Improve Your Drafting Skills in English with These Guidelines
No matter how good you may be in writing you just can’t write official communication without observing some conventions. For instance, before you’re even asked to prepare drafts, you’ll be expected to not only have the basic drafting skills in English but also be aware of guidelines for the same.
Why is it necessary for you to have knowledge of drafting guidelines as a part of your drafting skills in English? The reason is that drafting guidelines are designed to make the whole process of putting up a draft and getting it approved smoother. Here are some of these guidelines.
Drafting Skills in English and Language Guidelines
The most important thing to remember with drafting is that your drafts should unambiguously be able to convey what the final decision is on the matter at hand. This is what you have to base your whole draft on. Apart from this, language based guidelines usually remain the same for all writing projects in the government setup.
This means that if you’re already aware of language guidelines for noting, then you can apply the same to drafting. You can check out the language guidelines for noting here and also apply them to your drafting to sharpen you drafting skills in English.
Drafting Skills in English and Formatting Guidelines
Margins and Spacing
You should keep it in mind to leave proper and prescribed margins on both sides. Furthermore, you should also remember that your draft is not final yet and may be changed by your superiors. So, you should leave double spacing between the lines of the text for any additions or comments.
Once the changes have been incorporated and the draft is approved you can change the line spacing back to the usual and print out the final copy
Subject and Grading
It’s important to clearly and accurately indicate what the subject of the draft is. This helps the reader quickly align his mind-set with the case at hand. This would, in turn, help him understand your draft better.
You should also remember that giving your draft a proper and apt subject will also help in finding it later when required.
Depending on the subject and the case, you should give your draft the urgency as well as the security grading it deserves.
This will make sure that your draft gets priority. These grading also help drafts get proper handling.
When you are exercising you drafting skills in English it is easy to forget other things that may be relevant. One of the key things to remember is the enclosures that you might be attaching with your draft. If there are any such enclosures, they should be mentioned on the draft in the margin.
Sometimes, you may have to type these enclosures and other times you may already have copies available. In both these cases, you should mention if any enclosures need to be sent along with the primary communication.
It’s also possible on occasion that you may need to send a draft to other authorities along with the main receiver for information or further action. In such a situation, you should mention it in the margins of the draft.
When you put up a draft, you should make it very clear and easy to find by flagging it as “Draft for Approval” (DFA). This will allow the pertinent authorities to find this draft in case you’re not available. Furthermore, this will also prevent the draft from being mistaken as confirmed orders.
If you are particularly confident about you drafting skills in English, then you may be assigned multiple drafts at the same time. In such a case, you should flag them as “DFA I”, “DFA II” and so on to prevent confusion.