Clear Writing

ABEA uses the term Clear Writing. You may also hear the term “Plain Language” or “Clear Language”. Clear Writing is used by ABEA to include all aspects of writing – from language, to format, to style.

Clear Writing is about the way you communicate in writing. It’s about the

  • language you use
  • format of your document
  • design of your document

Clear Writing

  • says what you mean, simply and clearly
  • puts action into your sentences
  • organizes your paragraphs
  • speaks to your audience
  • considers the message sent
  • considers those who read the message (audience)
  • simplifies concepts and makes them concrete thoughts
  • crosses modes of communication – can be used in hard copy, email copy and web-based information

Clear Writing is not

  • formal editing
  • academic writing
  • writing down to your audience
  • desktop publishing

Clear Writing is about knowing the needs of your reader and making the message clear for them.

Organizational Audits

Organizational Audits are done in two ways.

  1. ABEA does an in-depth analysis of the overall written communication processes, guidelines and outcomes in an organization and presents findings and recommendations.
  2. The organization does an internal analysis of its own written materials using an organization health check.

Audits are recommended for organizations that have no previous training or experience with Clear Writing.

Document Consulting

Document Consulting can range from a brief consultation to in-depth rewrites.

  1. Consultation – we will offer general Clear Writing suggestions, sometimes before a document is written. We will discuss possible changes but we do not make changes to the document.
  2. Review – we will look over a document and make specific suggestions for change.
  3. Rewrite – we review and rewrite by applying Clear Writing changes.


Workshops typically range from 2-3 hours but can be customized based on the organization’s needs.

In a workshop you learn how to

  • use Clear Writing tips and principles
  • present your thoughts clearly
  • design your written materials so your audience understands them
  • incorporate Clear Writing into your workplace and everyday life

You should take this workshop if you

  • write for the general public
  • present projects and reports
  • develop presentations
  • take minutes for meetings
  • use email


Organizational AuditsNegotiated Rate
Document Consulting$60 per page or negotiable flat rate
Workshops (fees are per workshop)$300-600* plus printing costs and mileage/accommodation (if outside Hamilton)
*depending on length and content

Workshop Testimonials

Great course. It should be a must for all businesses.

I wish my boss came.

Excellent session – perfect length with enough practical elements to keep it interactive.

I enjoyed Leah’s energy and her ability to light up the room.

Thoroughly enjoyed the session and I know I will be able to apply the information I learned.

I think more people need to hear this workshop.

This is very useful information and I look forward to applying it to work.


Sara Gill at 905-527-2222 or

Learning Networks of Ontario – Online Clear Writing Course

ABEA is the Lead Organization for the Learning Networks of Ontario Online Clear Writing Course. This course runs 3 times per year. For more information visit the Clear Writing page.

This Employment Ontario program is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.