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
Research and journals

Empowering individuals to understand and engage

The article looks at the use of a webcast program and plain language to engage members of the community with not-for-profit organisations. Specifically, the article talks about Boards for All, a Californian initiative that teaches people about not-for-profit governance.

Keywords: webcast, webinars, not-for-profit, governance

Published: 2012

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Research and journals

Wrong - again - about plain language

This article is an in-depth, critical analysis of Jack Stark's arguments against plain language. The article strongly challenges and rebuts Stark's arguments, rejecting the ideas that plain language is inaccurate or inappropriate.

Keywords: Jack Stark, critique

Published: 2012

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Research and journals

Plain language in the financial world

This article details the steps taken by a group of agencies to reform privacy notices given by financial institutions. The article notes key findings from the reform procedure and provides an example of a 'user-friendly' privacy notice. It also outlines the role of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in protecting the rights of consumers.

Keywords: privacy, reform, financial institutions, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Published: 2012

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Research and journals

The IC clear project

This article discusses the development of the International Consortium for Clear Communication (IC Clear) project to develop the first international clear communication course.

Keywords: IC Clear, international, communication, course

Published: 2012

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Research and journals

Plain language laws in Australia

This article discusses the prospects for plain language laws in Australia. It also explores issues such as how to define plain language, who the laws should be directed at, and how they would be enforced.

Keywords: Australia, legislation

Published: 2012

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Research and journals

Plain language laws in Netherlands

This articles discusses Dutch plain language laws. Specifically, it looks at the requirements that currently exist in constitutional statutes and consumer laws.

Keywords: Netherlands, legislation, civil rights, constitutional statutes, consumer laws

Published: 2012

Research and journals

Simple is smart, smart is fast

This article contains tip on how to increase the readability of letters. The author states that readers should know the important messages, whether they need to do anything and where they can find information within 15 seconds of opening a letter.

Keywords: readability, letters, tips

Published: 2012

Research and journals

You have the right to remain baffled: plain language and criminal justice

This article the impact that legal language has on individuals that come into contact with the criminal justice system, including victims, the accused, witnesses and families.

Keywords: legal language, justice system

Published: 2012

Research and journals

Plain language a commercial edge?

Law Institute Journal, August 2012, p53

This article by Joh Kirby makes the argument that developing a legal practice with a focus on plain language can give you a commercial edge. The article won the Rogers Legal Writing Award for outstanding written contribution to the Law Institute Journal in 2013.

Published: 2012

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Research and journals

Advocating plain language in the media

This article looks at how to promote plain language using various media outlets. This articles details the experiences of the Plain English Foundation and talks about their engagement with print, radio and online media.

Keywords: Plain English Foundation, print, radio, online, television, media

Published: 2012

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Research and journals

The Korean initiative for easy-to-understand laws

This article looks at the Korean initiative making the law more accessible. The article discusses the challenges faced, including the complex integration of Chinese characters in Korean laws and provides examples of how these changes were made and the public response to them.

Keywords: Korea, re-writing, accessible

Published: 2012

Research and journals

Plain language: no budget – no problem

This article outlines the activities of the US Plain Language Action and Information Network. The article explains that US PLAIN is run by a dedicated number of volunteer members who's focus is promoting the use of plain language in government communications.

Keywords: US PLAIN, volunteers, members, government communications, promoting plain language

Published: 2012

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This page was last updated on August 17, 2016