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Communities of practice

Plain English

Howdy. I’m Reuben, the content lead at Service Victoria.

I’m a stickler for Plain English usage to meet or exceed WCAG 2.0 AA compliance.

Happy to help with anything to do with improving writing for the web, from tools to techniques to readability benchmarks.

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Any useful references (other than the printed version of the latest version of the Style Manual) that you think is good as a starting point? I have previously referenced the Economist Style Guide as well as the Guardian and Observer Style Guide, but was looking also for things that might help when it comes to more social media related language usage.

Shoot me your email and I’ll send along a version of our WOVG Plain Language Discussion Paper, if you like? Cheers.

Also, I am curious about the readability benchmarks used for improving content quality, given that the Flesch–Kincaid readability tests and general guidelines around characters per line and page content density seem to be the standard measures.

Hi, Michael.

In the documents I supplied you’ll see we test every single thing we write with readability measuring tools (Visible Thread).

VT is a specialised tool, but the free Hemingway editor is also useful if you don’t have access to such a tool.

Most such tools are F-K based, though readable.com actually offers more than a dozen measures (Gunning-Fog etc and many more).

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