Writing Effectively at The World Health Organization


Goals and purposes

Let’s look first at general office correspondence. The goal of correspondence is to send a message to a particular reader or group of readers. That message can be delivered in any of several forms: inter-office memos, letters, faxes or e-mails. Some forms (like inter-office memos) go only to readers within WHO (internal readers). Other forms (like e-mails, letters and faxes) may go to either internal or external readers.

To write effectively in any of these forms of correspondence, you need to know:

As we discussed in Module 1, determining your purpose is the first step to planning an effective document. You can identify the purpose of your correspondence by reflecting on these two questions:

Once you know the purpose of your message you can organize your ideas into coherent sentences and paragraphs. The purpose determines all other choices about how to convey your message. Knowing your purpose helps you:

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