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King County Editorial Style Manual

abbreviations, capitalization, grammar, numbers, punctuation, spelling, word usage

Other plain-language resources

For more information about plain language, concise writing and global English, check out the resources listed below or contact Jim Lindler.

State of Washington | U.S. government | Other governments | Other organizations | Print


Plain-language initiative of Washington state government

External links:

  • Plain Talk at Ecology--principles, resources and other information on writing clearly at the state Department of Ecology.


Plain-language programs of U.S. government agencies

External links:

U.S. Plain Language Action and Information Network--a government-wide group of federal employees working to improve communications from the government to the public. The group originated with a presidential memorandum on plain language in June 1998.

Federal Plain Language Guidelines--major guidance document of the U.S. Plain Language Action and Information Network to help federal government employees write plain-language documents that readers understand on first reading.

Plain Language Online Training--free interactive program developed by the National Institute of Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (use the Browse button for non-NIH employees)

Plain Language: A Handbook for Writers in the U.S. Federal Government , Richard Lauchman (PDF, 287KB)

Back to home page of King County plain-language writing guide


Other government websites

External links:


Other organizations

External links:

  • Plain Language Association InterNational--a volunteer group of plain-language advocates and professionals in public, nonprofit and private organizations. PLAIN's website provides free articles, tutorials and Web links about writing, government programs, legal resources, literacy, and other related topics.
  • Plain Train: Plain Language Online Training--helpful tips and techniques for improving your communication skills with the use of plain language.
  • Center for Plain Language--a U.S.-based nonprofit membership organization of people in government, academia and business who are dedicated to promoting and supporting the use of plain language in the public and private sectors.
  • Clarity--an international association promoting plain legal language.
  • Plain Language Commission--a private organization in the United Kingdom that offers free articles on writing, readability, jargon, standards of English, legal English and grammar.


Other useful references on plain language; clear, concise writing; global English

External links:

  • An Introduction to Plain Language, Cheryl Stephens, co-founder of Plain Language Association InterNational
  • Answering the Critics of Plain Language, Professor Joseph Kimble
  • The Complete Plain Words, Ernest Gowers, revised by Sidney Greenbaum and Janet Whitcut
  • The Dictionary of Concise Writing: More Than 10,000 Alternatives to Wordy Phrases, Robert Hartwell Fiske
  • Edit Yourself: A Manual for Everyone Who Works with Words, Bruce Ross-Larson
  • The Elements of International English Style: A Guide to Writing Correspondence, Reports, Technical Documents and Internet Pages for a Global Audience, Edmond H. Weiss
  • From Plain English to Global English, Rachel McAlpine
  • Global English for Global Business, Rachel McAlpine
  • The Global English Style Guide: Writing Clear, Translatable Documentation for a Global Market, John R. Kohl
  • Legal Writing in Plain English, Bryan A. Garner, author of Garner's Modern American Usage | Exercises from Legal Writing in Plain English
  • Oxford Guide to Plain English, Martin Cutts, leader of the Plain Language Commission and co-founder of the Plain English Campaign-- Excerpts
  • The Plain English Approach to Business Writing, Edward P. Bailey Jr.
  • Plain English at Work: A Guide to Writing and Speaking, Edward P. Bailey Jr.--includes The Plain English Approach to Business Writing)
  • Plain English Lexicon: A guide to whether your words will be understood (free PDF download), Martin Cutts, Plain Language Commission, United Kingdom
  • Plain Style: Techniques for Simple, Concise, Emphatic Business Writing, Richard Lauchman--author of Plain Language: A Handbook for Writers in the U.S. Federal Government (listed above)
  • "Using Microsoft Word's Readability Program" (PDF)--Michigan Bar Journal, January 2009.
  • Write Tight: How to Keep Your Prose Sharp, Focused and Concise, William Brohaugh
  • Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please, Professor Joseph Kimble
  • Writing for the Web 3.0, Crawford Kilian

Also see Online and print resources, King County Editorial Style Manual.

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