Clear Writing Myth vs. Truth



It takes too much time rewrite documents.

Literacy Links South Central offers Clear Writing services. We charge a small cost recovery fee to review and rewrite your materials according to the principles of Clear Writing. We offer free estimates for all our Clear Writing services.

It takes too much time to review all our pamphlets.

Clear Writing can be done one step at a time. Pick a time that is convenient to start reviewing how effective your written materials are.  Gather feedback about your materials from the people you work with. Ask staff for feedback during regular staff meetings. Ask your clients and customers for feedback. Everyone likes to offer ideas and it shows you respect their opinions.

Using Clear Writing will make things look plain and boring.

Clear Writing suggests that “less is more.”  You can still be creative and use easy to understand words, more white space and graphics that guide the reader.  

Clear Writing is too hard to do.

Many Clear Writing tips are just common sense such as “short sentences are easier to read” or “simpler words are easier to understand.” Literacy Link South Central offers Clear Writing workshops to teach you these easy tips and how to use them.

Clear Writing doesn’t fit for us. We have to use certain words to talk about complicated issues.

Many businesses and services have difficult words and concepts as part of the work they do. There is room for Clear Writing under these circumstances. In fact, it’s when we need Clear Writing the most!

“Plain” Language means “dumbing down.”  

Clear Writing shows you how to communicate in a way that is more effective and easier to understand. Your message won’t be compromised and more people will understand what you are trying to say.

We’ve never had a complaint about our written materials so everyone must understand them.

You might never know how well your materials are understood.  If people can’t understand what you are trying to communicate to them you may never hear from them. If something looks complicated or hard to read, people might just ignore it.

We don’t have any customers with low literacy.

  • Statistics show that almost ½ the people of Ontario struggle with literacy. It is a hidden issue.
  • Many newcomers to Ontario are learning to speak English. Reading could be a challenge for them.
  • No matter what literacy and language skills people have, we are all experiencing information overload.

By Clear Writing documents you are including readers who have literacy and language issues. You are also making it easy for busy people to get your message!

We don’t distribute written materials.

The online world can benefit from Clear Writing too. Emails, wikis, blogs and websites are also used to communicate.

Clear Writing services will cost too much.

$$$     You could be saving money. Clear Writing can:

  • Increase staff efficiency. Employees are more likely to understand what you want them to do.
  • Increase safety in the workplace.
  • Increase your marketing advantage

Our Clear Writing services may cost less than you think. We offer free estimates and would enjoy talking to you about your Clear Writing needs.

Clear Writing Tips:

Use the active voice (for example, "We decided" rather than "It was decided"