Write For Your Reader The Northwest Territories Literacy Council
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A Plain Language Handbook


Who are my readers?

Am I writing to one person or a group?
If it’s a group, do the people in the group have the same or different experiences and skills?
Is there anything specific about the age, gender, or culture of my readers?
Do I need to translate my document into other languages for people who don’t read English?

What literacy skills do my readers have?

About 66% of Aboriginal adults and 31% of non-Aboriginal adults do not have the literacy skills needed for daily living.

These people might not be able to:
– Read directions on a medicine bottle.
– Help their child with their homework.
– Fill out a housing application.

About 50% of NWT adults have the literacy skills needed for daily living.

These people might not understand:

– A land claims or impact benefit agreement.
– Medical information.
– An environmental assessment report.

What grade reading level should I aim for?


   
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