Executive and Professional Development

Writing Skills for Plain Language

Using plain language means writing for your audience – so that you achieve your purpose. It's about using words and phrases and diagrams and images to make your content – and intent – easily understood by your readers.

Plain language is also about organizing your content in a logical way so that ideas and information flow smoothly from start to finish. Plain language is about ensuring, as much as possible, that people know what they have to do, or where they have to go, or why something is important. It's about removing confusion and avoiding misinterpretation.

While plain language isn't new, its use has become a primary focus for government, business, and non-profits. Indeed, in the U.S., writing in plain language is the law.

This course will provide you with an understanding of plain language and the techniques you can use to make your writing more accessible.

Writing Skills for Plain Language is a required seminar for the Series for Excellence in Written Communication.

DATES - 2 Day Seminar


$765 + HST
Facilitator: donalee Moulton, BA
Location: Saint Mary’s University at 1800 Argyle Street 8th Floor Halifax NS


Program Content 

This course covers

  • The benefits of plain language for the writer, their organization and the reader
  • Understanding what plain language comprises
  • How to write for your audience
  • Content, format, style, and sentence structure
  • Active voice and verbs vs. not acronyms and jargon
  • How to transform difficult language into accessible information
  • How to format for enhanced readability
  • Readability scores and their use


 What You Will Learn

Upon completion of the seminar, you will know:

  • How and why written communication can break down
  • The importance of plain language
  • How to develop a process for plain language writing and editing on the job
  • How to recognize and use design elements that can contribute to plain language
  • How to define the audience and purpose of a document
  • How to organize information clearly for readers
  • How to write clear, direct and concise sentences and paragraphs, eliminating unnecessary words and phrases
  • How to use active verbs and words with clear meaning

Who Should Attend?

You will benefit from this seminar if you:

  • write as a significant part of your job
  • write to diverse audiences
  • prepare technical and other documents for non-experts
  • manage staff who communicate in writing with key stakeholders
  • want to enhance credibility and readability for you and your organization