Author Archives: Sally McBeth

Legal language

Kimble, Joseph. Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please. The Case for Plain Language in Business, Government, and Law. Carolina Academic Press, 2012. Order from:

Le langage clair: Un outil indispensable à l’avocat, an introduction to clear language for the legal profession in Quebec. Download :

Mowat, Christine. A Plain Language Handbook for Legal Writers. Toronto: Carswell, 1999. (A new edition is in preparation and scheduled for publication in 2015.)

Meier, Nicholas and R.J. Adams. Plain English for Cops. Durham, North Carolina: Carolina Academic Press, 1999.

A multilingual database of legal terms, sponsored by the Law Foundation of British Columbia.

Health Literacy

Canadian Public Health Association. A Directory of Plain Language Health Resources. Ottawa: CPHA, 2000

Doak, Cecilia C., Leonard G. Doak, and Jane H. Root. Teaching Patients With Low Literacy Skills. 2d ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Co., 1996.

Free online training in health literacy from the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Listen to health literacy advocate Helen Osborne’s podcast interviews with remarkable people working in this field.

A wealth of health literacy information on the US Department of Health and Human Services site, sponsored by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

An online questionnaire from the Centres for Disease Control helps you to evaluate the readability of your health communications.

Forms design

A great set of guidelines for designing online forms.

Barnett, Robert. Forms for People: Designing forms that people can use. Canberra: Robert Barnett and Associates Pty Ltd., 2005.

Jarrett, Carolyn and Gerry Gaffney. Forms that Work: Designing web forms for usability. New York: Morgan Kaufmann, 2009.

Johnston, Carol, Ginny Critcher, and Ellis Pratt, How to Write Instructions. Cherryleaf, 2011.

Business writing

Bailey, Edward P. Plain English at Work. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Booher, Dianna. E-Writing. New York: Pocket Books, 2001

Brohaugh, William. Write Tight: How to Keep your Prose Sharp, Focused and Concise. Wilmington, Delaware: ISI Books, 2002.

Grotsky, Rose. Get to the Point: A strategy for writing clearly at work. Toronto: Praxis Adult Training and Skills Development, 1998.

James, Neil. Writing at Work: How to write clearly, effectively and professionally. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2007.

Lutz, William. The New Doublespeak: Why No One Knows What Anyone’s Saying Anymore. New York: HarperCollins, 1996.