Workshop - Plain Language and Clearer Communication: Making Health Research Make Sense

Audience: Of interest to anyone who needs to explain research and complex health topics clearly to people who may not have a research background.

Level: Introductory.

What you’ll learn: Participants will learn why plain language is necessary and worth the effort, and will discover the steps and skills needed to write well in plain language. Helpful resources will be identified throughout the workshop.

  • Barbara Greenwood Dufour, CADTH

Abstract: Health care decision-making involves everyone. But the information for making these decisions is often not accessible by everyone. That is, when medical research information is made available, it is often not communicated in a way that is understandable or useful to a lay audience. This is where “plain language” comes in. You may have heard about plain language as a way to more effectively communicate information from specialized fields to the general public. According to Plain Language Association International (PLAIN), plain language is when “wording, structure, and design are so clear that the intended audience can easily find what they need, understand what they find, and use that information.” But how do we put plain language principles into practice? This workshop will provide you with tips and tools to help you write documents that are understandable and useful to any stakeholder group. Attendees will learn the about specific challenges of communicating research to a non-research audience, gain practical tips for addressing those challenges and developing reader-focused content, and work through a step-by-step approach to planning a plain language communication project. By the end, attendees will be able to make research-related information resonate with anyone they wish to reach.