Determine the purpose of your publication

This can have both high-level and more specific aspects.

At the high level, you may want your publication to:

  • inform
  • persuade
  • instruct
  • amuse
  • warn.

These aspects can inform strategic choices about the document, including its structure and the choice of language. For example, in a first aid manual, the information must be easy to find, clear and unambiguous.

At a more specific level, the purpose of your document is related to the information and messages you want to convey. For example, your document might be about:

  • how to do something (eg procedures and instructions)
  • why something matters (eg an editorial or other argumentative piece)
  • facts (eg a reference book or textbook)
  • what you have achieved (eg a report on a program or project).

Your information and messages tell you what content to include. For a first aid manual, this means deciding what incidents and treatments to include, and what illustrations will best help readers understand what they need to do. Readers must be able to find out what to do, but do not need to know who invented cardiopulmonary resuscitation or what the patient’s recovery time in hospital is likely to be.

User login

... or purchase now

An individual subscription is only A$60 per year

Group and student discounts may apply

Australian manual of scientific style Start communicating effectively