- Always order your additional clauses in a consistent sequence. It is a good idea to keep sentences short and simple. The intent of your text must be clear. If your clause is long, consider dividing the clause into sections.
- Review your text. Make sure your meaning is clear. Have someone else review what you wrote to ensure the meaning is apparent. It is not unusual to re-write a sentence or clause several times to ensure that it is simple and clear.
- Draft your clause in basic English. This means language that is simple and conveys ideas with the greatest possible clarity.
- Read your document carefully to ensure that your additional clause is not repeating or contradicting what has already been stated in the document.
- Use numerals, not words, to denote amounts.
- Refer to people and companies by name. If names have been defined by a shorthand identifier within the document, then use that name instead. This is especially true of the parties to the agreement. These are usually identified at the beginning of your contract. Example: the Landlord, the Tenant, the Customer, the Service Provider, etc.
- Emphasise the positive and avoid using multiple negatives in sentences.
- Spell-check your clause.
- Do not use jargon/legalese such as “hereto” and “the said item” and omit any needless words.
- Do not use multiple names or identifiers to refer to the same person or thing. It will appear to the reader that you are introducing new or different objects.
- Do not use terms such as: they, us, we, our, you, me, etc. These terms are ambiguous and confusing.
- Do not use any abbreviations.
- Do not use all capitals.
Some terms that may be included are:
|Legal Jargon||Basic English|
|at the present time||now|
|due to the fact that||because; since|
|during such time as||while|
|for the duration of||during|
|in the event that||if|
|notwithstanding the fact that||although; even if|
|with reference to||about|