Techcommunicators.com | WRM Home | Writing Styleguide | Dictionary of Plain English | Feedback | Glossary | Index
 

6   Methods of Presentation

Choosing the Appropriate Method of Presentation

Before you start writing, think about the type of information you need to communicate and the different ways of presenting that information. If you’re not sure of the best method, review the following If…Then… table.

If you want to… Then use a…
List a series of items Bullet list
Ensure that a series of actions are completed Checklist
Visually distinguish a paragraph from the surrounding text Text box
Emphasize key points, define terms, or quote people so that it really stands out Sidebar text
Communicate large amounts of concise information for easy retrieval Table
Provide solutions to common problems Troubleshooting table
Write a simple linear procedure done by one person Step-by-step procedure
Write a simple linear procedure involving several people Playscript procedure
Provide a simple graphic overview of how a process works Flow diagram
Help staff decide on a course of action Decision tree
Explain how to fill in a form Form illustration
Show what a computer screen looks like Screen illustration
Show how equipment parts fit together or are installed Technical illustration
Warn of potential harm, or provide important information Warning, caution, or note
Show what something looks like Photograph
Illustrate a concept or add visual appeal Graphic
Visually identify a type of information Icon