Plain language classes at Texas state agency welcomed by employees

Posted on Sep 3, 2014

I’ve been a journalist and a writing instructor all my career, so I’m familiar with the need to write clearly. But I didn’t hear about Plain Language as a movement until early last year, when I began working as a technical writer for the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, an agency that provides …

The assignment was simple

Posted on Aug 20, 2014

The assignment was simple in theory–choose one of the article options given to us by our professor, apply the method of plain language to it, and create a clear and concise piece explaining the message. Each of the text options ranged from 8-10 pages and were so laden with filler sentences and convoluted language just reading the intro was a headache.

Queen for a few days

Posted on Aug 6, 2014

My group won the ClearMark Grand Prize in 2013. We were thrilled! My colleague and I graciously accepted the award and headed for champagne at the bar next door. I lugged the trophy home to New York and proudly displayed it for everyone to see. Our new medical director seemed impressed—nothing like getting a few …

Before and after: Describing a law — without legalese

Posted on Jul 30, 2014

Joe Kimble is a pleasant oddity. He’s a law professor and author who says the law presents less risk when it is written clearly. We followed his advice to redo this legal notice.

Look what can happen when you ask a few questions. Working with attorneys, we cut through the clutter of a 61-word sentence. The new version is easier for readers to grasp and use the information…

Clarity comes from the top

Posted on Jul 23, 2014

Reason number 7,000,002 to embrace clear communication: it’s the key to cultivating a healthy organization. As an entrepreneur, I spend most of my waking minutes thinking about how to set my company up for success. How can I be a more effective leader? Is my team working together?

We’ve experience rapid growth in the past year – which means we have lots of new faces around the office. What better time to clarify our mission, values, and core competencies!?