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Plain English in-house two-day course

Since the 1970s we have run our Plain English Course for all kinds of organisations, training their staff in the techniques and benefits of plain English.

We have worked with a wide range of government departments, high street banks, building societies, manufacturing companies and local authorities. Plain English has helped these organisations to save money. Their customers benefit too.

No one wants to waste time trying to understand wordy, bureaucratic or jargon-ridden literature. And no one thinks kindly of the people who write it! We train writers to put themselves in their customers’ shoes, and to ask ‘How would I feel if I received this and what would I think of the organisation sending it?’

We run the course at your offices, over two days. The programme is flexible and can be adapted to your own specific needs. Some of the sessions cover techniques of plain English, and others concentrate on either practical case studies we provide or your own documents. If possible, we like to use your own material so that we are using familiar and meaningful documents to reinforce the techniques.

Training objectives

The course is designed to give delegates the skills and awareness they need:

  • to recognise some of the traps a writer can fall into;
  • to understand the features of a plain English style;
  • to understand the importance of plain English in caring for customers;
  • to realise how important writing style is in projecting an image of themselves and their organisation; and
  • to avoid wasting time by getting their message across first time and using a style and tone appropriate for the intended audience.

The course will cover the following:

Day 1

  • Introduction to the course
  • Is the information as clear as possible?
  • Is the style appropriate for the audience?
  • Shortening sentences
  • Suggestions for clear writing
  • Being active about passives
  • Righting some writing wrongs
  • Revealing hidden verbs
  • Using lists
  • Setting out and organising good documents and letters
  • Planning and drafting a complete letter
  • Close

Day 2

Recap on Day 1, look ahead to Day 2
Some myths destroyed

Our trainer will also cover some of the following topics:

  • Organising and planning reports
  • Outlining a short report
  • Drafting a short report; discussion
  • Punctuation
  • Proofreading
  • Plain English and e-mails
  • Passive percentage and average sentence length
  • Towards clearer legal English

Summary and close

(We can change some afternoon sessions to include work on your own documents.)

The course timings for each day are:

Start 9.30am
Coffee 11am
Lunch 12.30pm to 1.30pm
Coffee 3pm
Finish 4.30pm

Ordering the Plain English two-day course  as an in-house course:

If you have any questions about this course, or if you want to make a booking, please phone Terri on 01663 744409 or email

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