Plain language: design

The way your text looks on the page can make it easier to read and understand.

Research shows that the following techniques help readers find what they're looking for quickly and easily.

Use headings

Headings help readers scan through your text to find what they're looking for.

Benefits of headings:

  • make important sections stand out
  • help to structure and organize your text
  • simplify navigation for screen reader users

Use bullets and lists

Bulleted and numbered lists should be used whenever appropriate:

  • To break up long sentences
  • To list step-by-step instructions
  • To highlight action items 

Break up large paragraphs - use white space

Keep paragraphs short and focused on a single idea. The first sentence should summarize what the paragraph is about. 

When editing, look for long paragraphs and split them into smaller chunks.

Exercise Five: Chunking and Headings

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