Plain Language Association

Articles, Tutorials, and Web Links by Plain-Language Specialists

Note: Listings on this page do not indicate an endorsement by PLAIN.

For a listing of PLAIN members' web sites, see Web Site for Writers.

Plain English:

"The writing and setting out of essential information in a way that gives a co-operative, motivated person a good chance of understanding it at first reading, and in the same sense that the writer meant it to be understood"--Martin Cutts, Oxford Guide to Plain English, second edition, 2004.

FAA Basic Plain Language Course This course, developed by the US Federal Aviation Administration, teaches the basic tools to create plain language. It takes less than one hour, is in nine parts, and is full of jokes, games and quizzes.

Plain Train

Online plain-language tutorial in eight sections | la version Francaise


An Introduction

Plain Language: Definitions. Planning. Audience Considerations. Writing Guidelines. Testing.


Web Sites for Writers

Links to PLAIN members' writing sites, other plain language sites, dictionaries, style guides, and more


William Lutz

39 Rules for Writing Plain English


Joseph Kimble

Articles on general and legal writing, downloadable PDF files, and links


Cheryl Stephens

Articles on building plain language from the ground up, design issues, and other issues


Peter Butt

PLAIN Conference Presentation: Brushing Up on Fundamentals


Sally McBeth

PLAIN Conference Presentation: A Brief History of Plain Language


Richard Lauchman

Plain Language: A Handbook for Writers in the U.S. Federal Government
(PDF link, 288KB; download free Adobe Reader for viewing PDF file.)


Wise Words on Writing

Quotations about clear, simple writing


Books on Plain Language

By members of PLAIN


Using Type

Typography tutorial


Surviving Unplain Language

How to respond when you get an unclear document



Archives of the newsletter on plain language, 1992-99

Web site for people who like words. The site's goal is to show as much information as possible for every word in English. The site also gives you a place where you can enter your own opinions about words.
A web site that is a place to find and share professional documents. Docstoc provides the platform to upload and share documents and serves as a repository of free and for purchase legal, business, financial, technical, and educational documents that can be searched, previewed and downloaded.
Luciferous Logolepsy Amusing web site about obscure words.
Health Literacy Online: A Guide to Writing and Designing Easy-to-Use Health Web Sites As part of the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy, the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) wants to share with you and others the latest resource in addressing health literacy in the U.S.



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