Plain Language Exercise Eleven Takeaways

Sample revised text as viewed on Hemingwayapp.com (click to expand):

Screenshot of the corrected exercise text displayed on hemingwayapp.com


Transcript of revised text:

Hiring managers must keep competition files for at least two years. They don't need to submit them to the BC Public Service Agency.
 
This policy changed June 1, 2017.

Notice the following:

  • The new text passes all of the Hemingway App's tests
  • The readability score has dropped to grade 5 – a little higher than our aim, but this may be acceptable for the target audience. Can you do better without compromising the clarity of the message?
  • The phrase “competition files” is contributing to the grade 5 score – it is government jargon. In this case, the jargon may, in fact, help the target audience (government hiring managers) to understand the policy
  • The word count has dropped to 29 – less than half of the original text!
  • The effective date of the change has been moved to the end as that information is less important than the changed policy itself
  • The reason for the change has been omitted as it is not likely important to the audience. Is there other information that could be left out?

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