A checklist about writing clear information materials
Use this checklist to help you with tips that will make your information more clear.
Have you identified your audience and written for them?
find out what type of information your audience needs, and how they understand and use it
if you work with your audience, find out from them what would meet their needs
if you don’t work with your audience, talk to front-line workers that work with them
Have you used plain language?
use words that are easy to understand, and descriptive headings
Have you chosen the right words?
speak directly to your reader – use “you”
avoid jargon and the passive voice
define difficult but necessary words such as legal terms
be consistent, and don’t be afraid to repeat words
watch out for acronyms, and spell them out where possible
Have you doublechecked your numbers?
use digits rather than spelling out numbers
when writing down dates, spell out the month rather than using a number
be as specific as possible about time frames, and give examples
present numbers visually by using tables and charts
avoid using Roman numerals in headings
Have you read your information out loud?
if some of it seems artificial or stilted, replace with more colloquial language
get a colleague to listen to you read and give you feedback
This checklist is also available as a one page downloadable PDF.