Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Surprisingly Good Writing Advice from an Even More Surprising Source

Day 8 / 30-Day Writing Challenge


You won't believe who provides a pretty darn good source of writing advice. The federal government that's who!

Plain language advice from the place you'd least expect it. Check it out here.

Oh, it's not a place for the stumped fiction writer or the dilettante exploring new writing prompts. The intention of plainlanguage.gov is to instruct federal employees in better written communication. Who knows? Maybe one day all of us will be able to understand the tax code.

From the home page, the mission is clear:
"We start with a discussion of your audience because you should think about them before you start to write your document or your web content. In fact, you should start to think about them before you start to plan. From there we move to organization, because developing a good organization is important during your planning ... "
Does someone in your office write a one-and-a-half-page memo rather than an all-that's-needed three-sentence communique? Got an underling whose over-the-top word count reports reflect on your ability to do your job? Maybe a quick look at plainlanguage.gov will be helpful.


Federal government employees have created a Web site dedicated to clear and concise communication. plainlanguage.gov.