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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Garbl's Plain English Writing Guide

How to write clearly to meet the needs of your readers--and your needs too!


Here's the introduction to my online writing guide. Follow the links below (or on the website) to learn more about this method for writing clearly and concisely.


Plain English is an approach to writing that concentrates on the needs of your readers. This clear writing approach is often called plain language because of its international value and use in other languages. It is ideal for people who write to and for clients, customers, employees, organization members, ratepayers, students and taxpayers. It helps us write for people who read at all levels of time, interest, education and literacy. It also benefits readers with limited English proficiency or learning disabilities.

Plain English principles can help you write clearly and concisely. Plain English matches the needs of your readers with your needs as a writer, leading to effective, efficient communication. It is effective because your readers can understand your message. It is efficient because your readers can understand your message the first time they read it. That reader focus--combined with logical organization, clear writing and inviting appearance--is key to creating usable, informative documents for your organization. 

The basics of clear, concise writing apply to all types of documents. Following plain-English principles will improve the readability of letters and memos, reports and newsletters, brochures and presentations, instruction manuals and legal documents, and most other documents. The principles also apply directly to writing news releases and Web pages, and they will aid translating English documents into other languages.

Check out the pages below to learn how to improve your writing skills by using plain-English techniques:

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