Background: Appreciating Plain Language
Clarity matters. As users of communication products, we need text to be clear and understandable. We need to be able to use forms without getting lost and grumpy. Plain language helps. That’s the conclusion of researchers and practitioners. For more than forty years, they’ve explored how human beings process and use information. Researchers have learned people often read and "use" information because they want to get a job done. During this same period, workplace writers have developed strategies and techniques for creating documents people can use.
That’s especially important for those of us who work in or with the federal government. Our performance matters. We perform better—we understand and accomplish more—when information is structured so we can find what we want and use it to learn what we want to know or do what we want to do. To meet our goals, we need content that is clear.
Suggesting new topics
As with all areas, what topics are "hot" in plain language vary over time. The popular topics you see on this page have been suggested by members of PLAIN and others in the greater plain language community. New topics are being developed around plain language in e-government, and plain language role in meeting performance goals.
If you have been synthesizing Government content on a topic related to plain language and want to include it in this resource, please contact us.