Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators

Finalist: Best Plain Language Sentence Transformation

Kate Sumner, Auckland Council

The Auckland Council team celebrate their stash of prizes | Michel Mathew, Kulvinder Singh, and Kate Sumner

Document name

Sentence from Digital Knowledge Hub: Writing for the web

Original sentence

Simplify sentences by removing unnecessary words so they are concise and the content is easier to understand.

Rewritten sentence

Make content easier to understand by removing unnecessary words.

Judges’ comments

There’s a laudable change in structure here because, while both points of the sentence were salient, this writer found the primary active point and put it first. The rewrite connects better with the audience with a clear instruction so the reader can understand the meaning more quickly.

Good editorial judgement was shown by omitting an instruction on being concise. While important in clarity, it was unnecessary in the context. Knowing how to omit what is important, but not needed, is a great skill. This entry shows that even when something is already quite plain, it can still be made even clearer.

Media statement

The important information we provide to Aucklanders often covers complicated subjects and processes. Luckily, our Digital team’s dedication to the plain language cause ensures we consider our customers’ needs in every sentence.

This transformed sentence belongs in our own internal knowledge hub, in a section where we explain the principles of plain language. It therefore makes sense to explain the principles in the very style we are advocating for!


Kate Sumner
Content Advisor
Auckland Council