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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Writing for the Web [and using plain language] — National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities

This article provides useful writing tips for most type of documents, not just websites, to help engage and motivate readers. It discusses each of these tips:

  • Understand how people read on the web
  • Help readers skim and scan
  • Put the essential message first
  • Chunk your information
  • Use headings and subheadings.
And it concludes with this short tip:
Write in plain language
It’s always a good idea to write in plain, understandable language, but never more than on the web. Plain language is friendly and easy-going, avoids jargon (or explains it), and is characterized by shorter sentences written in an active, engaging voice. It’s especially helpful to readers with limited reading skills or English skills.
For more information on plain language, visit my website, Garbl's Plain English Writing Guide. It provides advice on these seven steps:

  • 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.
This National Dissemination Center article is featured today, Feb. 26, in my daily online paper, Garbl's Plain English Paragraphs, available at the Plain Language tab above and by free email subscription.

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