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4.1 with more edits

From: Avi Arditti <aardit@voa.gov>
Date: Thu, 06 Feb 2003 16:00:37 -0500
Message-ID: <3E42CCF5.FAC12995@voa.gov>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

This incorporates suggestions that Maurizio posted to the list (thanks
again, Maurizio!):

This checkpoint lists ideas to help you review content for clarity. Many
of these ideas are promoted within the global movement for plain
language. The items below are not presented as success criteria,
however, nor as any attempt to impose a particular editorial style.
Rather, they are elements to consider as you review writing. They
reflect the idea that accessibility begins with understanding.

You meet Checkpoint 4.1 at the Minimum Level if you review the content
with items such as these in mind:

1) Familiarity of terms and language structure 
2) Length and complexity of sentences (guides to clear writing emphasize
shorter sentences, with one idea per sentence, but they also recommend
that writers vary sentence lengths within a document) 
3) Coherence of paragraphs (too much change in topic or references
between adjacent sentences makes text more difficult to understand;
paragraphs that are excessively long also present a challenge) 
4) Clarity of headings and linked text when read out of context.
5) Accuracy and uniqueness of page titles

You meet Checkpoint 4.1 at Level 2 if you review the content with items
such as these in mind:

1) Use of sentence structures that increase understanding (such as
active voice in languages where this form is best used to convey
2) Length of noun phrases (strings of no more than three or four nouns
are easiest to understand)
3) Clarity of reference of pronouns and anaphoric expressions (these
refer back to something already said in the text but with potential
ambiguity [example?])  
4) Correct use of conjunction forms and adverbs (such as "and," "but,"
"furthermore," "not only") to make explicit the relationship between
phrases or parts of the text
5)  Complexity of verb tenses (simpler tenses are easier to understand)
6) Intelligibility of verb phrases 
7) Familiarity of idioms or slang
8) Logic in the order and flow of information 
9) Consequences of ambiguity or abstraction 
10) Desirability of vertical lists in place of long paragraphs of
11) Use of summaries to aid understanding.
12) Thoroughness in the explanation of instructions or required actions
13) Consistency in the use of names and labels
14) Clarity where the document:
-  addresses users 
- explains choices and options
- labels options to get more information
- instructs users how to modify selections in critical functions (such
as how to delete an item from a shopping cart)
15) Usage of:
- proper markup to highlight key information
- goal-action structure for menu prompts
- default settings (and the ease in re-establishing them)
- two-step "select and confirm" processes to reduce accidental
- selections for critical functions
- calculation assistance to reduce the need to calculate

You meet Checkpoint 4.1 at Level 3 if at least one of the following is

1. New material is tested with potential users for ease of accessibility
2. A controlled language is used
3. Support is given for conversion into symbolic languages


For definitions section:

Controlled languages are designed to make documents easier to understand
and translate. They are based on natural language, but use a restricted
vocabulary and avoid complex syntax. Controlled language standards
generally limit words to a single meaning and prescribe their use by
part of speech. Much information about controlled languages is available
on the World Wide Web.
Received on Thursday, 6 February 2003 16:01:09 GMT

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