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Plain English Please infographic

Plain English Please! Plain English Approved by NALA Cut out the Jargon. If your message is important, then you will want to do everything in your power to make sure that everyone understands it. Plain English is a style of writing information that helps you to understand it the first time you read it. It involves using short, clear sentences and everyday words. It does not use small print or unnecessary jargon. The Facts The longer your sentences, the less your readers will understand, according to research by the American Press Institute. The study Recent research by the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) in Ireland, found that almost 95% of Irish adults are in favour of plain shows that: I When the average sentence length in a piece was fewer than eight words long, readers understood 100% of the story. English. About half of them (48%) find official documents, including information from the Government difficult to understand. They also find jargon, terms and conditions, and financial information challenging. I Even at 14 words, they could comprehend more than 90% of the information. After producing a clearer bill in plain English, British Telecom (BT) saw customer inquiries fall by 25% each quarter. I But move up to 43-word sentences, and comprehension dropped below 10%. Civil servants in the UK are banned from using over 30 words and phrases considered to be jargon. A government style guide bans terms such as strengthening, deliver, tackling and slimming down. When Arizona's Department of Revenue rewrote one letter in plain English, it received about 11,000 fewer phone calls than in the previous year. What is Plain English? Plain English is a way of presenting information that helps someone understand it the first time they read or hear it. When you use plain English, you: use everyday words where possible explain specialised words if they can't be avoided use a readable font type and size (such as Arial or Calibri point size 12) keep sentences to about 15 to 20 words Two Good Reasons to Use Plain English It's only fair. Plain English gives us information in a language we can understand and helps us to make informed choices. It is particularly important to provide information in plain English for people with literacy difficulties. Plain English makes good business sense. Clearer information is shown to improve public sector performance, reduce mistakes and lead to fewer complaints and repeated questions. Plain English Approved by NALA The Plain English Movement around the World The European Commission launched a Clear Writing campaign in 2012. This campaign encourages staff to write more clearly and make all types of documents, in all languages, shorter and simpler. In the United States, the Plain Writing Act of 2010 passed through the House of Representatives in 2010. The Act requires the federal government to write all new public documents in a "clear, concise, well-organised" manner that follows plain language writing standards. In Australia, laws on income tax and road safety have been put into plain English and much of the movement towards using clearer language has come from state government and the legal profession. In Mexico, the government's Citizens' Language project aims to make government regulations more understandable to citizens. How to Use Plain English The Top Five Writing Tips Write for your audience Think of the person you are writing for and why you are writing. Ask yourself what words the person is likely to know already and what message they are supposed to get from your information. Be personal and direct Don't be afraid to use 'we' for your organisation and 'you' for the reader. As much as possible, say who is doing what, for example "We will write to you' instead of 'A letter will be sent'. Keep it simple There's nothing wrong with long words, but why use one when a short word will do? If you must use specialised language or jargon, explain what it means. 3 Define or spell out any unavoidable jargon and abbreviations 4 If you must use a technical word because there is no plain alternative to it, define the term the first time you use it. The same applies to abbreviations – spell them out, especially if you intend to use them several times. Keep sentences short Long sentences can be hard work to read. Keep sentences to an average of 15 to 20 words. Try not to use wordy and formal phrases such as 'in the event of", 'in accordance with' or 'subsequent to'. What It Looks Like on a Page: Before and after Editing Application form Before After I declare that the foregoing particulars are correct and I hereby authorise the company to make whatever enquiries it considers necessary to process this application. The above details are correct. The company may check any of my details to process this form. Report on Customer Service Research Before After We identified that using extra The proliferation of PCs throughout the organisation and the ongoing implementation of the new computer system were identified as developments which will provide opportunities to address quality communications to the customer. computers and the new computer system will help us improve how we communicate to our customers. Words or Phrases to Avoid in Certain Sectors Health Medical Jargon Plain English Analgesic Painkiller Ascertain Find out Catheter Tube Excise Cut out Suture Stitch Finance Financial Jargon Plain English Accrue Build up Liabilities Debts Overdue Not yet paid Variable Can change Surcharge Extra charge Legal Legal Jargon Plain English Onus Duty Plaintiff Person bringing a case to court Negligence Carelessness Duress Pressure Forfeit Lose References: Simply Plain English editing, writing and training service - Put NALA provided by the National Adult Literacy Agency.

Plain English Please infographic

shared by CMcnally on Dec 26
Simply Put provides plain English training and plain English editing services to organisations across Ireland. We help you to learn how to communicate effectively in plain English.


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