Re: 4.1 latest version

Updates to reflect suggestions thus far: now refers to "cohesion" of
paragraphs in Minimum Level, adds "coherence of pronouns" as an item at
Level 2, and moves "summaries" to Level 2)


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 advise
writers to vary sentence lengths within a document, but to keep
sentences short where possible and limited to one idea)
3) Cohesiveness of paragraphs (paragraphs that are limited to a single
idea and a reasonable length are generally easier to understand)
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 those languages where it is considered desirable for
conveying information)
2) Length of noun phrases (strings of no more than three or four nouns
are easiest to understand)
3) Coherence of pronouns
4) Complexity of verb tenses (simpler tenses are easier to understand)
5) Intelligibility of verb phrases 
6) Familiarity of idioms or slang
7) Logic in the order and flow of information 
8) Consequences of ambiguity or abstraction 
9) Desirability of vertical lists in place of long paragraphs of
10) Use of summaries to aid understanding.
11) Thoroughness in the explanation of instructions or required actions
12) Consistency in the use of names and labels
13) Clarity where the document:
-  addresses users 
- explains choices and options
- labels options to get more information
- instructs how to modify selections in critical functions (such as how
to delete an item from a shopping cart)
14) 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
2. A controlled language is used
3. Support is given for conversion into symbolic languages

Received on Thursday, 30 January 2003 13:37:48 UTC