• You achieve plain English when you use the simplest, most straightforward way of expressing an idea.
• Writers of plain English let their audience concentrate on the message . . . They make sure that their audience understands the message easily.
Principles of plain language:
• Use simple words, or explain longer words
• Short sentences
• Write in the first person using pronouns, such as "I," "we," and "you."
• Use active sentences and stay in the present tense
• Practical focus: explain things in the order they need to be done
• Use bullets and design elements to simplify
• Use upper and lower case (DO NOT SHOUT)
• Limit use of bold, underlined or italicized text
Clear design relates to the layout and graphic design of your print material or website.
Use a minimum 12 point font
In printed material use serif font
Online use sans serif
Karten, C. (2007). Easy to Write? Creating Easy-to-Read Patient Education Materials. Journal Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 11(4), 506-510
National Cancer Institute. (2003). Clear & Simple: Developing Effective Print Materials for Low-Literate Readers. Retrieved on June 16, 2008, from http://www.cancer.gov/aboutnci/oc/clear-and-simple
van Haaften, Jami. (2013). Plain Language & Readability [PowerPoint Presentation].
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