How to Use This Resource

This resource is intended to demonstrate best practices in reviewing writing for plain language and provide you with general information and resources on plain language.

It presents a model document in three different versions:

  • Version 1: The original document with initial review comments identifying major areas to revise; includes some do’s and don’ts.
  • Version 2: The document showing track changes of major edits.
  • Version 3: The final version of revised document.

By reading the comments, recommendations, and changes in the different versions, you will have the opportunity to learn how to write or revise your own documents following plain-language principles. You’ll benefit the most if you take the time to compare the different versions and consider the annotations.

The A Plain Language Checklist section provides a checklist of items to consider when reviewing writing for plain language, and the Other Resources section lists some useful plain-language resources.

Navigating the Model Document

Each version of the model document is provided in two formats:

  1. A PDF version of a Word document that can be downloaded and viewed in a PDF reader.
  2. An replication of the Word document that can be read directly in this resource. This version was provided for screen reader accessibility, offline access, and improved readability. It contains the same content as the PDF version, but all comments are in footnotes.

If accessing this resource on the web, you can hover your cursor over the footnote number to see the comments. If you are using a screen reader, the content of a footnote will be read when the link for the footnote receives focus.
A cursor hovers over a footnote number. The content of the footnote appears as a tool tip.

If you click a footnote number, you will be taken to the list of comments, which are compiled at the end of the document. Once there, there is a small return arrow at the end of the footnote that will bring you back to your place in the document.

A screenshot of three comments in footnotes. At the end of each footnote, there is a small return arrow.


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Plain Language Best Practices Copyright © 2021 by West Coast Editorial Associates is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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