Plain language: audience and purpose

Last updated on September 10, 2020

What is your purpose?

Before you start writing content, consider your purpose in doing so. Are you trying to:

  • address a specific need?
  • build a resource?
  • share your knowledge about a topic?

Have you chosen an effective and efficient way to achieve your purpose?

What is your audience looking for?

Now that you understand your purpose, consider your audience. You may not need to share every detail you know about the topic.

The more readable, concise and targeted the information you provide, the more likely it is to be seen as a trusted and valuable resource.

Address each audience separately

If different groups with different needs will read your content, break it up into different sections. Each section should address the needs of a particular group.

Audience diversity

Think about the following:

  • What if someone is trying to access this information in an emergency situation?
  • What if they are overtired, stressed, on a mobile device, or on a poor Internet connection?
  • Could you change things to make your page more accessible and easier to use?

Exercise Three: Website Comparison

Continue to Plain Language: Structure