Writing Tips

Prepared by the MNL Advocacy Committee


As an association representing all municipalities in Newfoundland and Labrador, having resolutions that are provincial in scope are better for the advocacy process. A good resolution is detailed and factual and includes clear concise wording. Understanding the issue as presented in the operative clause is imperative to ensure that MNL’s advocacy efforts are focused on the intent of the resolution.

The resources below provide guidance on drafting resolutions and the MNL Resolution Classification System.


Title: The title should give a clear indication of the resolution’s intent. It should, at a glance, provide the reader an understanding of the topic matter and the desired outcome. (Example: Remove Boil Water Advisories in a Timelier Manner)

Preamble (aka ‘Whereas’ clause): The preamble provides context for the resolution. It concisely identifies the situation or environment prompting the resolution, as well as its impact or significance. Where practical, include:

  • The source of your facts
  • References to the specific legislation affected by or causing the problem
  • Past resolutions or current lobby efforts on the same subject
  • Recent incidents or developments


Operative Clause (aka ‘Therefore be it resolved’ clause): There are two main kinds of resolutions: policy and directive. A policy states the opinion of the group. A directive is a call to action. Consider the result you want and phrase the resolution accordingly. The operative clause should be succinct and complete. In isolation from the preamble and background, the reader should understand the resolution’s intent exactly. These clauses can contain the following aspects:

  • Recommendations for specific action
  • Statements of opinions
  • Requests for further consideration or monitoring
  • Formation of a committee
  • Writing a letter to key stakeholders
  • Making a formal request
  • Bringing a matter to the attention of key stakeholders, etc.


Member Background: The member background section provides in-depth information on the context and environment. Fundamentally, it includes and expands on all the relevant information contained in the preamble, such as:

  • History of the issue
  • References to specific legislation
  • Past resolutions or current lobby efforts by MNL or other relevant organizations
  • Recent incidents or developments
  • Issue impacts, both positive and negative
  • Identifying others stakeholders with a vested interest
  • Supportive publications