The Best Writing Model – The PADD Model
You can use this writing model to save time in everything you write and when your reader gets your message he or she will respond faster. Here is the PADD Model and what each letter stands for:
P = PURPOSE
A = ACTION
D = DETAIL
PURPOSE – Determine why you’re sending this email to the other person and put your reason in the subject line. Use four to eight words in your subject line. Pretend it’s a headline from a newspaper.
ACTION – Put the action you want the reader to take, your recommendation, what your email is about in the first paragraph by itself, so the action you want stands out to the reader. Make sure you keep your first paragraph short, no more than two to three lines long.
DETAIL – This is where your questions, answers, or detailed information goes. Put this information in bullet or number format, not long paragraphs. (If you are writing in paragraph format, this is the body of your email or the middle. Bullets are business writing and writing in paragraphs is an academic style.) As a suggestion, tell your reader to put their answers after each of your bullets.
DEADLINE – Finish your email with a specific deadline and a logical reason for the deadline. (This will involve the reader in your deadline.) Put your deadline and reason in the form of a question to soften the tone and suggest a more cooperative tone. Could you please get me these answers by 3 pm today so I could finish this project?
- Every reader wants to know:
- Why did I get this?
- What do I have to do?
- When do I need to do it by?
- Tell your reader those three key points using the subject line and first paragraph.
- If you are going to be discussing or asking for more than one thing, tell your reader in the first paragraph or they might miss it.
- Use your subject line to get your reader to open your email message.
- Put “Action Required” in the subject line (if action is required).
- Make your message look easy to answer. People answer first the ones that “look” easy and/or “look” like they won’t take a lot of time to answer.
- The average reader decides in five to ten seconds whether they are going to:
- Read your message and take action.
- Read part of your message and try to come back to it at a later time.
- Delete it.
- If your email is time sensitive don’t use ASAP or URGENT. Add a specific date and deadline in the subject line so it grabs the reader’s attention.
- Ask yourself, “What’s going to make my reader choose to read my email message instead of everything else he or she needs to do?
- Consider Your Reader or Audience before You Write. Always write for your reader!
- Always check your writing for tone and grammar before you hit the send key.
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