Whether it is a brochure, an announcement, a note, flyer, booklet, document or a web page, it is important that your information can be read and understood by your intended readers. It is a good idea to use the principles of plain language when producing all your written information, because everyone benefits from understanding your information.
Plain language is a style of writing that uses everyday language at approximately a Grade 5 reading level. It uses short, simple words, and sentences that are no longer than 15 words. It avoids unnecessary information, jargon, and terminology and organizes main points of information into short paragraphs, lists and bullets. In addition, plain language has guidelines for the type of font to use as well as size of font, use of color, contrast and 14 images.
There are a number of online resources that provide guidelines for writing plain language documents. In addition, some organizations offer plain language services and will review and make suggestions to make your information easier for people to read. Some people may require reading materials in alternate formats such as large print, electronic copy, or Braille. Other people may want human assistance to support them to read and understand a written document.