Plain Language
Target Audience
This workshop is for people who need to make their writing more reader-directed.  Participants may or may not represent your organization to the general public;  Plain Language is essential in internal documents too, and people who write policies, memos, directives, and reports also benefit from this training.  Participants should have a good grasp of the mechanics of English.

Objectives of the Training
After attending this workshop, participants should be able to write a reader-directed document.  Participants will learn, for example, how to:

  • Organize their ideas according to how people actually read
  • Use dozens of page-design devices that invite reading, clarify organization of thought, and appropriately emphasize ideas
  • Understand how to restrict their use of jargon and terms of art
  • Use fewer abbreviations
  • Feel comfortable using "I," "you," and "we" when appropriate
  • Avoid using unnecessarily complex words and phrases like shall and subsequent to
  • Create and maintain an appropriate tone
  • Write shorter, clearer, and more emphatic sentences
  • "Chunk" information for the reader
  • Walk the reader through even the most difficult material
  • Adjust scope and word-choice according to the audience
  • Recognize and easily eliminate clutter
  • Know when to use active and passive expressions

The Plain Language Handbook
One of the handouts we use in this training is the Plain Language Handbook, written by Richard Lauchman.  The handbook is available free of charge on this website by clicking the link above.  It is in PDF format to simplify downloading and printing.

Maximum enrollment is 15.

Lauchman Group
1324 Wild Oak
Rockville, MD 20852

Telephone 301-315-6040
Fax 301-838-9044

Our Clientele
ABB Environmental Services
American Bankers Association
American Chemical Society
American Institute of Architects
American Red Cross
American Security Bank
Agency for International Development
The Baldwin Group
British Aerospace
Bureau of the Public Debt
CAIS Internet
Central Intelligence Agency
Chevy Chase Federal Savings Bank
Defense Communications Agency
Defense Informations Systems Agency
Defense Intelligence Agency
Defense Logistics Agency
Defense Mapping Agency
Department of Agriculture
Department of Commerce
Department of Energy
Department of Homeland Security
Department of the Interior
DoD Office of the Comptroller
DoD Office of Health Affairs
DoD Office of Family Policy Support and Services
Edison Electric Institute
Fannie Mae
Federal Aviation Administration
Federal Home Loan Bank Board
Federal Trade Commission
First American Bankshares
Freddie Mac
Goddard Space Flight Center
ICF Kaiser Engineers
I.M. Systems Group
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
InterAmerican Foundation
John Hanson Savings and Loan
Lockheed Martin
Military District of Washington
Mortgage Bankers Association
NASA Headquarters
National Archives and Records Administration
National Association of Child Care Resource
   & Referral Agencies
National Education Association
National Institutes of Health
National Cancer Institute
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal
National Institutes of Science and Technology
National Ocean Service
Naval Research Laboratory
Nextel Communications
Northeast-Midwest Institute
Office of Technology Assessment
Perot Systems
Perpetual Savings Bank
Potomac Electric Power Company
Project Performance Corporation
Riggs National Bank
Ryland Homes
Sallie Mae
Small Business Administration
Smithsonian Institution
State Department
Technology Planning and Management Corporation
United Savings Bank
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Office of Personnel Management
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office