Re: the 5 C's

Subject: Re: the 5 C's
From: Candace Bamber <cbamber -at- CASTEK -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1999 08:37:14 -0500

We have the "C's" in an appendix to our style guide - but we have 6: Clear,
concise, consistent, coherent, co-ordinated and complete. Perhaps smeone will
find it useful. Here is the excerpt:

Your goal is to make what you write easy to read and understand.
*Use terms your readers understand.
*Write in plain language.
*Use strong verbs in the active voice
*Where you have a choice, choose the simple over the complex
*Use familiar words.

Include what people need to know, and keep nice-to-know information to a
*Use bullets wherever possible.
*Be brief.
*Write to inform, not impress.
*Use short, simple sentences.
*Avoid unnecessary words.
*Edit ruthlessly.

Use the same terminology in all to avoid confusing the readers. For example, if
you first use the word "type" to describe entering information on a computer, do
not use the word "input" later in the procedure.
*Adopt the "Pick and stick" rule (choose terms, titles, style conventions etc.
and stick to them)
*Avoid ambiguity

Organize your materials so they are easily understood.
*Use advanced organizers
*Present information in a logical sequence.
*Present the steps in a procedure in the order they are typically carried out.
*List all steps of one activity before beginning the next.
[we have a x-ref here to the style guide entry on writing good procedures]

Consider whether your documents are coordinated:
*with all related areas or departments
*with other policies and operations
*so that all information arrives at the same time (eg, forms, disks, sales and
service kits, promotional materials, or videos)
*for delivery of the right information to the right people at the right time,
with the approval of all business partners

Include all the information needed to allow readers to effectively and
knowledgeably complete their tasks (ie, ensure customer/reader expectations are
met or exceeded).

Candace Bamber
mailto:cbamber -at- castek -dot- com

--Putting the Future Together

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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