types of documents, rather than on formatting requirements. Departments and regions often have different guidelines and/or use customized templates. As you work through this module, you will find it helpful to gather your own resources, appropriate to your situation.

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