Writing guide/Our “tone of voice”

  • We’re going for friendly, accessible language that is available to the mythical “Joe and Jane Public”
  • We should use the minimum amount of jargon and “three letter acronyms”. TLAs, where essential, should be spelled out, AND come with an explanation.
  • Writers should always assume that this is the first blog post that people find on the site, and write it so that people will not feel intimidated, patronised, confused etc
  • We should run footnotes/hyperlinks for words like mitigation, adaptation, greenhouse gas etc etc
  • There is an argument to be made for putting these explanations in brackets , footnotes, or in a glossary jpg that appears on the page.
  • We are aiming for each post to be no more than 700 words (that’s a ceiling, not a target), excluding references.
  • We are aiming for it NOT to be an academic screed, full of subordinate clauses, passive voice, hedging and waffling words.
  • We will run each blog post through a “plain English” checker
  • We WOULD like to include references. Harvard format. (see my blog post about IPCC birth)
  • We would like to keep, as far as possible, the facts and the interpretations separate, without pretending that a Berlin Wall is always/ever possible.
  • We reserve the right to run your piece with a disclaimer underneath, but we would ALWAYS discuss this with you first, and if you wanted to withdraw your work, that would be fine. Or you could choose to modify it.

2 thoughts on “Writing guide/Our “tone of voice”

  1. What is a “plain English” checker? I know there are still plenty of humans who can do this but if there is an app, where do we get it?


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