Federal Plain Language Report Card

Posted on Sep 28, 2016 in Federal Plain Language Report Card, Government
Federal Plain Language Report Card

This year the Center is taking a slightly different direction with our annual assessment of government writing: We are grading forms. Or should I say “We are grading Forms!!”—yes, this is exciting! (I don’t imagine, however, that all of the government agencies are as excited about this direction as we are at the Center).

CDC’s Everyday Words from Idea to Reality

Posted on Dec 16, 2015 in Government, Guest blog
CDC’s Everyday Words from Idea to Reality

I assume all plain language experts who teach, edit, and review have confronted that exasperated sigh from a colleague: So you don’t like the word I’m using. What do you want me to use instead? This question often comes with an eye roll, grimace, or note of panic because of an approaching deadline.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Office of the Associate Director for Communication published Everyday Words for Public Health Communication in November 2015. It is Version 1 of plain language suggestions – not mandates – to answer that “what instead” question. This blog is the story of how the document came to be.

Is Government writing growing more plain?

Posted on Nov 17, 2015 in Government, Plain Language Blog Articles
Is Government writing growing more plain?

The grades say it is…mostly.

As we do every year, the Center reviewed agencies’ plain language programs and some writing samples for the annual Federal Report Card, released today, November 17. Representative Dave Loebsack announced the results.

Rolling with Report Cards

Posted on Jul 22, 2015 in Center News, Government
Rolling with Report Cards

The Federal Report Card process for 2015 is underway! Agencies are preparing their submissions for the Center’s review. This relatively new service by the Center (since 2012) continues to evolve, and this year we are making a couple of changes to the process.

First, we are reviewing two types of documents, one selected by the Center and the other selected by the agency:

Building a plain language culture in the US Government

Posted on Jan 28, 2015 in Board News, Center News, Government

I’ve spent the last few months working on the 2014 Federal Plain Language Report Card. The Report Card evaluates whether U.S. Federal Departments comply with the Plain Writing Act of 2010. This year we also analyzed writing samples against best practices for both writing and information design.

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