I just wanted to share this great little “Plain English Guide” that I discovered today.

Among the wisdom in this 20 page gem are these writing guidelines:

1. Know your audience.
2. Get to the point.
3. Use everyday words.
4. Avoid jargon and abbreviations
5. Keep sentences and paragraphs short.

It looks like they’ve taken their lead from The Plain English Campaign, which looks like something I could definitely get behind. The goal of Plain English is to produce information that the reader can understand the first time they read it. All our communications should be clear, concise and as jargon-free as possible. You may need to adapt your writing style to suit your audience – particularly if you are writing for children and young people – but by using Plain English you should always be able to communicate effectively.

Plain English is not childish and it’s not patronizing. It simply means writing in a clear and friendly way and always keeping your reader in mind.

Learn more about the Plain English campaign at http://www.plainenglish.co.uk