Medical Writing Plain Language and Readability Online plain English and readability resources
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Volume 24, Issue 1 - Plain Language and Readability

Online plain English and readability resources

Abstract

To encourage individuals and businesses to write in simpler, more readable English, private and government-backed enterprises have created a number of freely available online resources. While most relate to general English use, some are devoted to writing about medical matters. In this summary article, I take a brief look at what is available and how good it is.

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References

  1. PlainLanguage.gov. Plain Language Action and Information Network [cited 2014 Jul 5]. Available from: http://www.plainlanguage.gov/index.cfm
  2. Federal Plain Language Guidelines. Plain Language Action and Information Network [cited 2014 Jul 7]. Available from: http://www.plainlanguage.gov/howto/guidelines/FederalPLGuidelines/TOC.cfm
  3. Toolkit for Making Written Material Clear and Effective. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; 2012 Mar 16 [cited 2014 Jul 8]. Available from: http://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/WrittenMaterialsToolkit/index.html?redirect=/WrittenMaterialsToolkit/
  4. PRISM Readability Toolkit. Program for Readability In Science & Medicine (PRISM); 2006 [cited 2014 Jul 8]. Available from: https://www.grouphealthresearch.org/files/1814/1062/9858/PRISM_readability_toolkit.pdf
  5. Free guides. Plain English Campaign [cited 2014 Jul 7]. Available from: http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/free-guides.html
  6. Free guides on plain language. Plain Language Commission [cited 2014 Jul 7]. Available from: http://www.clearest.co.uk/pages/publications/freeguides
  7. Plain Language Thesaurus for Health Communications. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2009 Feb [cited 2014 Jul 4]. Available from: http://www.plainlanguage.gov/populartopics/health_literacy/Thesaurus_V-10.doc
  8. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. U.S. Government Printing Office; 2010 Mar 23 [cited 2014 Aug 8]. Available from: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ148/html/PLAW-111publ148.htm
  9. Plain Language Medical Dictionary. University of Michigan Library; 2011 Mar 1 [cited 2014 Jul 4]. Available from: http://www.lib.umich.edu/plain-language-dictionary
  10. Plain Language Medical Dictionary. iTunes; 2013 Mar 26 [cited 2014 Jul 5]. Available from: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/plain-language-medical-dictionary/id443405990?mt=8
  11. Nancekivell S. Plain language alternatives for patient information and consent materials. 2008 Dec 5 [cited 2014 Jul 5]. Available from: http://www.healthcommunications.org/resources/Plain%20Language%20Alternatives%20for%20Patient%20Information%20and%20Consent%20Materials.pdf
  12. Seubert D. Health Communications [cited 2014 Nov 24]. Available from: http://www.healthcommunications.org/toolkit.php
  13. How to write medical information in plain English. Plain English Campaign [cited 2014 Jul 7]. Available from: http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/files/medicalguide.pdf
  14. PRISM Online Training. PRISM [cited 2014 Jul 8]. Available from: http://prism.grouphealthresearch.org/
  15. Free text readability consensus calculator. ReadabilityFormulas.com [cited 2014 Jul 7]. Available from: http://www.readabilityformulas.com/free-readability-formula-tests.php
  16. Simpson D. Readability Test Tool; 2014 [cited 2014 Jul 7]. Available from: http://read-able.com/
  17. Readability-Score.com [cited 2014 Jul 7]. Available from: https://readability-score.com/

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Articles

Plain language and readability
President's Message
Time to make it shorter: Plain English in our context
How CDC is promoting a clear communication culture
Making leaflets clearer for patients
Online plain English and readability resources
Get real: Avoiding corporate gobbledygook
Transferring regulation into practice: The challenges of the new layperson summary of clinical trial results
Profile: An interview with Art Gertel on the Budapest Working Group
News from the EMA
The Webscout
In the Bookstores
English Grammar and Style Revising medical writing Reasons not rules: Backtracking, pronoun-induced Part 2 – Single syntactic unit revision
Regulatory Writing Briefing documents: A case apart
Medical Communications
Lingua Franca and Beyond
Out on Our Own

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