One person at a time

Who plain English benefits, ideal sentence length, and a tool that identifies complex writing.

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Clear language works across all sectors and subjects. So, if you don't mind me asking, what do you do and how does plain English fit into your work?

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Quick note to say I run exciting plain English workshops with teams from all sorts of organisations. Email if you'd like to know more about how they work.

How to improve your writing with plain English

An absolutely smashing guide from the team at Scope, who do a brilliant job of creating accessible content. The principles here are all great and repeat much of the advice in the free guide from the Plain English Campaign. But it's the section on who plain English benefits that I really recommend.

Sentence length: why 25 words is our limit

This post on GOV.UK is from 2014 but the benefits of writing shorter sentences remain the same today. One other thing that I always emphasise when running training sessions is one idea per sentence. It forces you to think about what you are trying to say and helps get the word count down.

The joy of plain language; my Bob Ross inspired approach to content design

A good article by Jonathan Vaughan from the Royal National Institute for Deaf People. I like the section on reading age as well as the idea of thinking about and writing for one person at a time.

Principles that guide our content design and communications in Funeralcare

It's all well and good using clear language, but you still have to get the right tone and choose the right words. It's even more important when writing about difficult or sensitive topics. The Co-op team do lots of great work and this piece by lead content designer, Helen Lawson, is a fine example.

Tool: Hemingway Editor

Want robots to tell you when your writing is too complex? That's more or less what Hemingway has been doing for years. I don't use it personally, but I know a lot of people who do include it in their daily writing process.

"That's all we have, finally, the words, and they had better be the right ones."
Raymond Carver

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