Written communication checklist

Communication and Health Literacy
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Have you . . .



Identified the purpose of your document?


Identified who you are writing your document for?


Thought about any special written communication needs your target audience may have?



Considered the information your target audience needs/wants?


Limited your messages by matching the content with the information needs of your target audience?


Included stories or examples to explain situations or scenarios?


Included the date and contact information?


Plain language

Used plain language – as you would in everyday speech?


Used the active voice?


Been clear and specific with instructions and advice?


Deleted unnecessary words?


Used 'you' and 'we' to engage your reader?


Used visual descriptions that are familiar to your audience?


Used plenty of headings and dot points as appropriate?


Avoided clichés and overused phrases that have lost impact or are unclear in meaning, for example 'no pain, no gain'.


Explained any jargon that you need to use?


Checked for abbreviations, and spelled them out?


Used short words, sentences and paragraphs?



Complied with relevant policies?


Used the appropriate style guide?


Used the appropriate template?



Put the most important information first, in each section?


Organised your content in a logical order, from your reader's point of view?


Included a contents list, if appropriate



Have you focussed on positive messages?


Have you avoided whenever possible the words 'should' and 'don't'?


Layout and
visual presentation

Checked the formatting is consistent throughout?


Made your document look appealing, with plenty of white space?


Made sure your document will print or photocopy OK in black and white, if you have used colour?



Considered the appropriate format for uploading to the Web?



Used appropriate images, to support your message/s?


Got the required permissions for using images, in relation to privacy and copyright?


Provided 'alternative text' for people using screen readers?


Checked the Tasmanian Government Image Library for relevant images?


Provided captions?


Considered the pros and cons of colour versus black and white?


Considered the pros and cons of photos versus pictograms?



Provided a list of additional information sources?


Final checks

Checked your document fulfils its purpose?


Used a readability assessment tool? (Aim for reading level Grade 6–8, but use the tools as broad guides only.)


Asked a professional editor or communications advisor to edit your document?


Asked for feedback from your target audience?


Considered the need to provide your document in additional formats, including Easy English, other languages, braille, moon, large text and audio for people with low vision?


January 2019