Writing Docs in Plain Talk

Learn how to lead readers to the right action and convey complex information clearly, in 7 simple steps.


Course Duration: 1 Day |7 hours
Certificate: Plain Language – Level 1
Participants: Up to 28
Audience: Public sector employees who must write usable documents in compliance with national and state laws.

We don’t dumb it down—we use the science behind usability to write useful documents.

Users can skim and scan these documents for key information without error. They can then read details quickly and accurately when they find the information they need.

Course Scope

Learn the general principles and seven guidelines of Plain Talk as it applies to writing instructions, policy, procedures, publications, and other documents.

Learn to design documents for easy use and customer understanding.  Learn how to write documents that typical customers can act upon after a single reading.

Performance Objectives

Move beyond theory to practice using each principle in hands-on course activities, followed by review and discussion. Course grads design, revise, and write documents that:

  • Meet customer needs.
  • Use simple, clear language.
  • Include only important, relevant info,
    placed where readers will find it.
  • Lead readers to find what they need, and use what they find.
  • Keep sentences and paragraphs short.
  • Use active sentences to clearly show
    who does what, when—and how they do it. Watch your “why.”
  • Help readers see how they relate to the message and the implied or stated tasks it holds.

Competency covered in this course: Written Communication

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Plain Language Level 1
This certificate shows your development hours and training in plain language standards compliant with national and state laws.

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Write Words provides a computer lab for live revision courses within 50 miles of Olympia, WA. Laptops provided for regional agencies beyond 50 miles when possible, by request. We also provide workbooks and all materials needed.

Host agencies provide a projection system that we can use to present from a laptop. We can use anything you have: a Smartboard, smart TV, or projector system with Display Port, HDMI, wireless, or VGA connection.