What is Plain English?

Plain English is a clear style of writing that uses the minimum number of words necessary to convey a message.  

 

Plain English uses

●      common, everyday words

●      short sentences

●      words like 'I', 'we', 'you' to address the reader

●      a logical structure for information.

 

Unlike Easy English, Plain English does not use images to compliment text.


Plain English example

Before

It is important that you read the notes, advice and information detailed opposite then complete the form overleaf (all sections) and return to the Council by way of the envelope provided in a timely manner.

After

Please read the notes opposite before you fill in the form. Then send it to us as soon as possible in the envelope provided.

 


Why use Plain English?

In business today, there is a tendency to overwrite everything from job advertisements and customer communications to policies and procedures. This can result in loss of potential customers or even more serious implications such as safety procedures not being followed.

 

Some of the issues faced by organisations we have spoken to include:

 

●      OHS policies and procedures so complex that staff are unable to follow them

●      customers have difficulty filling out forms because they are so complex

●      marketing documents so complex that customers are unable to understand exactly what they are being offered.

 

 These are worrying problems, but they are easily fixed.  Talk to us about how.