Q:

How should you write guidelines?

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Quick Answer

To write guidelines, the author should first gather background information about the policy or process, pinpoint the language or terminology needed, and review or proofread the information to ensure readers can follow it easily. Guidelines should have a clear format that outlines steps with headings or bulleted lists.

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Full Answer

Guidelines offer a suggested way to perform a task or offer a service. When brainstorming ideas for guidelines, writers should consider the audience, the impact of the guidelines and the clarity of their presentation. Before drafting, it often helps to create a brief outline of the topics covered and the overall rule or policy presented within the guideline.

Guidelines should offer clear steps about how to resolve a problem or correct an action. In addition, the author should include circumstances where the guidelines would not apply to clear up any potential confusion. Including headlines or numbered and bulleted lists can help the reader easily identify key points of the guidelines. The writer should also include language appropriate to the industry or business, as long as the audience is aware of the terminology. For example, if the guidelines are for restaurant staff, terms such as server, hostess or cook are acceptable.

Guidelines should include a notation toward the bottom of the page indicating the compilation date.

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