5 Reasons To Use Plain Language

No business should waste resources producing documents that are dense and difficult to read. People don’t have the time or energy to wade through gobbledygook.

When we communicate in plain language, misunderstandings disappear and the reader actually reads the information and uses it. Staff and management don’t spend precious time explaining what they meant. 

Plain language:

  1. Streamlines procedures and paperwork
  2. Increases understanding and satisfaction among customers and staff
  3. Reduces confusion, complaints and enquiries seeking clarification
  4. Creates a positive image
  5. Saves time and money

Which businesses and industries should use plain language?

All organisations can benefit from using plain language. Non-profit and the public service sector improve their reputation in the eyes of the public. Private industry gains a competitive advantage.

Organisations reaping rewards from using plain language include:

  • government departments
  • municipalities
  • banks
  • insurance companies
  • law firms
  • legal advisory services
  • information technology companies

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What is plain language?

Plain language involves making sure that documents are written in the most direct and clear way so that readers can easily understand and use the information.

We must:

  • Remove jargon and unnecessary official, legal or bureaucratic wording.
  • Replace lengthy, complex sentences with concise ones.
  • Pay attention to design and layout of documents to make them as accessible as possible.

Plain language is a vital tool for clear communication.

Which documents should be written in plain language?

  1. Letters, memos, emails
  2. Reports
  3. Policy documents
  4. Procedure manuals
  5. Forms
  6. Submissions and tenders
  7. Brochures and newsletters
  8. Contracts
  9. Words for the website

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What is Plain Language? Legal Definition


Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate