1. Write for all readers. Some people will read every word you write. Others will just skim. Help everyone read more easily by grouping related ideas together and using descriptive headings and subheadings to orientate people.
  2. Focus your message. Create a hierarchy of information. Lead with the main point or the most interesting content, at the sentence, paragraph, section, and page level. The inverted pyramid is a useful model.
  3. Be direct. Use the active voice. Avoid the passive voice.
  4. Write positively. Use positive language rather than negative language where possible.
  5. Be clear. Understand the topic you’re writing about. Use simple words and sentences.
  6. Avoid slang and jargon. Write in plain English. Use accessible language. Avoid acronyms.
  7. Be concise. Use short words, sentences and paragraphs. Avoid unnecessary modifiers.
  8. Be specific. Avoid vague language. Cut the fluff.
  9. Be friendly. Write like a human. Don’t be afraid to break a few rules if it makes your writing more relatable. All of our content, from campaign slogans to job descriptions, should be warm and human.
  10. Be appropriate. Write in a way that suits the situation. Just like you do in face-to-face conversations, adapt your tone depending on who you’re writing to and what you’re writing about.
  11. Be consistent. Apply the same standards, techniques and rules to your writing. Especially within sentences and paragraphs. Don’t discombobulate people by mixing and matching.
  12. Don’t “we” all over our content. Avoid making Greenpeace the subject of content where possible. The focus should be the issues, not our role.
  13. Don’t assume prior knowledge. Avoid “obviously…” and “of course…” and “we’re all well aware…”