I'm including a document in my news/mail message. What message body part format should I use for it?
This is the Frequently Given Answer to that question.
If your document is nothing but text with no formatting, no fonts, no colours, and no layout requirements, then save it as a "plain text" file and attach that with a text/plain MIME type (and the name of the character set that your "plain text" employs) to your message.
If your document is text with simple formatting codes such as boldface and italics, then save it as an enriched text file (i.e. a file in the format described in RFC 1896) and attach that with a text/enriched MIME type to your message.
If you intend your document to be laid out in a particular manner that you have specified, then save it as a PDF file and attach that with an application/pdf MIME type to your message.
If you don't mind how your document is laid out when viewed, but it contains complex formatting such as headers and tables, or hyperlinks that the RFC 1738 format doesn't work for in practice, then save it as an HTML file and attach that with a text/html MIME type to your message.
Note that Microsoft's Word document format is never appropriate.