Plain Language

WRITING USER-FRIENDLY DOCUMENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6


1.
Introduction--How Can We Be Better Writers?
12.
Use Active Voice
2.
Summary of Techniques for Better Writing
13.
Use Short Sentences
3.
Engage Your Readers
14.
Address One Person, Not a Group
4.
Write Clearly
15.
Use the Present Tense
5.
Write in a Visually Appealing Style
16.
Use "Must" to Indicate Requirements
6.
More About Techniques for Better Writing
17.
Place Words Carefully
7.
Identify Your Audience
18.
Use If-Then Tables
8.
Organize Your Documents Carefully
19.
Avoid Words and Constructions that Cause Confusion
9.
Use a Question-and-Answer Format
20.
Use Lots of Informative Headings
10.
Use "You" to Speak to the Reader
21.
Divide Your Material Into Short Sections
11.
Use Pronouns to Represent the Reader and to Refer to the Agency
22.
Limit Each Paragraph to One Topic
23.
Use Lots of Lists

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Updated 2/5/03