Guide the Reader through the Information
- Who is my audience?
- What does my audience already know about the subject?
- What does my audience need to know?
- What questions will my audience have?
- What is the best outcome for my agency? What do I need to say to get this outcome?
- What is the best outcome for the audience? What do I need to say to get this outcome?
Use a standard [subject] [verb] [object] sentence
Specifies who you are addressing in the sentence
Concise Sentences and Paragraphs
- The average sentence length should be approximately 15 to 20 words
- The average paragraph should have one topic sentence and develop one idea
- Start with the main idea, then cover exceptions and conditions
Simplify Complex Information
- Lists make it easier for the reader to identify the order of all items or steps in a process
- Headings reveal the text’s organization
- Headings are categorized as question, statement, or topic types
- Tables/charts visualize data
- Tells the audience whether the paragraph expands on the preceding paragraph, contrasts it, or takes it in a new direction
- Transition words are categorized as pointing words, echo links, or explicit connective types
Define Uncommon Terms
- Define uncommon terms (including acronyms upon first use) and use the same terms consistently
- Use concrete and familiar verbiage when possible