W riting in plain English means writing clearly using everyday language. Plain English writing is not dumbed down. When you use plain English, it shows respect for your readers: you have created a document they can use and understand. Plain English writing:
- uses active voice rather than passive voice (He rented the house not The house was rented by him)
- uses everyday words that most readers will understand
- refers to the reader as ‘you’ (Give your key to the manager)
- refers to your organisation as ‘we’ (We will post the form to you)
- avoids jargon
- uses technical words where they are needed
- is informal where appropriate
- keeps sentences short and to the point
- removes unnecessary words
- follows a logical structure
- answers your client’s questions
- avoids repetition.
Why use plain English?
Safety – tell people clearly how to avoid danger.
Understanding – reach a wide audience.
Respect – help clients and customers to understand your message.
Clarity – reduce the need to explain yourself.
You may be writing an instruction manual, website text, advertising copy, a recipe book, a corporate report or a menu. I can help you reword your document so that as many people as possible can read and understand it.