Plain Language Essentials

About this course

In-person (1 day)
Virtual (modular, 7 hours)

Too often, documents full of complex language, jargon and convoluted sentences make reading and understanding unnecessarily difficult.

Readers appreciate information presented in plain language, which means they can understand and take action after one read. A good writer can convey a complex message simply without compromising the message itself.

This plain language writing course shows you how to simplify your writing so all readers can understand and act on it with ease.

Download course outline (in-person)

Download course outline (virtual)


Who should enroll

This seven-hour course is for anyone who needs to translate complex, technical content into plain language, in print or online. We recommend up to 15 participants.

What you will learn

In this course, you will learn to:

  • use a consistent process and framework to quickly generate and organize content
  • decide what information and how much detail to include
  • state your main point clearly up front, and ask readers for action
  • lay out your document to make your structure scannable
  • cut the excess words to energize your writing
  • use active voice and simple language to clarify your messages
  • use a positive tone to add clarity and build strong relationships
  • use readability scores to pitch your writing to the right level

What to expect

We know that people learn best by doing, so this virtual course gives you many opportunities to practice as you learn. This course combines self-directed and interactive virtual learning with a workshop session. The facilitator is available to answer questions and provide guidance and coaching during the self -directed learning portions. Use your own documents to assess your writing as we go, and revise a document to share with your peers in a culminating activity.

You receive a comprehensive digital manual containing exercises to provide practice, checklists, templates, and examples. You receive handy tip sheets to help you transfer learning to your work-based writing.