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

Use white space to break up the text.

Use white space to separate paragraphs and sections of your document.
Use margins at least one inch wide. Justify the left margin. Leave the right margin ragged.
Use columns if they work well. Text in two columns on a 8 1/2 X 11 page is easier to read than text across the whole page.
Highlight important information.
Use boxes around important information to make it more prominent.
Use colour shading to add interest and set text apart.
Use bullets, arrows or other small graphics for point form lists.
Use italics to emphasize a word or phrase, or for phrases in other languages. Italics are hard to read, so limit their use.
Use bold print or underline for titles or to add emphasis.
Use all capitals only to draw attention to a heading or to make a brief statement, such as: KEEP OUT.

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