You want to reach as many people as possible with the content you write and publish. That means it should appeal to everyone and, above all, it should not exclude people. That is why it is necessary to write inclusively. If you are an inclusive organization or if you are working toward this, inclusive writing is extremely important.
But what exactly is inclusive writing, why is it so important, and what is the role of an augmented writing platform in the prevention of exclusion? You can read all about it in this blog post.
What exactly is inclusive writing, and why is it so important?
With inclusive writing, you consciously pay attention to the fact that your target audience consists of all different types of people, with different origins, backgrounds, ages, and genders. Because even if you are targeting a specific niche, the people within that niche are all unique.
By writing inclusively, you reach the largest group of people. You make sure that you use language that does not distinguish between groups, so that everyone feels addressed. Among other things, you can achieve this by:
- Writing in a human-centered, gender-neutral way, rather than using only he/she or plural.
- Addressing the reader directly, using “you”.
- Making sure your content does not discriminate based on age.
- Avoiding stereotypical words and/or associations. You unconsciously use these more often than you think. Think pink for women, blue for men.
- Applying the WCAG guidelines.
- Always making sure that your written content is reviewed by others. As a man or woman, you have the habit of using the words that you want others to use when addressing you. The other person’s perspective helps you to write in a gender-neutral way. You should also consider having your content proofread by people of different ages or from different cultural backgrounds.
Only through inclusive writing is it possible to reach as many people from the target audience as possible. Additionally, inclusive writing also plays an important role when it comes to attracting diverse talent. For instance, has your organization been struggling to recruit a more diverse workforce? If so, your current job descriptions probably do not appeal to a diverse group of potential candidates. Inclusive writing can help attract a more diverse audience.
Writing inclusively through augmented writing platforms
The what and why of inclusive writing is clear, but the writing itself is trickier than you might think. As we’ve seen, there’s a lot to consider. One requirement is that you must be able to put yourself in the shoes of various audiences while writing. A good way to master this is by speaking to many different people and asking them how they would like to be addressed.
Fortunately, there are handy tools that can help you to make inclusive writing a lot easier. We’re talking about data-driven tools like augmented writing platforms (e.g., Textmetrics) that can help you prevent exclusion through language. You can see an augmented writing platform as a writing coach. While you are writing, it gives you suggestions on how to make your content more inclusive. It also shows you how to create content that appeals to your entire target audience so that you can achieve your D&I goals.
During the writing process, you don’t need to worry about whether your content is or isn’t gender neutral or discriminating based on age. A data-driven platform will do that for you using algorithms based on artificial intelligence that read and analyze your content. Based on these analyses, you will get suggestions on the use of inclusive language, such as avoiding age and gender discrimination. In addition, many augmented writing platforms also give you suggestions for tone of voice, SEO optimization, and how to avoid words that are too complex for your target audience.