Writing for this website

Writing in plain English

We use simple language to make sure information is clear, to the point, and easy to read.

We should:

  • use simple words
  • use short sentences 
  • use headings
  • use lists
  • explain abbreviations 
  • not use jargon 
  • take out any unnecessary information
  • avoid FAQs, and instead group similar content together under clear headings

We do this because we know some users:

  • may struggle to read complex words and sentences (the average reading age in the UK is 9 years old)
  • speak English as a second language
  • may be in a hurry, or in a stressful situation, and need clear information that is easy to understand

More information

We follow best practice from GOV.UK when writing for this website. 

See GOV.UK Content design: planning, writing and managing content.

The Plain English Campaign also provides an A to Z of complicated words to avoid, and the plain English words you should use instead.

See Plain English Campaign: A to Z of alternative words.