Plain language exercise one takeaways

If you gave up on reading the first paragraph and just moved on to the next one, you are not alone. Giving up is a common reaction when we come across text that is dense and hard to read.

Both text samples are about determining who needs to have a criminal record check performed. 

Notes on text sample 1:

  • Message is buried in a long and confusing run-on sentence
  • Even if part of the sentence applies to you, it is hard to figure out what to do
  • You might ignore the information altogether or contact a government representative for clarification.

Notes on text sample 2:

  • A little shorter (55 vs. 66 words)
  • Conveys the same information much more clearly
  • Easy to scan, skip over the parts that don’t apply
  • Helps the reader focus on the parts that are relevant

Continue to Exercise Two: What are they trying to say?