1. Use a friendly, down to earth tone.
Be real. Write directly to the reader using words like you, we, etc.
2. Keep sentences and paragraphs short and simple.
Include only one idea per sentence.
3. Choose your words carefully.
Avoid formal language—use simple, familiar words instead.
4. Make it easy for your readers to find information.
Choose a title that lets people see immediately whether it’s relevant to them. Write your message in logical order.
Put the most important information first. Make sure the ideas flow logically, with clear links between them. If
it’s a set of instructions, put them in the order they should be carried out. Use lists and bullet points to make
information easier to grasp.
5. Layout and design matter too.
Remember to maintain white space, and choose graphic images that include diverse subjects. Don’t use anything
that could potentially offend someone or violate copyright.
6. Write, check and rewrite.
Use this checklist to assess your first draft. Then rewrite and check it again.
Is the tone down-to-earth and friendly? Have you
written directly to the reader (using “you”, “we”, etc.)?
Does it stick to the most important information?
Does it tell the readers what they need to know?
Will the words be familiar to most readers? Have you
Sentence & Paragraph Structure
Are the sentences simple and straightforward, with
one idea in each? Are the paragraphs or units of information manageable?
Is the purpose clear at the beginning? Is there a
Layout & Legibility
logical flow of ideas, with clear links between ideas? Is information easy to find? Are there headings or graphics to clarify and point the way? Are important points highlighted apart from the text?
Does the material look inviting? Do the paper and
ink colors maximize readability? Is the type size and style easy to read? Is there plenty of “white space”? If there are graphics, are they simple, culturally and socially appropriate, and placed so they don’t interfere with the text?minimized jargon, acronyms and technical language, and explained the ones you decided to include?