The Archive's Twisted Tree Logo

What is Plain Language?

By Reid Caplan

July 1, 2022

What is Plain Language?

Plain language is a style of writing. Plain language gets written using smaller words and shorter sentences. This helps people understand writing better.

Plain language helps people who have a hard time reading because of their disability. But writing in plain language helps lots of other people too.

Plain language helps:

  • people who are learning English as a second language.
  • people who didn’t get a chance to learn how to read complicated writing.
  • people who don’t read a lot.
  • everybody!

Plain language makes it easier for everyone to learn more about what is important to them.

On each plain language page, we have underlined important words to know. You can find out what these words mean on the first page of each document.

Feel free to open up the “Words to Know” page and look back at it as you read.

Reid Caplan, “What is Plain Language?” Plain Language Version. Disability and Climate Change: A Public Archive Project.  July 1, 2022.

You can use, share, and send this paper wherever you’d like, as long as you don’t sell it. It’s fine to only use a section, but please don’t change what anything says. Please put a link back to our website if you use our paper anywhere.