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Organize Your Communications

Are people often confused by your Emails? Do people not read your Emails? If you write poorly, it can confuse readers and they often won't read them. Organizing the key points for your communication is helpful in two ways: it helps you put key points in a logical order for your readers and reduces your writing time because you can keep focused on your key points. Two strategies that you can use to organize your key points are ranking and planning worksheets.

This brief tutorial teaches you how to use Ranking and Planning Worksheets to organize your communications.


Ranking is a good method for organizing your key points for writing quick emails or a section of a longer document.

To rank your key points, do the following:

  • Make a quick list of the key points you want to cover in your communication.

  • Rank and organize your list of key points in the order that will best serve your reader’s needs. Usually, you will organize key points from most to least important.

  • Add any ideas that are missing and eliminate ideas you do not need.

Planning Worksheet

Planning worksheets work well for more complicated documents such as reports or PowerPoint decks for which you have already identified sections that will be included. Do the following for each section:

  • List the supporting details and evidence you have gathered.

  • Rank each detail in order of reader relevance, usually most to least important.

  • Summarize the overall key point or judgment that your details convey.

Use the key overall points on your planning worksheet to create the topic sentences that begin each section. Use the key supporting details to create the topic sentences for each paragraph within each section.

Sample Planning Worksheet

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