TO START…<br /><ul><li>What do you think “Plain English” is?
How many of you feel that you can write in “Plain English”?</li></li></ul><li>What is “Plain English”?<br />The use of plain, direct language to express a clear, concise meaning<br />Keep it simple<br />Includes language & layout<br />Does not mean deleting important information or using slang<br />
THE “PLAIN ENGLISH” MOVEMENT<br />“The premise behind the plain English movement is that legal documents ought to be plainer--and more comprehensible--to the average person” (Tiersma).<br />Origin<br />1970s—1990s<br />
Process of writing in “Plain English”<br />Know your audience<br />Organization<br />Give the “big picture”<br />3 Important Steps:<br />Pre-writing<br />Writing<br />Revising<br />(The Plain English Handbook).<br />
Direct vs. indirect pattern<br />AUDIENCE<br />(Guffey).<br />
Composing Effective Sentences<br />Achieve Variety With 4 Sentence Types<br />Simple Sentence<br />Compound Sentence<br />Complex Sentence<br />Compound-complex sentence<br />Control Sentence Length<br />Only make sentence long enough to get your point across <br />
Common problems that hinder "Plain English" writing<br />Lengthy sentences<br />Passive voice instead of active<br />Superfluous words/phrases<br />Legal jargon (gobbledygook)<br />Too many defined terms<br />Unreadable layout<br />Scarcity of personal pronouns <br />(The Plain English Handbook).<br />
Tips for “Plain English” writing<br />Keep sentences short (Guffey).<br />Write positively<br />Use common, familiar words <br />Use the natural word order of speakers: subject-verb-object<br />Keep the sentence structure parallel (The Plain English Handbook).<br />
EVALUATING YOUR “PLAIN ENGLISH”<br />ACTIVITY<br />Form team groups<br />Convert these GOBBLEDYGOOK sentences to “Plain English”<br />Best sentences get sweet rewards!<br />
Activity<br />1. The culinary area is an operational mess led by the depreciation of the beloved java and it might well soon be terminated.<br /> 2. We have been closely monitoring your perplexing situation and it is fairly obvious that your operational skills are lagging far behind.<br />3. You have to ascertain your client and then conceptualize and encompass his thoughts into the stipulations of the contract. <br />
Activity Answers<br />1. Please keep the kitchen neat and clean or I’m banning coffee from the building.<br />2. You need to do your job better or I will fire you.<br />3. Put what your client wants into the contract.<br />
Review<br />Know your audience <br />Organization<br />Give big picture<br /><ul><li>Keep it short, simple & direct
Grammar, mechanics</li></li></ul><li>Works Cited<br />"A Plain English Handbook." August 1998. Ed. Office of Investor Education and Assistance - U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissions. January 2010 <http://www.sec.gov/pdf/handbook.pdf>.<br />Guffey, Mary Ellen. Essentials of Business Communication. 8th Edition. Southwestern Cengage Learning, 2010. 42 - 43, 59.<br />Plain English Campaign. 2010. January 2010 <http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/>.<br />Tiersma, Peter. "The Plain English Movement." LanguageandLaw.org. January 2010 <http://www.languageandlaw.org/PLAINENGLISH.HTM>.<br />
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