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THE POWER OF
PLAIN ENGLISH
Module 1

Introduction

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1

Definitions & Features

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2

Benefits

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3

Who uses Plain English

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4

Origins of Plain English

Reading

On the Center for Plain Language Home page, read the

 2021 Federal Report Card. After reading, check your understanding with the quiz. 

Steven Pinker: Why Do Academics Write So Poorly? 

Self-assessment

Topics Quiz

Readings Quiz

Module 2

Cognitive Load

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1

How Plain English reduces cognitive load for the reader and why that matters

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2

The difference between ‘simple’ and ‘simplistic’

Reading

Video 1: Cognitive Load Theory 1: An introduction 1 min 16 sec

Video 2: Cognitive Load Theory 2:  Working and Long-Term memory 1 min 56 sec

Cognitive Load Theory 3: intrinsic, extraneous, germane. 2 min 37 sec

Self-assessment

Topics Quiz

Cognitive Load Quiz

Module 3

Basic Techniques

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1

Writing as speech made visible

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2

What clutter words look like

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3

A closer look at clutter

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4

Cutting Clutter an Example video

Practicum: Revising to Cut Clutter

Practicum: Not Only But Also

​Cutting Clutter an Example.ppt

​Cutting Clutter an Example Handout

Answer Keys

AFTER you do the practice exercises, compare your work to these sample revisions

Revisions for Practicum Revising to Cut Clutter

Revisions for Practicum Not Only But Also

Reading

13 Redundant Phrases You’re Probably Using All the Time

Cutting Clutter an Example.ppt

Cutting Clutter an Example Handout

Self-assessment

Topics Quiz

Module 4

More Basic Techniques

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1

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2

Topic 1: Using Strong Verbs

Topic 2 : Using Adjective Forms

Topic 3 : Simple vs Complex Words

Topic 1 : Redundancy

Topic 2 : Repetition

Practice

Practicum Revising to Cut Clutter with Strong Verbs

Practicum Using Adjective Forms

Practicum in Repetition

Answer Keys

Compare your work to these revisions:

Practicum Revising to Cut Clutter with Strong Verbs

Revisions for Practicum Using Adjective Forms

Reading

Seven Types of Repetition

17 Fantastic Examples of Repetition by Bookfox

Self-assessment

Topics Quiz

Module 5

Advanced Techniques

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1

Revising & Rewriting

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2

Fixing Postponement

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3

Long Sentences

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4

Transitions

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5

Revising and Rewriting Revisited

Practice

Practicum Postponement

Practicum Long sentences

Answer Keys

Answer Keys

Compare your work to these revisions:

Revisions for Practicum Postponement

​Revisions for Practicum Long sentences

Reading

2 Case Studies Revising Long Sentences

​Nepal's Response to Climate Change Analysis

​Module 5 Topic 5 Revising and Rewriting Revisited Handout

Self-assessment

Lecture Quiz

Module 6

Writing about Tables

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1

Writing about tables and figures

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2

Writing about figures

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3

Formatting tables and figures

Click here for the PowerPoint version.

​Module 6 Handout.

Practice

Open Table 2. How would you reformat this table? 

​Transform this text into a table assignment worksheet

Answer Keys

Compare your ideas to this version of Table 2 reformatted and this version of text to table

​Transform this text into a table sample layout

Reading

Five data storytelling tops to improve your charts and figures 

A good example of writing about data

Self-assessment

Module 6 Quiz

MODULE 1
MODULE 2
MODULE 3
MODULE 4
MODULE 5
MODULE 6
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