Writing in Plain English

During this course, you learn how to write in plain language. Writing in plain language is a reader-focused
communication approach. Reader-focused documents are easier to understand because the content is clear, concise, and
direct. Writing in plain language allows your audience to quickly find what they need, understand what they find, and
use what they find to meet their needs. As a participant in this class you will plain language principles, how to construct
plain language documents, and apply and plain language principles to what you write. Course topics include audience
analysis, document structure and organization, appropriate word choice, and other strategies for successful writing and
overcoming writers block. Class exercises provide you the opportunity to evaluate written documents to determine their
adherence to plain language principles.

About the Course

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:
• define and explain the purpose of plain language
• recognize how to identify the needs of the reader
• create the structure of a document
• demonstrate the ability to organize a document effectively
• choose appropriate words and write concisely and clearly
• use format design features to increase readability
• evaluate a document for plain language
• describe various strategies for overcoming writer’s block
• apply strategies for successful writing
• describe ethical situations and concerns that may be
• encountered when writing documents on the job

Course Outline (2 Full Days)

1. Why Plain Language?
2. Understanding the Needs of the Reader
3. Document Structure and Organization
4. The Importance of Word Choice
5. Using Format Features in Word Document Programs
6. Evaluating Document Structure, Organization, and Readability
7. Strategies for Overcoming Writer’s block
8. Strategies for Successful Writingrts