NCO Primary Leadership Subjects
Organizing Your Thoughts
As you prepare to write, you must first organize your thoughts. The following steps
will help you organize your thinking:
Define the problem.
Define the purpose.
Define your audience.
Select your approach.
Before you begin writing, you need to understand exactly what problem you are
trying to solve. You should try to state the problem in a single sentence.
You must develop a paper to improve the effectiveness of writing in your unit. You
find that correspondence and reports are often boring, wordy, and difficult to
understand. That's a problem. But the problem for you to solve is how to overcome
this tendency. Your statement of the problem could be:
"How can writing in this unit be more interesting, concise, and easy to understand?"
After reviewing this statement, you might conclude that if writing is interesting and
easy to understand, it will probably be concise. Also, remember that it's people's
behavior that your trying change. Therefore, you could restate the problem as:
"How can members of this unit make their writing interesting and easy to
Once you know the problem, the next step is to determine what you want to
accomplish. In other words, what should your audience do after reading your paper?
This is the purpose of the paper. Try to state the purpose in a "one liner" and keep it
in mind as you write.
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