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Plainlanguage.gov

Under the Plain Writing Act, a law signed in 2010, federal agencies must "use clear government communication that the public can understand and use." However, the benefits of clear writing extend far beyond the governmental sector. At the site above, readers can learn more about the Plain Writing Act and hone communication skills to assist in professional and personal endeavors. Managed by the Plain Language Action and Information Network, "a group of federal employees from different agencies and specialties who support the use of clear communication in government writing," and frequently updated since its launch in 1994, this site has a wealth of reliable resources. The Plain Language Guidelines tab walks users through steps for clear communication; for example, writers should always "choose your words carefully," and "keep it conversational." Then, the Examples tab further illustrates many of these principles (check out the Before and After section for some quick fixes to eliminate ambiguity). Looking for even more guidance? The Training tab highlights resources for both federal agencies and the general public, and the Resources tab includes a useful "Checklist for Plain Language." Happy (clear) writing!
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2020-10-16
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