Writing in Plain Language


An easy way to avoid red tape is writing in or asking others to write letters or give you information in plain language. Here are some tips for writing in plain language:

  • write short sentences
  • use bigger print
  • if you have to write a difficult or hard word to understand, put a short description of the word in brackets after the word. This way, you learn the meaning of both words.
  • Don’t make a sentence or paragraph too wordy.
  • Add pictures to the words because that they help to make it easier to understand.
  • If you’re reading or writing a report or book (or paper with more than one page), underline or star all the words that are hard to understand. Then, tell the reader that all the underlined words are at the back with a description or definition of the word.
  • There is booklet by Kathie Snow called People First Language. It has tips and ways to write in plain language.
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