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Formatting styles influence how format people their works such as policies or procedures. Many formatting styles are in use today, with content and management requirements defining what specific formats people choose in the writing. Several critical factors shaped the writing process and writers must consider them before beginning the process (Campbell, 1998). Content type and management requirement are the main factors that influence how writers choose the formatting styles. When choosing a primary format—narrative, outline, flowchart, play script—it is crucial to consider the intended audience. For example, readers with a background in engineering may prefer working with flowcharts rather than using a narrative format. In addition, readers with non-technical background may also find it difficult to work with this formatting style. Depending on the intended audience, writers must choose the appropriate format that meets their needs of their audience.

The content type also helps determine the format that writers must adopt. When writing information that requires clarity, it is vital to use outlines, which can help locate errors in a policy or procedure. This indicates that some formats are more readable than others are. For example, when writing content such as detailed procedures, it is useful to adopt formats such as an outline, which is more readable and straightforward to follow.

Management requirements also influence that format that writers choose. Some organizations require a particular format, which writers must choose before writing. In addition, other international organizations have predefined formats that their writers must always use them. Choosing a format that the management accepts is critical to successful writing.

Regardless of the format that writers select, there is some information that they must apply to the formatting style. For instance, writers have to choose a page layout, which guides how the paper looks like. The layout can provide useful information like date and page numbers. Organizations sometimes use similar formats to improve on the standardization and prevent necessary information from distracting readers.

There are several primary formats such as narrative format, outline, playscript and flowchart. A narrative format provides readers with more detail and is suitable for writing procedures. However, its material must be short and comprehensible to readers. An outline, on the other hand, creates a sense of logic and order (Campbell, 1998). Therefore, is particularly useful in breaking information into distinct units. On the other hand, a playscript format gives more clarity than an outline and takes a few minutes to understand its content. Flowchart makes use of symbols and arrows to provide useful direction or actions.

Formatting styles support other primary formatting techniques. Formatting styles can support questions and answers that users ask about particular policies or procedures. Furthermore, formatting styles support the need of users to learn particular information within a short time (Campbell, 1998). For this reason, troubleshooting sections appear in policies or procedures. Other secondary formats like a matrix provide deeper information about content that readers can best see them in columns and rows. While there is no appropriate format to choose, the content and managerial requirements are two factors to consider.

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