From Martin Krieger: BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front)
“I wrote this for our students. Perhaps it will be more widely useful. MK
In conversations with my colleagues, I realized that many of our students do not realize that most of their professional writing is for a busy audience: bosses, clients, community members, other scholars, etc. They have lots to read and do. Or, as a lawyer friend told me: Don’t assume the judge will read past the first page of the brief.
So: BLUF: Bottom Line Up Front! Professor Juliet Musso calls this pyramidal writing. We have written articles about this sort of writing, but the essence is:
In your first paragraph, give away your main point. Don’t promise, don’t motivate (yet), don’t tell me what you are going to do. Just tell me what you are sure you want me to know or do.
Often, you discover this main point while drafting your memo or essay or article. Then put it UP FRONT. I discover the crucial sentence or paragraph in the Conclusion or somewhere about 2/3 into the piece. BLUF!
This means you have to draft and redraft. It also helps to Proofread and Spellcheck.