Write For Your Reader The Northwest Territories Literacy Council
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A Plain Language Handbook

What is the purpose of my document?

What do I want to happen when people read my document?
What do I want my readers to be able to do after they read my document?
Do I want or need something specific? Do I want to achieve or prevent something? Do I want to change peoples’ behaviour?
If I want to ‘inform’ people, what do I want them to do with the information?

What do my readers need to know?

What do people already know about this topic?
Do they use other documents related to this topic?Do I need to use the same terms as other documents?

What information do I need to include?
What information can I leave out?

What is the most important thing my readers need to know so they can respond?

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