Plain Language Materials & Resources

Group of different words to describe Clear and Plain Language.

Keep the reader in mind as you make decisions about organization, word choice and presentation.

Plain language makes it easier for everyone to understand and use health information. Although plain language is a familiar idea, many organizations don’t use it as often as they should. The Plain Writing Act of 2010external icon requires federal agencies to train staff and use plain language when they communicate with the public.

Plain Language Resources

  • Everyday Words for Public Health Communication 
    Everyday Words for Public Health Communication offers expert recommendations from CDC’s Health Literacy Council and other agency communicators on how to reduce jargon and replace problematic terms to improve comprehension.
    “Everyday Words” provides:
    • Substitute terms
    • Real-life examples of difficult public health passages
    • Revised wording
    • Tips to reinforce meaning and avoid other common pitfalls
  • The Federal Plain Language Guidelinesexternal icon
    The Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN) is a community of federal employees dedicated to the idea that citizens deserve clear communications from government. PLAIN developed and continues to revise The Federal Plain Language Guidelines to provide updated advice on clear communication.
  • Plain Language at NIHexternal icon
    National Institutes of Health
    NIH has established the Clear Communication initiative that focuses on achieving health literacy objectives. Their page on plain language has information about training and links to plain language resources.

Plain Language Promotional Materials

CDC is committed to plain language communication with the public. We created these posters to remind staff about plain language techniques. You can use these materials or create your own to promote plain language in your organization. You can find many plain language resources on the federal plain language web siteexternal icon.

These materials are sized for 8.5 X 11. If you want a large poster or small postcard size, please contact us.


Page last reviewed: March 16, 2021