This year, we made Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pages and data infographics the focus of the review. CPoint Consulting oversaw the analysis and prepared the results. We asked each department to submit one FAQ page and one infographic. Dr. Chip Crane, the Center’s lead for the Federal Report Card, held a webinar with agency plain language representatives in July to review the requirements, submission process, and scoring criteria.
We judged both FAQ pages and the infographics against seven criteria:
- Overall Effectiveness
- Understanding the Audience
- Manner or Voice
- Writing Style
- Structure and Navigation
- Information Design and Presentation
- Pictures, Graphics, and Charts (if applicable)
The Center uses these same criteria to judge our annual plain language awards, the ClearMarks—our competition for the best plain writing in private and public sector communications.
Center volunteers served as graders. They applied these criteria according to the specific features of each document type and the audience, purpose, and context identified by the agencies submitting the documents.
Download the complete 2017 Federal Plain Language Report Card: Report Card PDF file | White paper
 Submissions for this year’s ClearMark Awards are due Jan 31. We encourage agencies—especially those earning high marks—to nominate their documents. See the Center’s website for details soon.