A review of published guidelines on improving readability and a useful Readability and Design Checklist

"Readability will be of concern to anyone who produces materials for others to read, whatever the context. Several organisations provide guidelines on how to make literature more accessible.

As part of my work with County Durham and Tees Valley Strategic Health Authority (Skills for Life Quality Initiative) I have summarised the various guidelines.  The document 'Comparison of Information on Readability' also includes information on three tests for readability. From the summary you can see that it is worth looking at all the guidance as each organisation has a different focus and has something to add to making literature more accessible.

I have also produced a Readability and Design Checklist which might be useful when preparing any new materials. The design is just as important as the words chosen.

Caryn Loftus

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