What is Plain English?

All documents are written for a purpose and an audience. Whether the reader is a member of the public, internal staff member or senior decision-maker, they need documents to be clear, concise and informative.

You're probably all too familiar with poorly written documents. The language is usually passive, unclear and bureaucratic. Sentences are too long and contain jargon and cliches. Most are written to suit the writer, rather than the reader. Importantly, the information is not structured to assist easy understanding. This is especially important when the reader has limited time and lacks detailed content knowledge.

A well-written document:

  • is structured and presented in a way that makes it easy to read and understand
  • has a clear purpose and an argument that flows through the document
  • draws the reader's attention quickly to the key issues
  • presents background and other supporting information concisely, with clear relevance to the issues
  • uses effective communication techniques including plain English, active voice and a clear, helpful format.
I can train your staff to make your department's written products more readable and easy to understand. I can also edit your government documents using plain English, so you get a finished product. I aim to make your job less stressful by training your staff and delivering well-written documents so you don't need to spend as much time re-writing.
Perfect Documents 2015