Plain Language Standard

Writers and WriteMark: Partners in care

Image, two wooden hearts cut out on a table

Set up a partnership of care through the WriteMark process. Image by Isaac Quesada / Unsplash licence

So, believing what you do about the power of plain language, my question to you as both writer and consumer is, ‘What action can you take that is bigger and bolder than before?’ How can you make your sense of care count?

Lynda Harris, Chief Executive of Write and WriteMark, talked about care as a catalyst for change in her speech at the Plain English Awards ceremony in November 2018. She went on to say:

Make your effort meaningful! What significant project needs your support and insights? Which of your reader groups are most in need? Who must you persuade? Where can you make a difference?

Writers and WriteMark: Partners in care WriteMark

Lynda Harris urges writers and readers to care about clarity at the 2018 Plain English Awards. Image by Rebecca McMillan Photography / CC BY-NC

One way to make a bold and meaningful difference is to earn the WriteMark Plain Language Standard on your document or website. This mark of ‘care in action’ isn’t necessarily easy to achieve, but the payoff is powerful. To meet the Standard, you’ll need to be committed to the process — and persistent.

The rigorous WriteMark process sets up a partnership of care where document creators commit to plain language for their readers. Documents that reach the Standard have been checked against 28 elements covering purpose, structure, content, language, presentation, and accuracy. WriteMark Plus adds user-testing with readers to the mix as well.

Discover more about the WriteMark elements of plain language

How to set up a partnership of care with the WriteMark

The writers, editors, designers, legal teams, and others who create WriteMark-ready documents often work together for a long time. The WriteMark review recognises the work everyone has put in so far and checks for any final changes needed to achieve the Standard.

If you start on the WriteMark journey, you’ll need to consider feedback from your WriteMark assessor. The document will probably change as your team considers the feedback and decides how to implement it. If you aim for WriteMark Plus, you’ll also get feedback from real readers who reflect the characteristics of your intended audience.

Whatever the source of the feedback, you’ll know that it’s intended to help shape your document into one that exemplifies the best of plain language for the benefit of all readers. A document that reflects the care of all the professionals who have crafted it — and care for the readers who will ultimately read, understand, and act on it.

Writers and WriteMark: Partners in care WriteMark

Set up a partnership of care through the WriteMark process. Image by Isaac Quesada / Unsplash licence

A Deed of care for the future

Once you’re on the way to achieving the Standard, you’ll sign an agreement called the WriteMark Deed. The Deed sets out our WriteMark relationship and explains how it works now, and for the future.

We’ll both celebrate and spread the news, hoping to inspire others to aim high for clarity and care for their readers.

Read about a WriteMark project to rewrite an insurance policy

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February 24th, 2020

Posted In: The WriteMark

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