Full Course Details
Date: Tuesday 27th February 2024
Time: 9.30am – 4.00pm
CPD: 6 CPD Hours
Method of Delivery: Online
This highly practical one day workshop will give managers and staff the skills and confidence to write successfully in plain English – and to prepare for the new rules. During the course, participants apply the principles of plain English to a range of authentic materials to ensure they take away skills they can immediately put into practice.
We have delivered this course to managers and staff in many government departments and agencies – focusing on web content, letters, emails, guidelines, leaflets and reports.
On successful completion, participants will understand how to:
- Plan well-structured, accessible communications
- Write in plain English for different audiences and types of communication
- Use clear, concise English with a professional tone
- Update materials to ensure they comply with plain English guidelines
- Edit their own and colleagues’ writing to a plain English standard
Part 1 – Overview of Plain English
- What is plain English? What are the benefits?
- How to assess readability using the Flesch Reading Ease Scale
- Identify plain English for different types of writing: forms, leaflets, websites, letters etc.
- Importance of a suitable style and tone of voice for your target audiences
- Benefits of a plain English style guide
Part 2 – Planning to achieve objectives
- Planning for accessibility
- Define your purpose and identify your target audiences
- Create an effective objectives statement
- Step-by-step guide to creating a structured outline
- Use critical thinking to ensure you write the right document
Part 3 – How to make your writing plain and professional
- Use everyday professional English – in an appropriate style for reports, web content etc.
- Build short, clear, strong sentences and paragraphs
- Use strong active verbs for clarity
- Cut dead wood, repetition, padding and wordiness
- Be careful with jargon, technical terms and buzzwords
- How to use acronyms and abbreviations
- Use headings, bullet lists and topic sentences for navigation
- Use frontloading, signposts and linking words for flow and readability
- Take a punctuation refresher
- Use a plain English checklist
Part 4 – Reviewing
- Strategies to review your own work
- Use an editing checklist
- Become aware of common errors (grammar, punctuation, use of English, spelling)
- Identify your own ‘problem areas’
- Layout – Make it reader-friendly
All of our open programmes can also be run on an in-house basis. For more information, see our page on In-House Training.