Plain Language Commission style guide

Free 8,000-word booklet giving our detailed recommendations on house style, which is also the style we try to follow in our own writing on this website and elsewhere.

Plain Language Commission style guide

In many areas of written English there are definite rights and wrongs. For example, incorrect grammar and punctuation can change your message or make it ambiguous. These failings may also give a poor impression of your organization.

But in other areas there isn’t one correct way of writing, so you must choose. Style guides describe your options. All publishers and newspapers, and many other organizations, have their own style guides to ensure a consistent house style.

When we edit your documents for accreditation with the Clear English Standard, we follow some overall style guidelines (see our accreditation criteria) because they’ll make your writing clearer. Our style guide aims to:

  • explain our style choices
  • help you decide your own style choices
  • make documents you send us for editing and Clear English Standard accreditation clearer and more consistent – meaning we can turn these round more quickly and save you money
  • be a useful resource for visitors to our website.

Written by Sarah Carr, this valuable 8,000-word guide is on free download.

Download (335KB)