After completing this course, you will be able to
- describe what 'plain language' actually means and apply it to your own writing and design.
- choose an appropriate style and tone for your readers.
- recognize and fix common readability issues that make writing unclear and hard to read.
- improve structure, cohesion, rhythm and flow.
- add visual appeal.
- make data meaningful to non-experts.
- properly document sources.
- edit your own work.
This workshop helps you make statistical, analytical, scientific, technical, research and other complex writing more clear, concise and readable for expert and general audiences.
See the latest Canadian literacy statistics and learn why and how they should influence your writing. Learn how to make data more meaningful and turn statistics into stories. Improve your style, tone, structure and visual appeal. See how to quickly improve a document when time is short, and apply checklists that help you more effectively edit your own work. Practice what you've learned on one of our samples, or bring a sample of your own to work on.
Who should attend?
Anyone in the public or private sector who writes about research, statistics or data, prepares formal documents such as Requests for Proposals (RFPs) or any other material that must clearly communicate complex information. A must-have for anyone involved in knowledge mobilization—that is, making knowledge obtained from research understandable and available to the people and organizations who can benefit from it.
This course helps you learn or enhance skills you need to meet and apply these federal public service competencies, behaviours, policies or programs:
What is "plain language?"
- Why bother?
- Writing for literacy levels
- About readability
- Freeing smothered verbs and noun strings
- Varying sentence lengths
- Cutting unnecessary text
- Using active and passive voice wisely
- Dealing with industry jargon
- Avoiding common grammar, structure and punctuation errors
- Organizing logically and effectively
- Turning numbers into people
- Blending figures into text
- Building strong sentences
- Chunking for online and print
- Getting and keeping attention
- Adding cohesion and unity
- Using transitions, linking and pull-downs
- Providing visual guideposts
- Improving charts and tables
- Citing other writers and sources of information properly
Applying what you've learned to your own writing