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Lesson 2. Start with a Purpose in Mind > Ask Questions to Focus Your Writing - Pg. 6

Start with a Purpose in Mind 6 · To suggest/propose/convince others to do something (e.g., a request for additional resources). · To request permission or inform others about action you're taking (e.g., a proposal to change operating procedures in your department). Caution Beginning to write with only a vague purpose in mind, such as "Something needs to be done about our accounting system," may result in your trying to wrestle with too many possibilities and hamper your ability to write a clear, concise document. By contrast, a clearer purpose, such as "We need to install the XYZ accounting system by January 1," will focus your think- ing and make your memo-writing go much more smoothly. Plain English Resources are the money, materials, or people needed to advance your business objec- tives. Who Is Your Audience? Once you know what you want to make happen, consider the people to whom you're addressing the memo. First, are these the people who can take the action you want? If not, should you send the memo to different people, or do you need to rely on the recipient to forward it to the appropriate parties? In either case, consider not only the immediate recipient, but also all those who will even- tually read and take action on your document. To write effectively for your audience, consider the following: · · What is their position in the company? What impact can they have on the issue you're writing about?