Writing

Principles of Speaking Plainly

Apr 10, 2019

This seminar adapts principles of plain language to the context of speaking, covering not only wording but also structure and integration with visual aids. Read »

Principles of Speaking Plainly

Managing Your Plain Language Career

Mar 13, 2019

We'll discuss how to document and publicize your formal and informal plain language work — teaching, training, reviewing, or copyediting. Read »

Managing Your Plain Language Career

Designing for Translation

Dec 20, 2018 |

Learn simple planning steps to successfully translate content into multiple languages. Read »

Designing for Translation

December PLAIN Meeting and Holiday Gathering

Dec 12, 2018

Join us for our traditional winter finger-food potluck where we’ll discuss the Clarity 2018 conference and plan out our 2019 meetings. Read »

December PLAIN Meeting and Holiday Gathering

Plain Language Summit 2018

Jul 20, 2018

The federal Plain Language community is holding their first all-day summit in Washington D.C., and you’re invited! Read »

Plain Language Summit 2018

New USAGov Program Aims to Help Agencies Market Within the Federal Government

Apr 2, 2018 |

The Outreach and Marketing team from USAGov helps agencies amplify their key messages through a variety of channels. Read »

New USAGov Program Aims to Help Agencies Market Within the Federal Government

Webinar Recap: Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN) June Meeting

Jun 30, 2017 |

This month’s Plain Language of Community Practice meeting featured Katherine Spivey’s presentation, Plain Language Spectrum: Every Step Counts! In this highly useful DigitalGov University (DGU) webinar, she explains how you can move forward with plain language even when you don’t have permission to edit copy, followed by a half hour Q & A session. Many Read »

Build Your Audience by Hosting a Twitter Chat

May 1, 2017 |

Twitter is more than just a platform for sharing news and updates: it can be a tool for directly communicating with your community and understanding what is important to them. One way you can connect with your Twitter audience is by hosting a Twitter Chat. They can be a good way to discuss key topics, Read »

Writing for the Web Is Easy. Writing for Users Is Not.

Nov 7, 2016 | , ,

We all do it. Whether on Twitter, Facebook, or the comment section on a news article, it’s easy to get our writing on the internet. Many of us have personal websites or contribute to blogs. We work at organizations with content management systems that allow us to publish pages with a single button click. The Read »

The Content Corner: Will You Read This Entire Post?

Apr 11, 2016 |

Deep down we’ve always known that people only read a small portion of any content shared online. In many ways that can’t be fixed but there are ways to help people read more or at least scan better. There was a book I loved as a child that featured the Sesame Street character Grover, titled Read »

Transcreation: Why Do We Need It?

Apr 8, 2016 |

Transcreation is a relatively new term that blends the words translation and creation. In a nutshell, transcreation involves taking a concept in one language and completely recreating it in another language. A successfully transcreated message (either written or visual) evokes the same emotions and carries the same implications in the target language as it does Read »

The Content Corner: Four Ways to Help Your Content Stand Out

Feb 1, 2016 |

When discussing trends for 2016, I made some mention of the content overload that started in 2015 but will certainly increase in 2016. Contently recently found that organizations created 73% more content in 2015 than in 2014. I see no reason why that number will decline in 2016, especially as content becomes the beast of Read »

Good Content Needs Plain Language

Dec 23, 2015 |

If good content is essential to good user experience, as Tyrus Manuel proposes in his November 23, 2015, DigitalGov post, then plain language is also part of good user experience. Plain language helps the public do what they need to do—find forms, apply for benefits, look up information and more—when they use federal websites and other Read »

The Content Corner: Is Pair Writing Right for You?

Dec 14, 2015 |

Fresh from last week’s article about workflows and their importance in the content creation process, I stumbled upon a new twist in content production known as pair writing. Many of you familiar with agile methodologies or software programming in general should know the term pair programming. Pair writing hopes to take some of the same Read »

Getting Serious About Good Writing—EIA’s Write Right Curriculum

Dec 11, 2015 |

Let’s see–you want to improve the skills of your agency’s writers. Here’s a to-do list: Enlist a high-level champion, ideally your agency head, to make statements saying writing skills are critical—check. Create a Writing Style Guide—check. Hold classes to introduce the Style Guide—check. Expand internal editing resources—check. But what’s next? If you really want to Read »

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