Plain Language, Please
~The world is filled with English grammar books, self-help books about writing, and style guides, so why write another “English” book? Simply put, there really aren’t any books that explain the whys, whats, and hows of writing using plain language.
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~Why write a book about “writing in plain English”? Simple. Because businesses and government are increasingly emphasizing the need to write using “plain English” or “plain language.”
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Plain Language, Please
A BRIEF HISTORY OF ENGLISH
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Plain Language, Please
~For many people, their approach to writing consists of the following eleven steps:
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Rowman & Littlefield
585
Plain Language, Please
When we write, we have a tendency to write for ourselves and our reviewer or supervisor. This presents a problem. After the reviewer and supervisor have given their comments, from their perspective, you now have a document that may be very “audience unfriendly.” If the intended reader doesn’t see himself or herself in your document, one or more things may happen. The reader:
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Rowman & Littlefield
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Simplifying your writing is not the same as “dumbing down.” Writing simply and concisely is a real challenge. Writing that is clear, concise, and to the point gets read. Writing that is text dense, jargon filled, laden with clichés, and designed to impress or overwhelm is often ignored or misunderstood.
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  • Plain Language, Please
    Remember in your fourth- or fifth-grade class when your teacher said something like, “Today we are going to learn about creating and using outlines to make your papers clear and logical.” You’ve probably despised the idea of outlining ever since. Well, the outline is back, and is more useful than you may ever have imagined. It’s a great way to get, and stay, focused on the...
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    Rowman & Littlefield
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    Plain Language, Please
    What are the “Cs” and “Rs” of effective writing?
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    Plain Language, Please
    ~Good, clear grammar and punctuation are absolutely essential to ensure your reader—your audience—understands what you wrote, what your goals are, and what they are to do next. Grammar has many components and constructions; punctuation takes many forms. Table 7.1 lists the most commonly used...
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    Plain Language, Please
    ~Documents that keep the reader in mind tend to get much better responses and results than documents that are written for the author or the author’s manager or supervisor. Here are several more tools you can use to create reader-friendly documents:
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    If you have the services of an editor available, you are very fortunate. Most people have to be their own editors, deal with the input of management, or rely on colleagues to provide this service. It is very difficult to edit your own work. If you liked something the first time you read it, and you didn’t find any problems, you will like it even better the next time you read it . . . but it...
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    Rowman & Littlefield
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    9781475824773:img-arrNote: Capitalization for Internet and intranet . . . Internet is a proper noun (and there is only one Internet) so it is capitalized; intranet is not a proper noun (there are many intranets out there) so it is not capitalized. If you are referring to a particular, named intranet, the term could be capitalized as part of the name: The XYZ Company Intranet.
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    • Reading ease: 57.3
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    • U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
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