Tip: Writing policy? Don't just write an essay

Writing policy: don't just write an essay. Contented.com tip.

Do you have complex policies that need to be explained to your customers? Does it seem almost impossible without using pages and pages of prose? Do your policy pages have words from here to eternity?

For example, you might need to explain who is eligible for a government grant, pension or allowance. Or to explain a wide variety of ways by which people can gain citizenship. Or various routes to enter a university.

Such policies may have been developed over many years and modified by many regimes. Their intention is usually to be fair to all, while setting standards. It's complicated! But if you simply talk and talk on the page, readers get fatigued and confused.

Literally, the more you explain, the less they understand.

Try presenting the information in a completely different way. Some of these suggestions may be appropriate right from the start, when you're drafting policy.

Experiment with:

  • Questions and answers ("What if...?")
  • Instructions
  • A dynamic table
  • A flowchart
  • A self-explanatory application form that includes all instructions and requirements
  • Case histories
  • One page linking to many short chunks of information

Rachel McAlpine
Rachel McAlpine


1 Comment

Kompliziertes verständlich schreiben | LinguLab Textkritik
Kompliziertes verständlich schreiben | LinguLab Textkritik

April 20, 2010

[…] Für diese Situation hat Rachel McAlpine vom contended blog einige Auswege beschrieben: […]

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