Plain Language Standard


The WriteMark is a quality mark awarded to documents or websites that achieve a high standard of plain language.


“A document in plain language is easy for the intended reader to read, understand, and act on.”

When your content holds the WriteMark, it shows your customers that your writing meets a very high standard of clarity.

The WriteMark shows that your document or website:

  • has been checked against rigorous criteria
  • is focused on the needs of the intended audience
  • is easy to read, understand, and act on.

WriteMark Plus is a quality mark that shows your document or web content has met the WriteMark criteria and been tested with the intended audience.

Clear communication benefits your organisation and your customers

The WriteMark was founded on the principle that plain language benefits every organisation and everyone they communicate with. Plain language brings better results, reduced costs, and an enhanced customer experience.

Better results

More of your clients or customers take the desired action when your content is written and presented to meet their needs.

Less time on follow-up

When your information is clear, it reduces the cost of managing enquiries and resolving complaints. More people take the right action because they have understood your content.

Enhanced brand and reputation

Clear communication builds goodwill and trust. When your customers have a good experience with your content, it enhances your reputation.

People in many countries look for and support organisations that take plain language seriously. In New Zealand, a variety of businesses, government agencies, and community organisations are using the WriteMark.

View the list of WriteMark holders

Origins of the WriteMark

People can say they write in plain language, but how do you know that’s true? The WriteMark was born from the need for an objective standard — a way to assess whether a communication really is in plain language.

The WriteMark was launched in 2005 after extensive research, development, and testing.

The WriteMark is firmly established in New Zealand and well respected by practitioners in the international plain language community.

The WriteMark criteria have been used to assess hundreds of documents and to audit writing quality across many large organisations.

Who’s behind the WriteMark?

The WriteMark is promoted and managed by Write Limited, New Zealand’s leading plain language consultancy.


Terms of Use apply to the WriteMark logos

If we approve your document to display the WriteMark logo, you’ll need to follow the Terms of Use. These set out your responsibilities as a WriteMark holder.

Read the WriteMark Terms of Use