Plain language (also called Plain English) is communication your audience can understand the first time they read or hear it.

Plain language is defined by results—it is easy to read, understand, and use.

Written material is in plain language if your audience can:

  • Find what they need;
  • Understand what they find; and
  • Use what they find to meet their needs.

Strategies for Writing in Plain Language:

  • Omit unnecessary words
  • Write short sentences
  • Write short paragraphs
  • Avoid smothered verbs
  • Avoid elegant variation, which invigorates creative writing but can confuse readers when they’re trying to understand instructions or regulations; use the same standard terms each time you refer to them.


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