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Plain English

The best way to communicate to your audience is to write in plain English. Writing in plain English means using simpler, more direct language.

How to write in plain English

  • avoid jargon
  • use active voice (not passive)
  • use shorter, more easily understood words and phrases
  • minimise punctuation (use short sentences instead of a long sentence broken up with punctuation)

Plain English words and phrases

Don't write this Write this
a number of some, many, few
address this issue look for solutions, solve this problem, fix this
approximately about
adequate number of enough
aggregated total
amongst among
as a consequence of because
ascertain find out
assist help
at a later date later
at the time of writing, at this point in time now
cognisant of aware of, know
collaborate with work with
commence start, begin
concerning about
consequently so
create a dialogue speak to
deliver, drive say what you are doing, for example 'increasing', 'achieving'
despite the fact that although
discontinue stop
dispatch send
documentation documents
due to the fact that because, since, as
during the month of September in September
establish create, set-up, form
examine look at, check, discuss
facilitate help
give consideration to think about, consider
going forward future
has a responsibility for is responsible for, or say what it is, for example 'is responsible for managing', say 'manages'
have the capacity to can
identify set, create, decide on, know, recognise
if this is not the case if not
if this is the case if so
impact upon affect
in accordance with in line with
implement apply, install, do
in order to to
in receipt of get, have, receive, receiving
in relation to about
in the event of, in the event that if, when
in the light of, in view of because of
it is requested that you declare you should declare
it should be noted that note that, remember that
key, important, primary main
leverage use, build on
make an application apply
make a complaint complain
methodology method
notwithstanding even though, though
obtain get, have
prior to before
primary main
provide give
provide a response to respond to
provide assistance with help
pursuant to under
reach a decision decide
require need or must
subsequently after
that is the reason why that is why
the way in which how
thereafter then, afterwards
until such time as until
upon on
utilise use
whether or not whether
with reference to, with regard to, with respect to about, regarding

Source: GOV.AU Content Guide