Plain language resources

Drawing together the best plain language resources from Australia and overseas into one location – research, guidelines and practical advice.

The foundation's list of plain language resources is broken up into activities to help you find what you are looking for. Search for a particular topic by keyword or filter by activity. The resources include a range of historical materials that were influential in the development of plain language, particularly in Australia.

Please note that, apart from Victoria Law Foundation resources, all resources are held on external websites.

We have developed a guide on how we have grouped the resources to make it easier for you to use them.

595 resources
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Research and journals

Teaching plain language through editing

This articles looks at how a Swedish language agency teaches and promotes plain language. Specifically, the article offers suggestions about teaching plain language including empowering the writer, explaining changes and providing the right support.

Keywords: Sweden, training, teaching, editing

Published: 2013

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Research and journals

Case study: Comparison of plain language teaching for two non-native English-speaking professional groups: lawyers & engineers

This article looks at two different plain language teaching courses; one for lawyers and one for engineers. It details and compares each of the programs, noting the differences in student responsiveness and teaching approaches.

Keywords: teaching, training, non-native English, lawyers, engineers

Published: 2013

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Research and journals

Teaching grammar without scaring people

This article looks at how to teach grammar in a non-threatening, approachable way. It details how the differences between active and passive voice, dependent and independent clauses and nominalisations can be taught to individuals who may not have a firm understanding of grammar.

Keywords: grammar, teaching, training

Published: 2013

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Research and journals

We follow Aristotle

This article looks at effective plain language coaching. Borrowing from Aristotle, it outlines and details a three step process for good coaching; goals, means and adaptability.

Keywords: Aristotle, teaching, training, coaching

Published: 2013

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Research and journals

A "Show, don't Tell" lesson on plain language

This article looks at the benefits of showing, rather than just telling students how to use plain language. The article includes helpful tips and examples of materials that demonstrate how plain language can be used.

Keywords: teaching, training, students, university

Published: 2013

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Research and journals

Teaching plain language drafting in a legislative and administrative advocacy clinic

This article discusses the various elements of a plain language drafting course delivered at The Public Law Centre in the USA.

Keywords: legislative drafting

Published: 2013

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Research and journals

Visual clarity in contract drafting

This article discusses the concept of visual clarity and importance of visual aids in plain language. It provides a helpful discussion of how and why visual clarity is so effective, and what writers can do to incorporate visual clarity in their writing.

Keywords: visual clarity, drafting

Published: 2013

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Research and journals

Lessons from the workshop trenches: Challenges in teaching plain-language writing to health professionals

This article discusses the challenges that health professionals face when communicating clearly with patients. It explores a plain language program directed at health professionals that aims to improve their communication with patients.

Keywords: health, healthcare, communication, training, teaching

Published: 2013

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Research and journals

Clearer words, clearer justice

This article looks at student engagement in plain language courses in Mexico. Specifically, it details the challenges in getting students to make the shift to plain language, and the potential benefits to the justice system should this shift occur.

Keywords: Mexico, justice system, students, university

Published: 2013

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Research and journals

Trying to change the institutional culture: the European Commission's clear writing campaign

This article is a brief update on the European Commission's campaign for plain language.

Keywords: European Commission, non-English, culture

Published: 2012

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Research and journals

A study into best practice community legal information - a summary

This article summarises the factors that should be considered when providing community legal education. These factors include audience, design, and distribution.

Keywords: community legal information, audience, design, distribution

Published: 2012

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This page was last updated on August 17, 2016