Conditions: The Decision Criteria

In some documents, you must direct the reader to perform an action if a certain condition exists. To avoid confusion, clearly specify the condition to be met and the action to be taken.

Logic Rules
Use IF or WHEN to present the condition and THEN to present the action. For example, “IF the alarm sounds, THEN immediately evacuate”. Always present the condition first, then the action.

Consistent Terminology
Use consistent terminology. Remember, IF signals a condition that may occur, whereas WHEN implies a condition that is likely to happen.

Flowchart Decisions
Flowcharts can be used to visually depict the conditional steps. The condition is described in the decision symbol (diamond) and the different actions shown as lines to the applicable process steps.

Logic Tables
Consider using logic tables to simplify complex conditional information. Logic tables put conditions in one column and actions in the corresponding column.

Possessive of “it” Use “its”
Contraction of “it is” Use “it’s”