This course is part of the UBC Micro-certificate in Writing and Communication Skills for the Workplace.
Do you ever start reading a report, email, website, set of instructions or other publication and give up because you can’t follow it? Or read a document twice, even three times, to figure out what it means?
Plain language, also known as plain writing or plain English, is an approach to writing that starts with readers. A plain language document is clear, concise and well organized. It gives readers the content they need, in words they can easily understand and act on.
In this workshop, learn how to analyze your readers’ needs and to plan and draft documents that meet those needs. Practise seven techniques for clear, memorable writing. Understand how page layout helps get your message across, and discover how to evaluate the readability of your documents.
Bring a sample or two of your own writing (around three to five pages) to work on in class, and discover how plain language can help get your message across every time.
Day 1: Why plain language?
- What it is, what it isn’t
- What makes material hard to read
Audience analysis and document structure
- Identify your purpose and readers
- Decide on your content and organization
- Develop an outline
- Decide on levels of language
- Keep the document reader-centred
Day 2: Drafting your document
- Choose your words
- Structure your sentences
- Make your ideas flow
Day 3: Design
- Readability formulas
- Reader assessments
- Revisit your own writing
- Create your personal to-do list
How am I Assessed?
This course is graded as complete/incomplete based on participation.
To take this course, you’ll need access to:
- an email account
- a computer, laptop or tablet under five years old using Windows or macOS
- the latest version of a web browser (or previous major version release)
- a reliable internet connection
- a video camera and microphone.
One day before the start of your course, we’ll email you step-by-step instructions for accessing your course.
There are no textbooks for this course.
This course is 100% online and instructor supported with real-time classes. Log in to your class at scheduled times and participate by video conferencing.