Research Design Service: East Midlands
National Institute for Health Research
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Writing a Plain English Summary? Before you do have a look at this research poster

  Created on Monday, 13 Jun 2016. Posted in News Items

Plain English summaries are biref descriptions of the research written for members of the public and an interested audience rather than specialists. It should be written clearly and simply, without jargon and with an explanation of any technical terms that have to be included.

A recent research poster from the Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordiantion Centre looked at three different ways in which Plain English summaries were created 

  1. Original summary
  2. Authors asked to revise original summary in line with enhanced guidance
  3. Summary sent to an external medical writier to edit

They then asked the public to judge them on readability and ease of understanding.

Before you write your own Plain English Summary have a look at the poster and decide how best you are going to achieve the desirable FRE 50 score for your summary (approximately equivalent to a broadsheet newspaper). The themes in table 2 provide clear indicators on where existing summaries in the study fell down and what elements are desirable.