Writing to Linguistically Diverse Audiences
Writing effectively for an audience with a wide variety of backgrounds is difficult. This page provides several resources to help writers craft their message to reach the widest possible audience.
The Fog index was developed by Robert Gunning to measure how difficult something is to read. His Fog Index in The Technique of Clear Writing (McGraw-Hill) is considered the most reliable formula for testing writing. It is not an index of how good writing is, but of how easy it is to understand. Using the index, teachers and administrators can test the communications they send to parents.
When writing communications to parents with limited English proficiency, it is especially important the documents be easily readable. The principles in this document are meant to help writers in writing clearly for any audience and come from the writer's experience teaching non-English speaking students.
The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and are intended for general reference purposes only. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education or the Center, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Some resources on this site require Adobe Acrobat Reader. This website archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.