Improving the quality and style of your writing using a writing strategy


Communicate IconLearn how the writing strategy RAFT will enable you to write critically

Using RAFT as a writing strategy for online communication

RAFT (Role, Audience, Format, Topic) is a writing strategy developed by Santa et al. (2004) to help students understand their role as a writer and to communicate clearly, appropriately and with purpose. RAFT can be a useful guide when writing online. 

Here is an explanation of RAFT which shows how you can use it: 

When you are writing it is useful to think about:

  • your role as a writer in each situation 
  • who your audience is 
  • the best format for you to use 
  • what you want to say

If you consider these things before you start writing, it will help you to ensure that you communicate in a clear and appropriate way. Using a strategy like this can help you communicate your intended message so that your voice is heard and others can respond.

Before you start to write you should consider the following:


  • What is my role as a writer in this situation?
  • What is my intended purpose? 
  • What is my job here?
  • What am I trying to do? (and likewise, what do I want to avoid?)


  • Who will read what I am writing, who is ‘listening’ to what I am saying here? 
  • Is this a ‘private’ message, is it open to everyone? 
  • Should my writing be formal or informal?


  • What is the best (or most appropriate) way to communicate what I want to say?
  • What medium should I use?
  • How quickly do I need a response? 


  • What do I want to discuss?
  • What is the subject matter? 
  • What do I want to say?
  • What do I want to know?
Last modified: Friday, 26 Jul 2019, 10:36