Browse our list of recommended publications on plain language writing.

For a more extensive list of plain language resources, including articles from our journal Clarity, search Victoria Law Foundation’s database of plain language resources. 


A Practical Guide to Drafting Pleadings
Shelley Dunstone, Law Book Company (LBC Information Services) Sydney

Clear and Precise Writing: Skills for Today’s Lawyer
Ros Macdonald and Denise Clark-Dixon, Lawbook Company, 3rd edn

Law Words: 30 essays on legal words & phrases
Edited by Mark Duckworth and Arthur Spyrou, published by the Centre for Plain Legal Language, Sydney

Plain English and the Law
Law Reform Commission of Victoria, Victorian Government Printer, Melbourne

Plain Language for Lawyers
Michele Asprey, Federation Press, 4th edn

The Elements of Drafting
E. Piesse, The Law Book Co Ltd, 10th edn, edited by J.K. Aitken and Peter Butt

The Gains from Clarity: a research report on the effects of plain language documents
Gordon Mills and Mark Duckworth, published by the Centre for Plain Legal Language, Sydney

Win More Cases: The Lawyer’s Toolkit
Published electronically by Research One Pty Ltd; see the ‘extras’ section, on writing

Writing in Plain English
Robert Eagleson, Australian Government Publishing Service

Writing at Work: How to write clearly, effectively and professionally
Dr Neil James, Allen & Unwin


A Plain Language Handbook for Legal Writers
Christine Mowat, Carswell Thomson

Legal Drafting
Robert Dick QC, Carswell, 3rd edn

Plain Language in Plain English
Cheryl Stephens

Plain Language Legal Writing
Cheryl Stephens (Kindle Edition: B002BWPCW6)


Clarity for Lawyers
Mark Adler and Daphne Perry, Law Society, 3rd edn

Drafting and Negotiating Commercial Leases
Murray Ross, Butterworths, 4th edn

Drafting Trusts and Will Trusts
James Kessler QC, Sweet & Maxwell, 12th edn

Fowler’s Modern English Usage
Oxford, 3rd edn (by RW Burchfield)

Lucid Law
Martin Cutts, Plain Language Commission

Modern Legal Drafting
Peter Butt, Cambridge University Press, 3rd edn

The Oxford Guide to Plain English
Martin Cutts, Oxford University Press, 4th edn


A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting
by Kenneth Adams, ABA Press, 2nd edn

Clear & Effective Legal Writing
Veda Charrow and Myra Erhardt, Little, Brown & Co, 5th edn

Drafting Legal Documents
Barbara Child, West, 2nd edn

Garner’s Dictionary of Legal Usage
Bryan Garner, Oxford University Press, 3rd edn

Federal Plain Language Guidelines
Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN)

How to Write Plain English
Rudolph Flesch, HarperCollins

Legal Language
Peter Tiersma, University of Chicago Press

Legal Writing: Sense and Nonsense
David Mellinkoff, West Publishing

Lifting the Fog of Legalese
Joseph Kimble, Carolina Academic Press

Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges
Antonin Scalia and Bryan Garner

On Writing Well
William Zinsser, HarperCollins, 9th ed

Plain English for Lawyers
Richard Wydick, Carolina Academic Press, 5th edn

The Elements of Legal Style
Bryan Garner, Oxford University Press, 2nd edn

The Fundamentals of Legal Drafting
Reed Dickerson, Little, Brown & Co, 2nd ed

The Language of the Law
David Mellinkoff

The Legal Writer: 40 Rules for the Art of Legal Writing
Judge Mark Painter, Cincinnati Book Publishing, 4th edn

The Winning Brief
Bryan Garner, Oxford University Press, 3rd edn

Writing Contracts in Plain English
Carl Felsenfeld and Alan Siegel, West Publishing

Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please: The Case for Plain Language in Business, Government, and Law
Joseph Kimble, Carolina Academic Press