Eight Factors that influence Plain Language

The National Credit Act, Companies Act and Consumer Protection Act have some guidelines for Plain Language. These will determine if your document is in plain language. 

They are:

  • The content of the document. What does the document say?
  • The level of comprehension of the document. What does your audience understand when reading the document?
  • The consistency of information. Is the information in the document used in a uniform and consistent manner?
  • The organisation and style of the document. Is the lay-out of the document easy to understand?
  • The vocabulary used. Would your audience be able to understand the language you used in the document?
  • The sentence structure. Are sentences short, concise and easy to read?
  • Headings. Did you use headings to help guide your audience through the document?
  • Illustrations and visual aids. Did you use any illustrations or diagrams to assist your audience in understanding the document?

Source: "Guidelines to writing in Plain Language" De Rebus July 2012

By Michele van Eck, Writers Write Consultant 

Michele has a BComm in business management and law, as well as an LLB and an LLM. With specialized qualifications in corporate and contractual law, Michele writes for De Rebus and has co-authored articles for TSAR (a journal for South African law).

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