Government communicators have produced something wonderful, again. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has just published an 11-chapter downloadable Toolkit for Making Written Material Clear and Effective:
“The Toolkit includes detailed guidelines for writing, graphic design, and culturally appropriate translation from English into other languages. It includes a book-length guide to methods of testing written material with readers, and covers special topics in writing and design. These special topics include cautions about using readability formulas to assess material, things to know if your material is for older adults, a comparison of written material on websites versus written material in printed formats, and an extended “before and after” example of using the Toolkit guidelines to revise a brochure.”
I really liked:
- Part 2: Using a reader-centered approach. “Remember that you are writing for your readers, not yourself.”
- Part 7: Using readability formulas. “Readability formulas ignore most factors that contribute to ease of reading and comprehension.”
Take a look and let me know what you think and how you might use this Toolkit.
— Leslie O’Flahavan