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Plain Language


The most powerful language is also the simplest. When each word has a clear meaning and purpose, readers can move easily through a text and focus on its message. Unfortunately, much writing today is needlessly bureaucratic and difficult to read.

The culprits are many

  • language that serves the writer instead of the reader
  • organization that buries the important messages
  • wordiness that stifles clarity
  • abstractions that make the writing dense and difficult to follow
  • jargon that hinders understanding
  • poor page design that ignores the reader’s needs

And these are just some of the problems.

This seminar will help you overcome these pitfalls and create documents that say what they mean—efficiently. We’ll start by defining plain language (what it is and what it isn’t) and explaining its benefits. We’ll then examine the writing process and describe some important reader-centered techniques. Next, we’ll discuss where to place key messages and then address 10 practical techniques for creating plain language. We’ll conclude by looking at page design and ways of evaluating readability.

Throughout the seminar, individual and group exercises will give you a chance to apply plain language to real-life passages. Whether you’re a seasoned editor looking to affirm your approach or a newcomer eager to jumpstart your career, this seminar will help you get results from plain language.


Contact the Seminar Chair to discuss group training options at your office.