Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Redish acr 2017 clear rule writing

380 views

Published on

Slides from a workshop on writing clear regulations. National Association of Secretaries of State, section on Administrative Codes and Records.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Redish acr 2017 clear rule writing

  1. 1. Writing and Posting Rules That People Can Use Janice (Ginny) Redish, Ph.D. Redish & Associates, Inc. Bethesda, Maryland NASS ACR, Indianapolis, July 8, 2017 @GinnyRedish
  2. 2. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 2 Topics for this morning   Setting the context – what and why   Helping rule writers be both clear and legally accurate   Posting rules online (primarily about formatting)   Easy to find   Easy to use   Accessible to everyone
  3. 3. Photo credits at the end of the slide deck Setting the context – what and why
  4. 4. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 4 A regulation is a legal document that sets out the standards and procedures by which an agency of the government expects both itself and those affected by the regulation to carry out the intent of the law. What is a regulation?
  5. 5. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 5 Three assertions about regulations   Regulations are meant to communicate information as well as to state legal requirements.   Many regulations do not communicate effectively to the people who must understand them.   We can have legally accurate and sufficient regulations that also communicate effectively.
  6. 6. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 6 Consider this example
  7. 7. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 7 Why should we care? Why do the people you regulate care?
  8. 8. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 8 Does your state require clear rules?
  9. 9. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 9 Can we do better? Yes. Clear rules – Example 1
  10. 10. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 10 Yes. Clear rules – Example 2
  11. 11. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 11 Helping rule writers be both clear and legally accurate
  12. 12. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 12 Plan Draft Review, Test Revise Publish Draft = Select Organize Write Format Writing clear rules is a process
  13. 13. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 13 For everything you write, answer these questions:   Why? (Purposes)   Who? (Personas)   What? (Conversations)
  14. 14. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 14 Why? (Purposes) to give all the rules about training poll workers We want Focus on your readers and what you want them to do (or not do) These rules will be successful if [these people]_____________________________________ [do this] _________________________________________.
  15. 15. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 15 These rules will be successful if election officials make sure that poll workers are properly trained and certified on using the vote recorders close enough to the election that the poll workers remember what they have to do on election day. These rules will be successful if [these people]_____________________________________ [do this] _________________________________________.
  16. 16. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 16 Who must (or should ) read these rules? (Name the different groups.) What should you keep in mind about those people? (Examples: busy, tired, don't know our legal words, English is their second language,…) not what content they are looking for − that's a different aspect of planning Who? (Personas)
  17. 17. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 17 What? (Conversations) You must train all the managers and clerks who will work with the voting machines (or arrange for someone to train them). The training must be between 21 days and 10 days before the election. Are there rules about training poll workers?
  18. 18. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 18 Draft = Select Organize Write Format
  19. 19. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 19 A communication is clear only if the people who must (or should) deal with it can  find what they need  understand what they find  use what they find to meet their needs Find UseUnderstand www.plainlanguage.gov Clear communication = plain language = usable regulations
  20. 20. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 20 1. Break it up – and show how it is broken. 2. Use meaningful headings. Organize
  21. 21. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 21 Page: 10 of 452 How inviting is this? How easy or hard to use?
  22. 22. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 22 Is this easier to use? Why?
  23. 23. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 23 But is this a good heading for this information? What question does the rule really answer?
  24. 24. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 24 Are these better headings? Why?
  25. 25. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 25 How do these headings help readers?
  26. 26. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 26 Questions Action phrases Meaningful phrases (sometimes) Whose income do we count? When can I apply? How much shared leave may an employee receive? Maximum benefits payable Applying for unemployment benefits What types of headings work well?
  27. 27. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 27   Vague words   Many single nouns Exception:   Long noun strings General Notice, Program, Procedure, Commencement What types of headings do not work well? Election Petition Signature Verification Random Sampling Verification Methodology Definitions
  28. 28. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 28 1. Keep each sentence to one thought – or two tightly connected thoughts. 2. Put the context first. 3. Tell who must (or must not) act – and put the actor first. 4. Use "you" and "we" when you can. 5. Write with strong verbs. 6. Consider using "must" instead of "shall" Write
  29. 29. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 29 Keep each sentence to one thought – or two tightly connected thoughts My first draft of a possible revision
  30. 30. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 30 Put the context first Prior to August 1 of the calendar year immediately preceding the calendar year of issuance of the special group recognition license plate, the organization must submit camera-ready artwork to the bureau to be used for plate production. For the bureau to produce the special plate, the organization must submit camera-ready artwork before August 1 of the year immediately before the year in which the bureau will issue the special plate. Example: For a plate that the bureau will issue in 2019, the deadline for the artwork is August 1, 2018.
  31. 31. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 31 Approved fumigation with methyl bromide at normal atmospheric pressure, in accordance with the following procedure, upon arrival at the port of entry, is hereby prescribed as a condition of importation for shipments of yams from foreign countries. How would you say this in a conversation?
  32. 32. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 32 If you are importing yams, [someone] must fumigate them when they arrive at the port of entry. To fumigate yams, [someone] must use this procedure: new context = given, known then
  33. 33. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 33 The applicant must fill out the form. The form must be filled out by the applicant. The form must be filled out.
  34. 34. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 34 Tell who must (or must not) act – and put the actor first. The applicant must fill out the form. The form must be filled out by the applicant. The form must be filled out.
  35. 35. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 35 Use "you" and "we" when you can
  36. 36. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 36 Write with strong verbs Retention of their data for a period of seven years is a requirement for all researchers. 1.  Find the underlying verb. 2.  Then find a simpler verb. All researchers are required to retain their data for seven years. All researchers must keep their data for seven years. You must keep your data for seven years.
  37. 37. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 37
  38. 38. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 38 Consider using "must" instead of "shall"
  39. 39. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 39
  40. 40. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 40 Posting rules online (primarily about formatting)
  41. 41. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 41 Walk a persona through their conversation
  42. 42. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 42 How would our persona probably react to having to use this list of regulations?
  43. 43. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 43 Would our persona have a better reaction to this list of regulations?
  44. 44. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 44 Would our persona have a better reaction to this list of regulations? But would she know where to click to move ahead?
  45. 45. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 45 What makes this list hard to use?
  46. 46. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 46 An alphabetical list of topics may be very useful. But the line should be above each red listing, not between the topic and the rule where the topic is found.
  47. 47. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 47 Helping users find the right rule is just the first step. Formatting the rule itself for easy use is also critical. Blank space is not wasted space. It's a critical design feature.
  48. 48. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 48 Thank you! More questions? Write to me: ginny@redish.net Morgan Kaufmann / Elsevier 2nd edition, 2012 @GinnyRedish Ginny Redish Janice (Ginny) Redish, Ph.D. Redish & Associates, Inc. Bethesda, Maryland www.redish.net
  49. 49. © 2017, Janice (Ginny) Redish 49 Picture credits Slide Credit 3 123RF.com by Marcos Calvo Mesa 6 Flickr cc photo by theworldcafe 7 Flickr cc photo by Maryland Gov Pics 11 123RF.com by Vadim Gushua 16 iStockphoto.com (the two women); Flickr cc photo by liber (the man) 18 iStockphoto.com 31 Flickr cc photo by Seattle Municipal Archives 40 iStockphoto.com 41 iStockphoto.com 47 123RF.com by Shojiro Ishihara

×