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THE PARTS OF SPEECH [ ? ]
MISUSED ENGLISH WORDS
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How to Start Writing in Plain English
Let's first dispel a common misconception about plain English writing. Writing in plain English does not mean we delete complex information to make the document easier to understand. Documents must impart complex information for readers to make informed decisions. Using plain English presents complex information orderly and clearly so that readers have the best chance of understanding the document's meaning.
Plain English means using only information that readers need to make informed decisions; this requires the writer to analyze and decide what to include and what to leave out. A plain English document uses words economically and at a level the audience can understand. Its sentence structure is tight. Its tone is welcoming and direct. Its design is visually appealing at a glance. A plain English document.
You may want to ask yourself these questions as you start writing in plain English:
Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience is the crux of a plain English document because you need to ensure your readers can understand what you write. To write clear and understandable documents, you need to gauge the readability level of your readers.
Using whatever information is available, you can profile your readers based on the following questions:
After analyzing who your readers are, you can turn to the document you want to write or rewrite.
As you read what you write, consider the following:
Question the need for repeating any information. Reading the same material two or three times can bore and trouble readers. Most readers skip over paragraphs if they think they've read them before. If you cut down on repetitious paragraphs or sentences, you'll not only earn the gratitude of your reader, but you will also make your document more readable and less cluttered.
We thought it would be helpful to list the most common problems you will find in poorly written documents.
Common problems in poor writing:
You have not been authorized to give any information or make any representation other than those included or incorporated by reference in this joint statement, and, if given or made, such information or representation must not be relied upon as having been authorized.
Here's one possible plain English rewrite:
You should rely only on the information in this joint statement. We have not authorized anyone to provide you with different information.
The plain English rewrite uses everyday words, active voice with strong verbs, short sentences, regular print, and personal pronouns that speak directly and succinctly to the reader.
Do you think this rewrite captures the meaning of the original? Would you write it differently?