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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Garbl's Plain English Writing Guide | Celebrating International Plain Language Day!

Today, Oct. 13, being the second annual International Plain Language Day, I'm featuring my online advice for clear, concise writing that meets the needs of readers as well as writers. The website for Plain Language Day features "virtual conference" presentations about plain language in YouTube videos, SlideShare shows, and PDF files.

Plain English is an approach to writing that concentrates on the needs of your readers. This 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 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 you and 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 these pages in my guide to learn how to improve your writing skills by using plain-English techniques:
For more information and advice on plain language and clear, concise writing, visit these sites of mine:
The second, third and fourth bullets above provide links and information about other websites, organizations and publications. I especially recommend the Plain Language Association InterNational, the Center for Plain Language, and the U.S. Plain Language Action & Information Network

You also can find daily information and articles about using plain language in my online newspaper, Garbl's Plain English Paragraphs--at the Plain Language tab above and by free email subscription.

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