Plain Language Checklist
AreaActivityCompleted?
AudienceWho are my readers[ ]
.What do my readers already know[ ]
.Why will they read this[ ]
.What do my readers need to know[ ]
OrganizationIs the information presented logically[ ]
.Do they understand what they are about to read[ ]
.Do they know how the document is organized[ ]
.Do they know what its purpose is[ ]
.Is the most important information first[ ]
.Can the reader quickly and easily find what they are looking for[ ]
.Have I guided my reader through the text[ ]
.Have I used headings and subheadings[ ]
WordsHave I writtern directly to my readers[ ]
.Did I use words that my readers would when talking about this subject[ ]
.Have I explained unfamiliar terms and acronyms[ ]
.Have I used verbs to describe action[ ]
.Have I used words my readers know[ ]
.Have I used words with clear meanings[ ]
.Have I used appropriate examples[ ]
.Have I used bias free langauge[ ]
.Have I avoided using nominalizations[ ]
.Have I avoided using jargon[ ]
.Have I avoided using words from foreign languages[ ]
SentencesHave a written sentences with only one idea[ ]
.Have I written sentences with an average length of 15 to 25 words[ ]
.Have I used the active rather than passive voice[ ]
.Have I written clearly, concisely without surplus words[ ]
.Have I avoided using unnecessary preanmbles[ ]
.Have I avoided using double negatives[ ]
.Have I avoided using prepositional phrases[ ]
.Have I used point form and tabulation lists where apprporiate[ ]
ParagraphsHave I used paragraphs with only one topic[ ]
.Have I used paragraphs with sentences that relate to each other[ ]
.Have I used paragraphs with appropriate transitions[ ]
DesignHave I used a serif typeface and a type size of 10 or 12 points[ ]
.Do my headings and subheadings stand out[ ]
.Have I used visual images appropriately[ ]
.Have I used a justified left margin and a ragged right margin[ ]
.Have I used plenty of white space[ ]
TestingHave I decided what variables I am testing for[ ]
.Have I analyzed my audience[ ]
.How many people should I include in the test groups[ ]
.How much time and money will testing cost[ ]
.Whom will I choose to read my document for informal testing[ ]
.How will I evaluate the results of my testing[ ]
.What changes will I make as a result of the testing[ ]