Several organisations have developed guidance for writing plain English summaries:

Access to understanding – promoting understanding of biomedical research This guidance is for anyone who is planning to write about biomedical or health research for a non-specialist audience. It is particularly intended to help scientists who are used to writing for their peers to reach a wider audience including the general public.

Clinical and Translational Radiotherapy (CTRad) Research working groupHow to write a good lay summary.  This was developed by consumer members of the group.

‘How to Write a Lay Summary’. Duke, M. (2012). DCC How-to Guides.Edinburgh: Digital Curation.  Information, guidelines and resources for writing lay summaries.

Peninsula Cerebra Research Unit for Childhood Disability Research (PenCRU) write their plain language summaries with parents of disabled children from their Family Faculty. The parents are involved in deciding the headline, content and style of the document.

Plain English Campaign Series of free guides that can be downloaded from their website including:

  • How to write in plain English
  • How to write medical information in plain English

Stroke Association How to write a lay summary

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