Organize Your Letters Carefully/Plain Language Action & Info Network
Plain Language


LETTER BUTTON"Organize Your Letters Carefully"

[checkmark]Well-organized, detailed tables of contents make it easy for
the reader to identify all elements in a series

Part of serving your readers better is organizing your regulation or other document so that they can understand how a program works and where to find instructions for each step they need to complete. Your table of contents should be a reliable road map that readers can follow to get through a process painlessly. The table of contents below is organized in a logical sequence for a discretionary grant program. The organization follows the order in which events occur and the order in which the public might ask questions about the program.

Part 791:  Javits Gifted and Talented Students

Subpart A:  How the Grant Program Work

791.1What is the Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program?
791.2Am I eligible for a Javits Grant?
791.3What activities are appropriate for Javits Grant funding?
791.4What funding priorities may the Secretary establish?
791.5What other regulations apply to the Javits Grant?
791.6What definitions apply to the Javits Grant?

Subpart B:  How to Apply for An Award

791.10Where can I write to obtain a Javits Grant application?
791.11What materials do I need to submit to be considered for a Javits Grant?
791.12Where do I send my application?
791.13When is my application due?

Subpart C:  How the Secretary Makes an Award

791.20How will the Secretary evaluate my application for a Javis Grant?
791.21What selection criteria does the Secretary use to award Javits Grants?
791.22Does the Secretary consider additional factors?

Subpart D:  Grantees' Rights and Responsibilities

791.30Under what conditions may I use my Javits Grant award?
791.31What are my responsibilities for serving students and teachers in private schools?

The same organization works well for almost any type of regulation. Here's an example of an administrative regulation--



725.1What does this program cover?
725.2What special terms do I need to know to undersand this part?

Who is Covered

725.201Who is entitled to benefits under this program?
725.202How long can my benefits last?
725.203Are my dependents entitled to benefits?
725.204How long will their benefits last?
725.205Am I still eligible if I am convicted of a felony?

How to Apply for Benefits

725.301How do I file a claim?
725.302Can other people give evidence on my behalf?
725.303Are there any time limits for filing my claim?
725.304Can I modify or withdraw my claim?

How to Appeal Agency Decisions

725.401Can I appeal a decision if I don't agree with it?
725.402How do I file an appeal?
725.403How long do I have to file my appeal?
725.404What types of evidence must I submit?
725.405What happens if I won't get a medical examination?

[checkmark]Organize your table of contents in a logical order that responds to your readers' concerns.