Updated e write - plain language workshop - cdc - 25 april2011
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Updated e write - plain language workshop - cdc - 25 april2011

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  • http://www.plainlanguage.gov/whatisPL/index.cfm http://www.centerforplainlanguage.org/
  • http://www.dol.gov/vets/programs/empserv/employment_services_fs.htm
  • http://www.plainlanguage.gov/testExamples/indexBA.cfm?record=131&CFID=645454&CFTOKEN=298be7f0d9b0bf5a-39C5A711-1372-4132-8D9FC84BBD2EAE5A&jsessionid=5e3031fd0e8bcebfe2b048507b17d33d1213#After

Updated e write - plain language workshop - cdc - 25 april2011 Updated e write - plain language workshop - cdc - 25 april2011 Presentation Transcript

  • Strategies for Writing in Plain Language Environmental Public Health Tracking Workshop Leslie O’Flahavan, E-WRITE New York – April 25, 2011
  • Workshop overview
    • Module 1: The principles of plain language
    • Module 2: Edit content according to plain language principles
    • Module 3: Tailor your writing so it answers your readers' questions
    • Module 4: Use a two-tier process for editing for conciseness
    • Module 5: Cut word count
    • Module 6: Use headings to make your writing scannable
    • Module 7: Display information in vertical lists or in tables
    • Module 8: Plain language training and resources
  • Module 1: The principles of plain language
  • Plain language overview
    • President Obama signed the Plain Writing Act of 2010 into law on October 13, 2010
    • “The term `plain writing’ means writing that the intended audience can readily understand and use because that writing is clear, concise, well-organized, and follows other best practices of plain writing.”
  • Plain language is a communication philosophy
    • “ Plain language…is communication your audience can understand the first time they read or hear it.”
    • “ A communication is in plain language if the…audience for that communication can quickly and easily
      • find what they need
      • understand what they find
      • act appropriately on that understanding”
  • Plain language is a community
    • Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN)
    • Federal agencies with plain language programs
      • Bureau of Land Management
      • Environmental Protection Agency
      • Federal Aviation Administration
      • Fish and Wildlife Service
      • Health Resources and Services Administration
      • National Institutes of Health
      • Office of the Federal Register
      • Securities and Exchange Commission
    • Plain Language Awards
      • Legal Writing Institute’s Golden Pen Award
      • NIH’s Plain Language Initiative’s annual award
  • Plain language: We know it when we see it
    • Not plain language …
    • “ Local Veterans Employment Representatives conduct outreach to employers to engage in advocacy efforts with hiring executives to increase employment opportunities for veterans, encourage the hiring of disabled veterans and generally assist veterans to gain and retain employment.”
  • Plain language rewrite
    • Local Veterans Employment Representatives contact employers to encourage them to hire veterans, including disabled veterans, and generally assist veterans in finding and keeping jobs.
  • For online readers, plain language is essential
    • Flaws in writing are magnified online because online readers are working harder:
    • They read more slowly
    • They scan before (or instead of) actually reading
    • They are frequently “at sea”
    • They fatigue easily
  • Module 2: How to edit content according to plain language principles
  • Before-and-After samples
    • Army’s Information Security Program Handbook
    • FAA’s Airworthy Directives Regulation: 14 CFR Part 39
    • NIH grant application
    • State of Washington Department of Labor and Industries letter
  • What did the writers do to the Before version to create the After version?
    • ___________________________
    • ___________________________
    • ___________________________
    • ___________________________
    • ___________________________
  • Module 3: How to tailor your writing so it answers your readers’ questions
  • Module 4: Use a two-tier process for editing for conciseness
  • Module 5: Cut word count
  • Module 6: Use headings to make your writing scannable
  • Module 7: Display information in vertical lists or in tables
  • Module 8: Plain language training and resources
  • Questions? Comments?
    • Leslie O’Flahavan
    • E-WRITE
    • [email_address]
    • Tel. 301-989-9583
    • www.ewriteonline.com
    • www.WritingWorkbook.com
    • writingmatters.typepad.com