Succinct Plain Language Writing

To schedule one-day or to customize your seminar please call 646-416-6441 or email

Organizations greatly benefit from having a professional cadre who can produce clear, well-organized, grammatically correct documents of the work they perform. Today’s professionals are expected to communicate technically, and technical writing plays a vital role in how one’s work is presented to key customers and the research community as a whole. Skills obtained from this technical writing course will help participants to communicate with others inside and outside of the organization through reports, instructions, procedures, e-mails, letters, abstracts, case studies, etc.
Learning Objectives
  • Define succinct writing, including types of document and key purposes
  • Establish a system of steps for planning and executing a well-written document, including methods for organizing and critical components
  • Identify and implement tools for writing to compliment the reader’s level of understanding
  • Write examples of technical instructions and conduct tests to determine areas that need improvement
  • Gain a better grasp understanding of the grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure required for writing correctly.
  • Practice the ability to write concisely and clearly, so that the reader will grasp quickly the message of the written material.
  • Learn the process of gathering material, putting it in a format that addresses the points under discussion, and bringing closure to the situation, through recommendations or next steps.
  • Revisit the rules of good grammar and clear communication
  • Improve sentence construction and paragraph development
  • To apply these skills in real work applications.
  • To learn how to proofread your work so you can feel confident it is clear, concise, complete, and correct
  • Revise given examples using editing tools
  • Assess means of translating tech-talk into reader-friendly language
  • Define and create abstracts and recommendations to summarize technical documents
  • Identify elements of formatting to enhance the readability of documents

Course Agenda

Module 1: Applying Plain Language Concepts to Your Writing

  • Plain Language Act of 2010
  • The 12 Principles for Plain Language
  • Addressing one person and not a group
  • Writing short sections
  • Indicating requirements
  • Omitting unnecessary words
  • Using terms consistently
  • Addressing legal, foreign, and technical jargon
  • Focusing on one topic per paragraph

Module 2: Writing Overview, Basics, and Preparation

  • The Purpose of Writing
    • Why is Writing So Difficult?
    • Why it Matters?
    • Write Better

Module 3: Assessing the Audience

  • Who is your Audience?
  • Create a Reader Profile
  • Get a Better Understanding of Your Audience
    • Learning Styles
    • Audience Analysis Exercise

 Module 4: Document Types and Purpose

  • Business Reports
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Incident Reports
  • Proposals
  • Instruction Manuals
  • Abstracts
  • Executive Summaries
    • Skills Practice
  • Recommendations
    • Skills Practice

Module 5: Crafting Sentences that Communicate

  • Parts of a Sentence
    • Skills Practice
  • Types of Sentences
  • The Paragraph
    • Personal Pronouns

Module 6: Common Grammar Problems and How to Correct Them

  • Grammar
    • Personal Pronouns
    • Noun / Verb Agreement
    • Avoid Offensive Language
    • Pronoun Form: Who/Whom and Whoever/Whomever
    • Me, Myself, and I: Pronoun Problems
    • Subject-Verb Agreement
    • 14 Words That are Always Singular
    • Verb Tenses
    • Passive Voice vs. Active Voice
  • Punctuation
    • Commas
    • Transitions Between Clauses
    • The Semicolon
    • The Colon
    • The Apostrophe
    • The Hyphen
    • Quotation Marks
    • Adverbs & Adjectives
  • Spelling
  • Commonly Misused Words
  • Capitalization
  • Using Numbers
  • Abbreviations and Acronyms
  • Skills Practice
  • Creating a Cheat Sheet

Module 7: The Mechanics of Writing

  • The MASTER Writing System
    • Technique 1: Mapping
      • Skills Practice
    • Technique 2: Arranging
      • Skills Practice
    • Technique 3: Scripting
      • Your Readers and Their Needs
      • Tips to Beat “Writers Block”
      • Skills Practice
      • Linking Thought to Thought, Paragraph to Paragraph
        • Skills Practice
    • Technique 4: Testing
      • Two Types of Testing
      • The Top 10 Test Questions
      • Skills Practice
    • Technique 5: Editing
      • Issues to Check for While Editing
      • Readability
      • Skills Practice
    • Technique 6: Reviewing/Revising
      • Four Steps to Ensure You’ve Nailed It!
      • Professional Tone
      • Writing Constructively
      • Writing the First Draft
        • Using the Inverted Pyramid to Structure Ideas
        • Write Your First Draft Fast
        • 11 Tips for Writing Your First Draft


Module 8: The Principles of Good Writing

  • The Four C’s of Communication
    • Clarity
    • Conciseness
    • Completeness
    • Correctness
  • Word Usage
  • Redundancies
  • Wordiness
  • Poor Word Choice

 Module 9: Proofreading Essentials

  • Proofreading for Perfection
    • 15 Proofreading Strategies
    • Skills Practice


  • Participant workbook 
  • Presenter slides and outlines 
  • Case Studies and Media as appropriate 
  • Role-play scenarios 
  • Post-training assessment 

Room Requirements 

  • Internet access for the presenter 
  • Screen 
  • Projector (if not ceiling mounted then a table or cart will need to be provided) • Training room must be able to comfortably accommodate the number of participants plus room to move around for various activities) 
  • Rounds or pods, a small table for presenter’s materials, chairs for all participants • One Flip chart and easel for each round table (for small group work) and markers

Additional Requirements 

  • Elevate will choose training facilitators whose background and expertise will support the subject matter and goals of the client 
  • Instructors will use a variety of instructional methods including lecture, group projects, discussion, and role play 
  • Participants are expected to be actively engaged in the learning process 



To schedule one-day or to customize your seminar please call 646-416-6441 or email