Plain Language Writing for the Web

Writing in plain language is about understanding your audience.

In order to write in plain language for the web, it is imperative to understand the way your audience behaves online. Most people don’t take the time to read every word, instead they scan through information. If your content is not written to accommodate these behaviours, the reader won’t get what you’re trying to say.

The importance of writing in plain language is to provide your audience with clear, simple information.

There are key points to writing in plain language, such as:

  • Using common terms that your audience uses
  • Using pronouns to speak directly to your audience
  • Eliminating repetition
  • Understanding how the audience reads – heat maps/f-pattern give us a guideline for how to structure the information
  • Writing to the reader
  • Writing for the medium
  • Using short sentences/paragraphs
  • Giving your audience exactly what they need – avoiding wordiness or irrelevant information

All of these factors should ensure that the reader can easily find the information they were looking for and understand it.

If the information is not clear, the reader will likely leave the page and never return.

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