Simply said, writing in plain English prioritizes the needs of the reader. The reader can find the information offered, comprehend it, and take action thanks to plain language. From the reader's point of view, plain language considers the entire message, including words, structure, and visual components. Clear language is another name for plain language. Employers can explain their safe work practices or rules more effectively by using clear language. It can ensure that instructions are followed and deliver information in an understandable way. Written in plain language, a document should be easy to understand, straightforward, succinct, and well-organized. A clear sentence is one that is: concise effective insightful well-organized active Oversimplifying, dumbing down, or using simple words does not constitute using plain language.
Why not use simple language?
Everyone has a right to information that enables them to carry out their jobs safely or maintain their health. Whether reading a safety manual at work or completing a medical paperwork for their doctor, it's critical that individuals comprehend what they are reading. A reader cannot make wise selections if they can not comprehend the material. This disconnect hinders communication and increases frustration, mistakes, and misunderstandings. Adopting the principles of simple English makes it possible for information to be quickly understood, used, and inclusive of all literacy levels.
Who is helped by utilizing simple language?
Everyone benefits from using plain language, especially those who might have difficulty reading, seeing, or speaking the language in its native tongue. those who might not have the time to read an extensive document (e.g., people who are working on an active job site) individuals with impairments People's capacity for understanding is hampered by a number of communication hurdles. Clear writing aids in removing these obstacles. Everyone can read and understand writing when it is written in clear language. Readers are more likely to comprehend, follow, and act on the information offered and do so with less error.
How can health and safety use plain language?
Information should be communicated in the workplace using plain language principles, especially when it concerns the worker's health and safety. If any of the following apply to your workplace: There are many injuries. low danger reporting safety precautions are not being adhered to Making sure that all health and safety information is written in plain English is one way that workplaces can adopt and promote the usage of plain language. implementing plain language standards across all publications and offering plain language instruction Document types can include, but are not restricted to: programs, policies, and processes Work planning, health and safety manuals Health records, departmental policies, and memoranda any record containing publicly available information
How are the rules of simple language used?
Ask yourself the following questions before you start writing: Who am I writing for? What key point is being made? After reading the document, what do you want the reader to do or comprehend? Create a blueprint once you've decided who your audience is and what your writing goal is. Some authors find it helpful to write down every idea, review it, and then pick the ones that are most pertinent to their message and goal. Use the inverted triangle technique described in the online video from the US Immigration department for producing a plain language plan. Once you're prepared to write: convey the most crucial details first Be succinct. describe a single thing or idea at a time. logically present the information (e.g., list the steps or actions that must be taken in the correct order) Break up lengthy paragraphs and sentences. Organize material into lists of instructions or a series of stages. Use simple, well-known language. subject-verb-object order is an example of an active voice (e.g., John hit the ball.) examples for illustrating complicated ideas pleasant language and tone of discourse Make the statement more specific by utilizing I, you, and we. reiterate the action you want the readers to take Avoid using passive voice (e.g., The ball was hit by John.) jargon superfluous or needless words legal or official tones abstract or difficult words information that will draw the reader's attention away from the document's core objective
How does information design relate to writing in plain language?
Clear information organization is achieved by the application of specialized techniques. A document's style and layout are also considered while using plain language, in addition to the words used. Information design may, but need not, involve: Size and style of the font Make your fonts and size choices readable. For the majority of people, 12-point font is readable. For elders or those who are visually impaired, choose a higher font size. Use serif fonts for information with lots of text. Serif typefaces contain ""feet"" or ""tails"" at the bottom of each letter, which could assist a reader in visually navigating the page (e.g., Times New Roman) For titles and brief headings, use sans serif typefaces. Sans serif fonts aid in emphasizing essential titles and giving the reader a visual contrast (e.g., Calibri) Bulleted lists Using bullet points makes content easier to read for the reader. Headings and subheadings Headings and subheadings help act as an organizational tool, showing the information in a logical order Can highlight the information that is available in each section Open space Space between paragraphs, headings, and subheadings helps a reader to draw attention to how information is organized on the page Leave approximately 50% of the total page area as “white space” or “open” Simple graphics Using simple graphics helps a reader understand information without relying only on reading words Important information can be emphasized by strategically using bold font, boxes, illustrations, images, tables, graphics, and colours [Source: TERMIUM Plus® Writing Tips Plus, 2022] Avoid Fonts that are too small Using italics, underlining, and shading as they are hard to read Using all capitalized words (Readers associate words with shapes. All capitalization obstructs the word shape.) Using too many graphics, colours, and images that distract the reader away from the document’s message Remember, information design should be used to make it easier for your reader to locate, understand and act. It is not meant to make the document look more attractive.
How do I know if my document is written plainly?
Testing your document is an important step to ensure your document is meeting the plain language criteria. Can the reader locate, understand, and act easily using the information presented? Peer Review Ask people who are part of the target audience to read through the document. Ask the readers to provide the following feedback: Were they able to locate, understand, and act on the information presented? How many times did they read through the document before understanding its message? Do they have any unanswered questions after reading the information? Readability test Conduct a readability test. There are many grammar and readability tools available, such as the SMOG readability formula (SMOG: Simple Measure of Gobbledygook) or the Flesch-Kincad grade level index which is available with some word processing software packages (i.e., Mircosoft Word). For more information on writing in plain language, the Treasury Board of Canada offers a publication titled Content Style Guide.""" - https://www.affordablecebu.com/