Plain English is an approach to writing that concentrates on the needs of your readers. This approach is often called plain language because of its international value and use in other languages. It is ideal for people who write to and for clients, customers, employees, organization members, ratepayers, students and taxpayers. It helps us write for people who read at all levels of time, interest, education and literacy. It also benefits readers with limited English proficiency or learning disabilities.
Plain English is effective because your readers can understand your message. It is efficient because your readers can understand your message the first time they read it. That reader focus--combined with logical organization, clear writing and inviting appearance--is key to creating usable, informative documents for you and your organization.
The basics of clear, concise writing apply to all types of documents. Following plain-English principles will improve the readability of letters and memos, reports and newsletters, brochures and presentations, instruction manuals and legal documents, and most other documents. The principles also apply directly to writing news releases and Web pages, and they will aid translating English documents into other languages.
- Focusing on your reader and purpose
- Organizing your ideas
- Writing clear, effective paragraphs
- Writing clear, simple sentences
- Using suitable words
- Creating an enticing design
- Testing for clarity.
- Garbl's Guide to Concise Writing
- Other Plain-Language Resources (part of my plain English guide)
- Garbl's Plain Language Resources
- Garbl's Fat-Free-Writing Links.