Most students who are given the assignment to write a pamphlet are completely at a loss. They are more likely to start looking for a specialist whom they can ask, “Do my pamphlet writing for me” than for ways to deal with their task on their own. Nevertheless, there is nothing particularly difficult about pamphlet writing, and with the right preparation, you can achieve success even without prior experience. In this article, we will tell you how it is done.
What Is a Pamphlet?
Definition of this word differs depending on the source, but mostly it boils down to the following: a pamphlet is a small unbound publication (usually shorter than 49 pages), dealing with a single topic, most often educational or informative in nature. It may even consist of a single page (in this case, it is called a leaflet), but if you are given a task to write one, it will probably be a little longer.
It may be easy to confuse with a brochure or catalogue, but this is incorrect: although both of them have a similar form and size, they have different functions. A brochure advertises something (e.g., a new travel app), whereas a pamphlet informs the reader about its subject (e.g., the demographic situation in modern India), brings something to his/her attention.
Therefore, you may think about the pamphlet as a type of expository essay with a special emphasis on its design.
So, how does one write a pamphlet that is creative and effective in achieving its goal? Let’s take a closer look.
1. Define the Purpose and Target Audience of Your Pamphlet
If you study in school or college, the pamphlets you are likely to write are of two general types:
- Given as tasks by your professors and teachers and aimed to deal with a hypothetical situation, e.g., “Write a custom pamphlet about university education aimed at high school students”. You have to write them to learn how to work with this format and express your ideas in a way compatible with your audience;
- Those that you write as a part of some project. For example, you can make some pamphlets to inform other students about the activities of the club you are a member of or attract their attention to a certain issue.
In the former case, the purpose and target audience is pre-defined. In the latter, you have to define them on your own, and often have to be persuasive, not just informative. In order to better understand how to write and what points to make, it may be useful to design an audience persona (or personas) – i.e., create an image of a typical representative of your target audience, complete with their name, age, job, main concerns and so on.
2. Do Your Research
The research you have to do is twofold and should cover:
- The topic you are writing about;
- Your target audience.
This means that you have to be sure not just that all the information you present is correct and verifiable, but also that both the contents of the pamphlet and the way you present them are relevant for the target audience.
For example, if you are writing a pamphlet about the dangers of fad diets aimed at teenage girls, you should find out:
- Which diets have been the most popular among this demographic over the last few years;
- What are the proven risks of excessive and unmonitored dieting;
- Whether facts support the claims behind the efficiency of popular diets;
- And so on.
Think about what your audience will be most interested in and what is most likely to sway their opinions, and focus on it. Providing docs that contain information from reliable sources is a good bonus.
3. Focus on Comprehension
The main purpose of this kind of paper is to teach the reader something. He/she should finish reading the pamphlet knowing more about the subject than he/she did before. Each good pamphlet maker has his/her own creative ways of getting the message through. However, you can apply some methods purely mechanically:
- Use short words and sentences. Your goal is to make your text easily understandable, not beautiful. Look for shorter and simpler synonyms of polysyllabic words. Remove unnecessary words and clauses from your sentences. A good rule of thumb is to aim for sentences about 17 words long (or shorter) and mostly use words that are one or two syllables long;
- Use an active voice. Passive voice makes your text awkward and hard to read;
- Use a positive voice. This means that you should avoid using negatives in your writing, especially if you try to persuade your readers to do something. For example, if you write a pamphlet about the importance of conserving water, write “You should use water responsibly” instead of “You shouldn’t waste water”;
- Keep the reading level of the pamphlet consistent with your audience. The standard practice here is to use the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, which is based on the average number of syllables per word and words per sentence. The standard level is 7-8 (understandable for 75 percent of the population). You can calculate it using a free online tool like this one.
However, remember that these are just guidelines, not rules. Don’t apply them indiscriminately, without taking into account the specifics of your situation. For example, sometimes the passive voice is the best way to express an idea and trying to rephrase it will look less natural than the original sentence (e.g., “Rules are made to be broken”). The same goes for sentence length – you shouldn’t try to bring all the sentences to the lowest common denominator, it will make your writing unnatural and dull. It is better to vary the sentence length: keep them short in general but allowing an odd longer one to appear.
4. Decide on a Layout
There are three typical pamphlet layouts:
- Single-page – may be one- or double-sided. Choose this if you can express your information concisely;
- Trifold – the most popular, six-sided type. Make sure the most important part of your argument ends up on the cover;
- Small booklet – a longer, more in-depth variant. Choose it if you have a lot to say.
5. Sketch Out Your Pamphlet
Before you begin to write the text, you should have a clear idea of the layout of your pamphlet: what goes where, how much you can afford to write about each point, what the size of every picture should be and so on. Think about how your pamphlet will look when printed to avoid unpleasant surprises later on. Usually, pamphlets have 6 sides, and each of them should provide a self-contained piece of information, so make sure you can divide your points into more or less equal parts.
6. Choose a Tool to Work with
While it is possible to create a printable pamphlet design using nothing but the standard features of your normal word processor, you can save yourself a lot of work by using specialized tools. This way you will be able to create a pdf (or a file in another format) with individual pages that you will be able to easily fold and put together by hand. Good pamphlet-making tools have ready-made templates – you won’t have to spend hours arranging the layout of every page and paragraph, and you can easily move individual panels around.
You can find a list of some easy-to-use tools here.
7. Improve the Retention Level
To understand the text is just a first step. Your audience should retain the knowledge they’ve received from it, and it is your job to make it memorable. This is where your software choice will play a huge role. Remember, you are not just writing a text – you are designing a document with handmade layout, and its visual aspects are just as important for taking your message across as the words you use. Therefore, many retention-boosting techniques are based on this:
- Use titles that stand out from the rest of the text and word them in a way that is impossible to misunderstand;
- Put the key points ahead of the main body of the text to let them sink in, then repeat them across the document;
- Accentuate the most important points visually: using cursive, bold or underlining, different colors or even different fonts;
- Use questions in headings to make it clearer which issue is resolved where;
- Use a font of sufficient size (at least 12 pt), 1½ spacing and spread out your paragraphs – this will make the text more readable. If you find that the text doesn’t fit your chosen layout here or there, cut some parts of it and don’t try to cram it all in at the price of readability (i.e., by making the font smaller).
8. Use Images
Images are excellent for making your pamphlet more expressive and breaking the monotony of plain text. However, when using them you have to follow certain guidelines:
- Make sure they are both relevant to the topic and appropriate for the target audience. E.g., the bright and cartoonish style will most likely be out of place in a pamphlet on the importance of cancer exam;
- Avoid generic images (e.g., clip art). They are easy to find but make your pamphlet look cheap and lazy. You are better off forgoing images altogether than using this kind of visual elements;
- Check if you have a license to use the images you choose;
- Keep the style of your images consistent. If you use color and black-and-white photos, pencil drawings, 3D imagery and full-color pictures in one pamphlet, they will look mismatched and distract the reader.
9. Print a Sample Copy First
Pamphlet layout may be confusing to get if you view it in your designer tool. In reality, it may turn out to look quite different from what you’ve envisioned. Images may turn out to be grainy, fonts sometimes look weird in print, or the entire thing may just not work as a coherent whole. So print a sample copy and read it as if you were completely new to it. Ask somebody else to evaluate your work.
10. Keep It Coherent
With pamphlet’s content divided between pages, it is very easy to overdo their self-sufficiency and end up with the text that jumps erratically between subjects, with individual parts doing nothing to support each other. Reread the entire thing critically, preferably a few days after you finish the work.
No matter what discipline you study, pamphlet writing probably isn’t among the primary skills you’ve been taught. It is only natural to feel baffled and overwhelmed when you get such a task without sufficient preparation. And while theoretical advice we give here can help you make the first steps towards writing your own pamphlet, you can further improve your chances by buying a high-quality sample of such an assignment from our service. You can freely choose and modify the topic and all other characteristics of the task you order – our writers will carefully study your requirements and prepare a paper strictly according to it. Students who write a pamphlet for the first time usually report that the thing they lack the most is some kind of template. They don’t have a good example to model their own writing after, and theoretical descriptions in textbooks and online manuals can only take you so far. Our service fills this gap – samples written by our authors are prepared according to all the rules associated with pamphlet writing and design. In addition to that, we have our own quality standard we’ve labeled as GRADE:
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