Using clear and concise language

Sammie and Hayden have prepared an emergency evacuation document for the volunteers. See how they’re revising the language to make it clear, concise, and accessible…

Hayden smilingSammie smiling

Sometimes when you write more, people understand less. At university, the Salty Creek Community Festival organisers, Sammie and Hayden, have learnt the importance of accessible language. This means using language that is simple, short, and clear to help get your message across.

Hayden and Sammie are going over the emergency evacuation document they’ve put together for the festival volunteers and staff. It’s important for this content to be accurate and communicated clearly, so they are reviewing the document and making some changes to the language.

Check out an excerpt from Hayden and Sammie’s emergency evacuation document below and help them simplify some of the phrases.


(1) In the event that personal injury or a medical emergency occurs which (2) may have a requirement for an immediate response;

  • (3) Try to remain calm and consider your actions.
  • Notify the event manager of the number of casualties and the nature and seriousness of the injuries.
  • Contact the onsite first aider to attend to the incident.
  • If serious, (4) request the immediate attendance of an ambulance by dialling 000.


Anyone who is intoxicated will be refused entry and, if already on site, will be asked to leave the event. If they refuse to leave or exhibit violent or disturbing behaviour, the staff/volunteers (5) are authorised to contact the police if necessary.


An accessible event can ensure safety in case of an emergency for people with disabilities, older adults, and parents with prams. (6) During the period of an evacuation;

  • Assist any person in danger, though only if safe to do so.
  • (7) Provide assistance to people with reduced mobility to leave via the appropriate exits.
  • (8) Ensure at all times that people do not carry personal belongings or parcels with them as they may be dropped and cause obstructions.
  • Do not increase the danger by leading people past or close to the emergency point when going towards the exit routes.

Fill in the blanks activity transcript

Select ‘Read the final version…’ to see the simplified version of the excerpt.

Emergency evacuation document final version transcript

Hayden and Sammie’s edits have made the emergency evacuation document easier to read for everyone. Learning how to write in plain language is a skill that will help you in uni, but you’ll also use it in everyday life. It can help us communicate better, avoid misunderstandings, and ensure we are all on the same page.

Learn more on Learning Lab

  • The Workplace writing basics tutorial can help you write in plain English. (15 minutes)
  • The Writing clearly tutorial guides you through how to write coherent, cohesive, and concise content in academic style. (30 minutes)


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