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, 1998

Clear and Precise Writing: Skills for Today’s Lawyer
Ros Macdonald and Denise Clark-Dixon, Lawbook Company, 3rd edn, 2010

Law Words: 30 essays on legal words & phrases
Edited by Mark Duckworth and Arthur Spyrou, published by the Centre for Plain Legal Language, Sydney, 1995

Plain English and the Law
Law Reform Commission of Victoria, Victorian Government Printer, Melbourne, 1987

Plain Language for Lawyers
Michele Asprey, Federation Press, 4th edn, 2010

The Elements of Drafting
E. Piesse, The Law Book Co Ltd, 10th edn, 2004, 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, 1996

Win More Cases: The Lawyer’s Toolkit
Published electronically by Research One Pty Ltd, 2008; see the ‘extras’ section, on writing

Writing in Plain English
Robert Eagleson, Australian Government Publishing Service, 1990

Writing at Work: How to write clearly, effectively and professionally
Dr Neil James, Allen & Unwin, 2007


A Plain Language Handbook for Legal Writers
Christine Mowat, Carswell Thomson, 1998

Legal Drafting
Robert Dick QC, Carswell, 3rd edn, 1995

Plain Language in Plain English
Cheryl Stephens, 2010

Plain Language Legal Writing
Cheryl Stephens, 2009 (Kindle Edition: B002BWPCW6)


Clarity for Lawyers
Mark Adler and Daphne Perry, Law Society, 3rd edn, 2017

Drafting and Negotiating Commercial Leases
Murray Ross, Butterworths, 4th edn, 1994

Drafting Trusts and Will Trusts
James Kessler QC, Sweet & Maxwell, 12th edn, 2014

Fowler’s Modern English Usage
Oxford, 3rd edn (by RW Burchfield), 1996

Lucid Law
Martin Cutts, Plain Language Commission

Modern Legal Drafting
Peter Butt, Cambridge University Press, 3rd edn, 2013

The Oxford Guide to Plain English
Martin Cutts, Oxford University Press, 4th edn, 2013


A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting
by Kenneth Adams, ABA Press, 2nd edn, 2008

Clear & Effective Legal Writing
Veda Charrow and Myra Erhardt, Little, Brown & Co, 5th edn, 2013

Drafting Legal Documents
Barbara Child, West, 2nd edn, 1992

Garner’s Dictionary of Legal Usage
Bryan Garner, Oxford University Press, 3rd edn, 2011

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

How to Write Plain English
Rudolph Flesch, HarperCollins, 1979

Legal Language
Peter Tiersma, University of Chicago Press, 1999

Legal Writing: Sense and Nonsense
David Mellinkoff, West Publishing, 1982

Lifting the Fog of Legalese
Joseph Kimble, Carolina Academic Press, 2006

Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges
Antonin Scalia and Bryan Garner, 2008

On Writing Well
William Zinsser, HarperCollins, 9th ed, 2006

Plain English for Lawyers
Richard Wydick, Carolina Academic Press, 5th edn, 2005

The Elements of Legal Style
Bryan Garner, Oxford University Press, 2nd edn, 2002

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

The Language of the Law
David Mellinkoff, 1963

The Legal Writer: 40 Rules for the Art of Legal Writing
Judge Mark Painter, Cincinnati Book Publishing, 4th edn, 2009

The “Plain language” column, in the Michigan Bar Journal

The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing

The Winning Brief
Bryan Garner, Oxford University Press, 3rd edn, 2014

Writing Contracts in Plain English
Carl Felsenfeld and Alan Siegel, West Publishing, 1981

Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please: The Case for Plain Language in Business, Government, and Law
Joseph Kimble, Carolina Academic Press, 2012