Plain Language Communication

Communication your audience understands the first time

Organize to serve the audience

  • Know your audience and purpose before you begin
  • Put the most important message first
  • Present other information in order of importance to the audience
  • Break text into logical chunks and use headings

Choose words carefully

  • Write in the active voice
  • Choose words and numbers your audience knows
  • Keep sentences and paragraphs short
  • Include “you” and other pronouns

Make information easy to find

  • Use headings and text boxes
  • Delete unnecessary words, sentences, and paragraphs
  • Create lists and tables


Page last reviewed: October 17, 2019