Writing to Advise: Form, Tone, Register

Writing to Advise: Form, Tone, Register

Writing to Advise: Form

  • Advice-based documents such as guidance leaflets, how-to articles, or counselling letters should include a clear structure with a logical progression of ideas.
  • Use paragraphs to break up your advice into manageable sections. Each paragraph should focus on one particular suggestion or area of advice.
  • Begin with an introduction that establishes your understanding of the situation or problem. Show empathy and assure the reader that there are solutions.
  • The body should deliver your advice systematically, linking ideas where appropriate. Use scenarios or examples to illustrate your points.
  • Finish with a conclusion that re-emphasises the most important pieces of advice or summarises your suggestions.

Writing to Advise: Tone

  • The tone in advisory writing should be supportive, empathetic, and respectful, giving a sense of encouragement to the reader.
  • Maintain an understanding tone by using a positive, encouraging language. Do not patronise or belittle your reader.
  • Remain balanced and rational by avoiding overly dramatic or emotional language. Keep your tone calm and patient.
  • The use of direct language can make your advice seem more personal and communicative.

Writing to Advise: Register

  • The register in advisory writing can be formal to semi-formal, depending on the context.
  • Maintain consistency in your register – if you start in a semi-formal manner, stay that way throughout.
  • Avoid overly complex language, jargon, or slang unless they are necessary for explaining specific points. Your advice needs to be easily understood by your reader.
  • The use of personal language, the first or second person, could be more effective in establishing a connection with the reader.
  • Including the reader in your scenarios or examples by using ‘you’ can add immediacy and relevance to your advice.