Plain English

Plain English services: making things clear for your readers

Jargon, business speak and creative language certainly have their places in writing.  

However, when you are trying to inform the public or get people to do something, the simplest writing is often the most effective. Plain English is not about dumbing down: it is about being clear. 

I will write plain English text on your behalf or edit something you have already written.

Simple.

What my clients say

“Thanks for all your help making our new guidelines so much easier to read and digest. Your work took our rambling thoughts and tidied them beautifully into headings and bullet points in a way we just couldn’t have done without you. THANK YOU!”

– Alex Smith, on behalf of NCT Warwickshire Central, February 2017

What my clients say

“Lisa excels at writing thought provoking, well researched articles that are perfectly relevant to our target audience. She is able to put across complex ideas in a relaxed and engaging way.”

– Emma Clarke, NCT Warwickshire Central newsletter editor, February 2017

What my clients say

“I recently turned to Lisa for help with my website. She took my words and like magic turned them into something so professional overnight! I would highly recommend her. She really understood what I was trying to convey and I’m thrilled with the result!”

– Harriet Saxton, business owner, Harriet’s Healthy Kitchen, January 2017

What do you get?

I can offer you a fresh and professional pair of eyes, trained by the Publishing Training Centre, the Society for Editors and Proofreaders and Plain English Campaign. Whether it’s writing something from scratch or adapting something you’ve already written, I’ll work (usually in Word) to meet your plain English requirements. For online text, I can also contribute to your user testing and quality assurance processes. Together, we can ensure that your words work hard so your readers don’t have to.

What my plain English service will give you:

  • Text that gets straight to the point
  • Language that is easy to understand
  • Clear messages that people can act upon
  • A reduced word count, if needed*

* Plain English doesn’t always mean fewer words!
Examples of things I write or edit into plain English:
  • Business reports
  • Marketing materials
  • Public information
  • Public sector documents
  • Bids and tender documentation
  • Summaries of longer documents
  • Guidance documents
  • Training materials
  • Child-friendly versions of reports

How much will it cost?

Because each project is different, so is each price.

A plain English edit with a bit of rewriting might cost between £30 and £40 per hour. The cost will depend on how much you want me to do, which could be anything from a light-touch check for jargon to a complete rewrite.

It might cost more (take longer) if there has been no previous editing, if multiple authors have been involved or if it has been written by a non-native speaker.

Writing a plain English document from scratch might cost between £35 and £50 per hour. This will depend on the subject matter, the level of detail and specialist knowledge required, and whether I need to research the content myself.

More on plain English ...

Find out more about plain English from the Plain English Campaign. Access their training and free guides, and find out about their Crystal Mark accreditation scheme.

More on plain English ...

Find out more about plain English from the Plain Language Commission. Take a look at their courses, workshops and Clear English Standard accreditation scheme.

More on plain English ...

Take a look at these ‘before’ and ‘after’ examples from the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP), and see for yourself the difference a good plain English edit can make.  

More on plain English ...

Watch this space for more links and articles coming soon.