Government Use of Plain English and StyleWriter
Before-and-After StyleWriter Samples:
Reporting news - whether in newsletters, newspapers, e-mail, magazines or press releases - means producing interesting and informative coverage of decisions, events, people and news. You have to design each article to fit the readers' needs and to hold their interest. You must learn to present information in an interesting and simple way that readers will want to read and be able to understand. In short, this means knowing and using some journalistic techniques.
When writing newsletters, you should aim to make your writing readable, interesting and easy to understand. As most newsletters have a wide audience, you should write as simply and as clearly as you can. Start with the most important information. You should use:
- a simple sentence structure,
- short sentences,
- familiar words, and
- concrete and specific words that your reader can picture.
Take a look at this sample newsletter.
Before Editing with StyleWriter
Click on the image below to see the original marketing newsletter.
After Editing with StyleWriter
Click on the image below to see the same sample marketing newsletter edited with StyleWriter.
Checklist for Writing Newsletters
Here is a short checklist with tips on how to write an effective newsletter:
- Identify what is newsworthy. Put the most important item first.
- Write a punchy headline.
Use a summary sentence in articles or features.
- Write a lead paragraph of the key information.
- Write news stories in descending order of importance.
- Make sure the story flows between paragraphs.
- Use quotations and examples to change the pace and add variety.
- Use lots of short items to make the newsletter interesting.
- Avoid long articles. If you have to use them, break them up.
- Use cartoons, photos and graphics to break up the page.
- Rewrite contributions that are boring or too long.
- Don't use too many different fonts or type sizes on a page.
Add variety to newsletters by having different items such as:
- opinion columns
- humorous pieces
- internal news or gossip.
To guarantee all your newsletters are in clear, concise and easy-to-read English, use StyleWriter.