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May 18, 2024
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Reader-Focused Writing (Basic): Writing Made Easy, Reading Made Easy
Basic level training
Hosted by U.S. EPA, Community Involvement and Program Initiatives Branch
Community Involvement University (CIU)

What is the course overview?

The Plain Writing Act requires consumer outreach documents to be in plain language. This course helps participants use plain language and effective design techniques to create clear and usable documents for readers, and provides hands-on exercises such as developing a key message, organizing/mapping supporting points, developing effective transitions, and using a section x-ray to check for logic and effectiveness. Save time, frustration, and learn a replicable process for writing clear, concise communications that meet plain language standards. These pieces include reports, briefing papers, memos, web content, and other project- or program-related documents.

Who should take this course?
This course is recommended for anyone who develops EPA outreach materials and who wishes to save time and frustration writing materials that meet plain language standards and are easy to read and understand. There are no suggested prerequisites.

What are the course learning objectives?
The main goal of the course is to train EPA writers to use a replicable process for creating attention-getting, easy-to-read, plain language materials. Using a hands-on, interactive approach, trainers will ensure that participants can transfer the skills they learn in the course to their on-the-job writing tasks.
Participants who complete this course will gain skills on how to:

  • Plan a document to ensure a successful outcome;
  • Organize information to make the document user friendly;
  • Develop the appropriate format;
  • Select the most suitable words to clearly convey the message;
  • Construct powerful sentences; and
  • Use plain language techniques.

What are the logistics?
This one or two day course helps participants learn a structured writing process that includes planning, drafting, and self-reviewing documents, using plain language techniques. The course can be customized in length. Below are descriptions of the two-day and one-day versions.

Two-day course:
Day 1: Participants learn to develop and present a key message that gives a focus to the document. They then learn to map supporting information organized logically and clearly around the key message. Finally, they learn how to construct clear sentences, use effective transitions, and write with appropriate tone by using plain language techniques.

Day 2: Participants learn to self-review documents by using a section x-ray to check for logic and coherence. They also learn tips for checking mechanics and grammar before sending their documents for external review. Participants work in small groups to create a sample EPA document, using the process, tools, and tips learned.

One-day course:
The one-day course is provides a condensed version of the two-day course material. It covers similar content; and allows limited time for group exercises and sample creation..

Recommended course size is 10-20 participants.

Kleimann Communication Group (KCG) professionals teach this course. KCG is nationally acclaimed for its trainers, public speakers, consultants, and authors, specializing in written and spoken communication in the workplace.

Is there available background material?
There is no recommended background material.

For general information contact Tina Conley by telephone at 703-603-0696 or via e-mail at

 Upcoming Events

 No upcoming events.

Previous Events (click to view/hide)
Bullet  Seattle, WA
  May 23, 2019 - May 23, 2019
Bullet  EPA REGION 10 - exact location not yet determined,
  March 3, 2016 - March 3, 2016
Bullet  EPA REGION 10 - exact location not yet determined,
  March 2, 2016 - March 2, 2016
Bullet  Boston, MA
Postponed - Event Details
  October 27, 2015 - October 28, 2015
Bullet  Westlake, OH
  March 25, 2015 - March 26, 2015
Bullet  Chicago, IL
  March 16, 2015 - March 17, 2015
Bullet  Chicago, IL
  March 8, 2004 - March 9, 2004
Bullet  Seattle, WA
  December 9, 2003 - December 10, 2003
Bullet  Lenexa, KS
  November 18, 2003 - November 19, 2003
Bullet  Washington , DC
  October 27, 2003 - October 28, 2003
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