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Assessing Written Materials

Job aid for WLOL course: Communicating with Participants

Assisting participants with limited literacy – Assessing Written Materials

It's a common tendency to pack lots of information into one handout. Be careful not to overload your participants with information. Always ask yourself, "What is the main point that I want the reader to know?"

Be sure your written materials contain action-oriented messages. These help participants understand what behavior is expected of them. Use verbs as often as possible.

For example, a brochure entitled, "Early Childhood Caries," would encourage parents to wean their children from the bottle and offer suggestions for doing so as opposed to simply discussing the hazards of prolonged bottle use

You may want to assess the reading level or readability of your document. The reading level refers to the number of years of education needed for a reader to understand the publication.

One of the best ways to measure the readability of a document is with a software program, such as Microsoft Word or use a Web site.

Check out the Assessing Written Materials job aid for more information.

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