I heard a webinar archive recently to learn more about plain language. I knew that plain language means writing as simply as possible. However, I chose to learn more in an effort to improve how my writing comes across to my blog readers. The webinar occurred on May 21, 2020. I heard the archive on March 23, 2022. The
is a joint project of the
The webinar archive containing the recording and materials is
In this blog post, I will share what I learned and my plan of action as a blogger.
The presenter represented a university and was focused on plain language in healthcare. The concepts discussed can be applied in other settings as well, including blogs.
Importance of Plain Language
Plain language means communicating clearly to other people. The presenter pointed out that different readers have different reading skill levels. For example, some individuals scan written information without reading all of it. When using the word “scan” in her presentation, the presenter was talking about reading information quickly to find important points. Most of the webinar was focused on tips for using plain language.
Basic Plain Language Tips
Plain language should be easy to understand by keeping information simple It can also be helpful to remove words and sentences which are not necessary. The presenter also encouraged writers to write in a conversation style.
Additional tip: Lists and Headings
Headings and lists, when appropriate, can help readers understand information. Headings should briefly describe what will be covered. When listing information, a summary sentence can help a reader understand important points. I will now share my writing action plan.
Blake’s Writing Action Plan
Since my blog is disability-focused, my writing needs to be understandable by people with a variety of disabilities. Last year, I began including headings on my blog articles to make navigation easier for screen reader users such as myself. Moving forward into the future, I will focus on using simple words and explain things which might be unclear. I realized while listening to the plain language webinar that words and ideas which make sense to me could be confusing for some people. Bottom line: I will do my best to make my word choices clearer to help everyone understand what I am trying to share.
Question for Readers
What strategies used by writers help you understand information you are reading? I will return with another article