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.
Plain-language initiative of Washington state government
- 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
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: EPA Plain Language Initiative
- Federal Aviation Administration: FAA's Plain Language Program
- Federal Register: Plain Language Tools, U.S. National Archives & Records Administration
- Fish and Wildlife Service: Plain Language, U.S. Department of the Interior
- Health Resources and Services Administration: Plain Language Principles and Thesaurus for Making HIPAA Privacy Notices More Readable, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- National Institutes of Health: The Plain Language Initiative, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Writing Web Content (PDF, 11MB): Research-Based Web Design and Usability Guidelines, Usability.gov.
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)
Other government websites
- A compilation of various plain English statutes: California, Connecticut, Florida, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania
- Plain Language--Florida Governor's Office
- Plain Language Works Best--Los Angeles County, Quality and Productivity Commission
- Easy-to-Read NYC: Guidelines for Clear and Effective Communication (PDF)--New York City, Mayor's Office of Adult Education/Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs
- Plain Language--State of Oregon
- Plain Language Project--Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner, Texas
- Plain Language--Communications Nova Scotia, Canada.
- Clear Writing--Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs, Canada
- Plain Language: Papers and documents on using plain language--Office of Parliamentary Counsel, Australia.
- Plain English Manual: Topics include Planning the draft, Good writing habits, Traditional practices to avoid, and Aids to understanding--Office of Parliamentary Counsel, Australia.
- Making written information easier to understand for people with learning disabilities (PDF, 746KB)--Office of Disability Issues, Department of Health, United Kingdom
- How to Write Clearly (PDF, 1.37MB)--European Commission of the European Union.
"The importance of well-drafted originals in plain language in the multilingual European Union" (PDF)--speech by Leonard Orban, European commissioner for multiculturalism, European Union
Writing for Translation (PDF), Translation Centre for the Bodies fo the European Union (Note:The document starts with a French version, followed by an English version with the pages in reverse order).
- Government of Sweden | Plain-language websites in other countries (most not in English).
- 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
- 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.