RESEARCH GUIDE ARCHIVE : ORIGINAL GUIDE : How to Write a Research Paper : Government Writing Manuals Guides and Handbooks











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RESEARCH GUIDE ARCHIVE : ORIGINAL GUIDE : 

How to Write a Research Paper :     

Government Writing Manuals Guides and Handbooks




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Government Writing Manuals Guides and Handbooks 






  • WRITING AND WRITERS: GUIDES AND HANDBOOKS : UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT: Federal Plain Language Guidelines, March 2011
    http://tinyurl.com/o684wda

    OR 

    http://web.archive.org/web/20161223080506/http://www.plainlanguage.gov/howto/guidelines/


    Federal Plain Language Guidelines, March 2011

    Plain Language.gov

    Improving communications from the Federal Government to the public

    Table of Contents

    Think about your audience
    Identify and write for your audience
    Address separate audiences separately
    Organize
    Organize to meet your readers' needs
    Address one person, not a group
    Use lots of useful headings
    Write short sections
    Write your document
    Words
    Verbs
    Use active voice
    Use the simplest form of a verb
    Avoid hidden verbs
    Use "must" to indicate requirements
    Use contractions when appropriate
    Nouns and pronouns
    Don't turn verbs into nouns
    Use pronouns to speak directly to readers
    Minimize abbreviations
    Other word issues
    Use short, simple words
    Omit unnecessary words
    Dealing with definitions
    Use the same term consistently for a specific thought or
    object
    Avoid legal, foreign, and technical jargon
    Don't use slashes
    Sentences
    Write short sentences
    Keep subject, verb, and object close together
    Avoid double negatives and exceptions to exceptions
    Place the main idea before exceptions and conditions
    Place words carefully
    Paragraphs
    Have a topic sentence
    Use transition words
    Write short paragraphs
    Cover only one topic in each paragraph
    Other aids to clarity
    Use examples
    Use lists
    Use tables to make complex material easier to understand
    Consider using illustrations
    Use emphasis to highlight important concepts
    Minimize cross-references
    Design your document for easy reading
    Write for the web
    How do people use the web?
    Write for your users
    Identify your users and their top tasks
    Write web content
    Repurpose print material for the web
    Avoid PDF overload
    Use plain-language techniques on the web
    Avoid meaningless formal language
    Write effective links
    Test
    Paraphrase Testing
    Usability Testing
    Controlled Comparative Studies
    Testing Successes
    Paraphrase Testing from the Veterans Benefits Administration
    Usability Testing from the National Cancer Institute

    One may download the Word or PDF version of the full Guidelines.
  • WRITING AND WRITERS: GUIDES AND HANDBOOKS : UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT : WRITING AND WRITERS: PLAGIARISM: Avoiding Plagiarism, Self-Plagiarism, and Other Questionable Writing Practices: A Guide to Ethical Writing
    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Download PDF of this Module

    26 Guidelines at a Glance

    Introduction

    On ethical writing

    Plagiarism

    . Plagiarism of ideas
    . Acknowledging the source of our ideas
    . Plagiarism of text
    . Inappropriate paraphrasing
    . Paraphrasing and plagiarism: What the writing guides say
    . Examples of paraphrasing: Good and bad
    . Paraphrasing highly technical language
    . Plagiarism and common knowledge
    . Plagiarism and authorship disputes

    Self plagiarism

    . Redundant and Duplicate (i.e., dual) Publications
    . Academic self plagiarism
    . Salami Slicing (i.e., data fragmentation)
    . Copyright Law
    . Copyright Infringement, Fair Use, and Plagiarism
    . Text recycling
    . Forms of acceptable text recycling
    . Borderline/unacceptable cases of text recycling

    The Lesser Crimes of Writing

    . Carelessness in citing sources
    . Relying on an abstract or a preliminary version of a paper while
    citing the published version
    . Citing sources that were not read or thoroughly understood
    . Borrowing extensively from a source but only acknowledging a small
    portion of what is borrowed
    . Ethically inappropriate writing practices
    . Selective reporting of literature
    . Selective reporting of methodology
    . Selective reporting of results
    . Authorship issues and conflicts of interest
    . Deciding on authorship
    . Establishing authorship
    . Authorship in faculty-student collaborations
    . A brief overview on conflicts of interest

    References
  • DATABASE SEARCH RESULTS: Employee Handbooks
    WRITING AND WRITERS: GUIDES AND HANDBOOKS :
    UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT :
    EMPLOYMENT: HUMAN RESOURCES AND PERSONNEL: EMPLOYEE HANDBOOKS:
    Employee Handbooks
    United States. Small Business Administration
  • GRANTS AND GRANT WRITING : WRITING AND WRITERS SKILLS AND TECHNIQUES : UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT: National Institutes of Health. Grants and Grant Writing. Writing Your Application
    National Institutes of Health. 
    Grants and Grant Writing. 
    Writing Your Application 

    Website Contents
    Introduction

    Get Prepared

    What to Know Before You Start Writing the Research Proposal

    Developing Your Research Plan

    Additional Elements Required in a Grant Application

    Important Writing Tips
  • LAW : COURTS : WRITING AND WRITERS: STYLE AND WRITING MANUALS : UNITED STATES: STATES: OHIO: GOVERNMENT: COURTS: SUPREME COURT: WRITING MANUAL: Published for the Supreme Court of Ohio A Guide to Citations, Style, and Judicial Opinion Writing
    LAW : COURTS :
    WRITING AND WRITERS: STYLE AND WRITING MANUALS :
    UNITED STATES: STATES: OHIO: GOVERNMENT: COURTS: SUPREME COURT:
    WRITING MANUAL:
    Published for the Supreme Court of Ohio
    A Guide to Citations, Style, and Judicial Opinion Writing
    MAUREEN OCONNOR
    Chief Justice
    PAUL E. PFEIFER
    TERRENCE ODONNELL
    JUDITH ANN LANZINGER
    SHARON L. KENNEDY
    JUDITH L. FRENCH
    WILLIAM M. ONEILL
    Justices
    STEVEN C. HOLLON
    Administrative Director

    [Table of Contents found in More Information below]
  • WRITING AND WRITERS: STYLE AND WRITING MANUALS : INVESTMENT SECURITIES DOCUMENTS : UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT: SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION: A Plain English Handbook: How to Create Clear SEC Disclosure Documents
    WRITING AND WRITERS: STYLE AND WRITING MANUALS :
    UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT: SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION:
    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
    A Plain English Handbook:
    How to Create Clear SEC Disclosure Documents
    .
    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
    Office of Investor Education and Assistance
    A Plain English Handbook:
    How to Create Clear SEC Disclosure Documents

    "This handbook shows how you can use well-established techniques for
    writing in plain English to create clearer and more informative
    disclosure documents. We are publishing this handbook only for your
    general information. Of course, when drafting a document for filing with
    the SEC, you must make sure it meets all legal requirements."

    Table of Contents

    Preface by Warren E. Buffett 1
    Introduction by Arthur Levitt, Chairman 3
    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
    Chapter 1
    What Is a Plain English Document? 5
    Chapter 2
    Getting Started 7
    Chapter 3
    Knowing Your Audience 9
    Chapter 4
    Knowing the Information You Need to Disclose 11
    Chapter 5
    Reorganizing the Document 15
    Chapter 6
    Writing in Plain English 17
    Chapter 7
    Designing the Document 37
    Chapter 8
    Time-Saving Tips 55
    Chapter 9
    Using Readability Formulas and Style Checkers 57
    Chapter 10
    Evaluating the Document 59
    Chapter 11
    Reading List 61
    Chapter 12
    Keeping in Touch with Us 63
    Appendix A Plain English at a Glance 65
    The SECs Plain English Rulesan Excerpt 66
    Appendix B Plain English Examples 69
    Before and After Filings with Notes 70
    a plain

    From the Preface

    "There are several possible explanations as to why I and others sometimes
    stumble over an accounting note or indenture description. Maybe we simply
    dont have the technical knowledge to grasp what the writer wishes to
    convey. Or perhaps the writer doesnt understand what he or she is talking
    about. In some cases, moreover, I suspect that a less-thanscrupulous
    issuer doesnt want us to understand a subject it feels legally obligated
    to touch upon.

    Perhaps the most common problem, however, is that a well-intentioned and
    informed writer simply fails to get the message across to an intelligent,
    interested reader. In that case, stilted jargon and complex constructions
    are usually the villains.

    This handbook tells you how to free yourself of those impediments to
    effective communication. Write as this handbook instructs you and you
    will be amazed at how much smarter your readers will think you have
    become."

    "One unoriginal but useful tip: Write with a specific person in mind.
    When writing Berkshire Hathaways annual report, I pretend that Im talking
    to my sisters. I have no trouble picturing them: Though highly
    intelligent, they are not experts in accounting or finance. They will
    understand plain English, but jargon may puzzle them. My goal is simply
    to give them the information I would wish them to supply me if our
    positions were reversed. To succeed, I dont need to be Shakespeare; I
    must, though, have a sincere desire to inform.

    No siblings to write to? Borrow mine: Just begin with Dear Doris and
    Bertie."

    by Warren E. Buffett

    Introduction

    Investors need to read and understand disclosure documents to benefit
    fully from the protections offered by our federal securities laws. Because
    many investors are neither lawyers, accountants, nor investment bankers,
    we need to start writing disclosure documents in a language investors can
    understand: plain English.

    The shift to plain English requires a new style of thinking and writing,
    whether you work at a company, a law firm, or the U.S. Securities and
    Exchange Commission. We must question whether the documents we are used to
    writing highlight the important information investors need to make
    informed decisions. The legalese and jargon of the past must give way to
    everyday words that communicate complex information clearly.

    The good news is that more and more companies and lawyers are using plain
    English and filing documents with the SEC that others can study, use, and
    improve upon. With the SECs plain English rules in place, every prospectus
    will have its cover page, summary, and risk factors in plain English.

    The benefits of plain English abound. Investors will be more likely to
    understand what they are buying and to make informed judgments about
    whether they should hold or sell their investments. Brokers and investment
    advisers can make better recommendations to their clients if they can read and understand these documents quickly and easily.

    Companies that communicate successfully with their investors form stronger
    relationships with them. These companies save the costs of explaining
    legalese and dealing with confused and sometimes angry investors. Lawyers
    reviewing plain English documents catch and correct mistakes more easily.
    Many companies have switched to plain English because its a good business
    decision. They see the value of communicating with their investors rather
    than sending them impenetrable documents. And as we depend more and more on the Internet and electronic delivery of documents, plain English
    versions will be easier to read electronically than legalese.

    The SECs staff has created this handbook to help speed and smooth the
    transition to plain English. It includes proven tips from those in the
    private sector who have already created plain English disclosure
    documents. This handbook reflects their substantial contributions and
    those of highly regarded experts in the field who were our consultants on
    this project, Dr. William Lutz at Rutgers University and the firm of Siegel and Gale in New York City.

    But I hasten to add that the SEC has not cornered the market on plain
    English advice. Our rules and communications need as strong a dose of
    plain English as any disclosure document. This handbook gives you some
    ideas on what has worked for others, but use whatever works for you.
    No matter what route you take to plain English, we want you to produce
    documents that fulfill the promise of our securities laws. I urge you in
    long and short documents, in prospectuses and shareholder reportsto speak
    to investors in words they can understand. Tell them plainly what they
    need to know to make intelligent investment decisions."

    What Is a Plain English Document?

    "Well start by dispelling a common misconception about plain English
    writing. It does not mean deleting complex information to make the
    document easier to understand. For investors to make informed decisions,
    disclosure documents must impart complex information. Using plain English
    assures the orderly and clear presentation of complex information so that
    investors have the best possible chance of understanding it.

    Plain English means analyzing and deciding what information investors need
    to make informed decisions, before words, sentences, or paragraphs are
    considered. A plain English document uses words economically and at a
    level the audience can understand. Its sentence structure is tight. Its
    tone is welcoming and direct. Its design is visually appealing. A plain
    English document is easy to read and looks like its meant to be read."

    This handbooks purpose

    "This handbook gives you practical tips on how to create plain English
    documents. All of these were born of experience. They come from experts
    and those who have already written or rewritten their documents in plain
    English.

    As with all the advice in this handbook, feel free to tailor these tips to
    your schedule, your document, and your budget. Not all of the tips will
    apply to everyone or to every document. Pick and choose the ones that make
    sense for you.

    Some of our tips cover very basic mechanical issues, like how to photocopy
    your working draft. Weve included them because they were learned the hard
    way and have saved people time, money, and aggravation. Youll see them
    listed in Chapter 8, titled Time-Saving Tips.

    This handbook is by no means the last word on plain English. We expect to
    change it and add more tips as we learn more about writing securities
    documents in plain English. So please keep notes on your experiences and
    copies of your original and rewritten language. We want to hear from you
    and include your tips and rewrites in the next edition.

    Finally, we encourage you to give this handbook out freely. It is not
    copyrighted, so you can photocopy it without fear of penalty."
  • 47576 WRITING AND WRITERS: SKILLS AND TECHNIQUES : WEBSITE DESIGN AND PROMOTION: TRAINING AND INSTRUCTION : HEALTH : MEDICAL : EDUCATION : UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT: Health Literacy Online: A Guide to Writing and Designing Easy-to-Use Health Web Sites
    WRITING AND WRITERS: SKILLS AND TECHNIQUES :
    WEBSITE DESIGN AND PROMOTION: TRAINING AND INSTRUCTION :
    HEALTH :
    MEDICAL :
    EDUCATION :
    UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT:
    Health Literacy Online:
    A Guide to Writing and Designing Easy-to-Use Health Web Sites
    A Guide to Writing and Designing Easy-to-Use Health Web Sites
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
    (2010)
    Health literacy online:
    A guide to writing and designing easy-to-use health Web sites.
    Washington, DC:

    Strategies
    Actions
    Testing Methods
    Resources

    Contents

    About This Guide
    Why Design Easy-to-Use Web Sites?
    Building On the Principles of Usability
    Terminology: Literacy and Health Literacy
    A Note on the Research
    What We Know About Web Users With Limited Literacy Skills
    A Brief Introduction to User-Centered Design
    Summary of Iterative Design and Testing Methods
    Individual Interviews
    Focus Groups Task Analysis
    Personas and Scenarios
    Card Sorting Prototypes
    Usability Testing
    Six Strategies for Writing and Designing
    Easy-to-Use Health Web Sites
    1. Learn About Your Users and Their Goals
    The Basics
    Actions
    1.1. Identify your users. Who are they?
    1.2. Understand their motivations. Why are they here?
    1.3. Understand their goals. What are they trying to do?
    Iterative Design Methods and Tips
    2. Write Actionable Content
    The Basics
    Actions
    2.1. Put the most important information first
    2.2. Describe the health behaviorjust the basics
    2.3. Stay positive and realistic. Include the benefits of taking action
    2.4. Provide specific action steps
    2.5. Write in plain language
    2.6. Check content for accuracy
    Iterative Design Methods and Tips
    3. Display Content Clearly on the Page
    The Basics
    Actions
    3.1. Limit paragraph size. Use bullets and short lists
    3.2. Use meaningful headings
    3.3. Use a familiar font in at least 12-point type
    3.4. Use white space and avoid clutter
    3.5. Keep content in the center of the screen and above the fold
    3.6. Label links clearly
    3.7. Use images that facilitate learning
    3.8. Use bold colors with contrast. Avoid dark backgrounds
    3.9. Make your site accessible to people with disabilities
    Iterative Design Methods and Tips
    4. Organize Content and Simplify Navigation
    The Basics
    Actions
    4.1. Create a simple and engaging home page
    4.2. Use labels that reflect words your users know
    4.3. Enable easy access to home and menu pages
    4.4. Make sure the Back button works
    4.5. Use linear information paths
    4.6. Include simple search and browse options
    Iterative Design Methods and Tips
    5. Engage Users With Interactive Content
    The Basics
    Actions
    5.1. Include printer-friendly tools and resources
    5.2. Simplify screen-based controls and enlarge buttons
    5.3. Include interactive content that users can tailor but not too much
    5.4. Incorporate audio and visual features
    5.5. Explore new media such as Twitter or text messaging
    Iterative Design Methods and Tips
    6. Evaluate and Revise Your Site
    The Basics
    Actions
    6.1. Recruit users with limited literacy
    and limited health literacy skills
    6.2. Choose experienced moderators
    6.3. Test comprehension in multiple ways
    6.4. Consider user engagement and self-efficacy
    6.5. Create plain language testing documents
    Iterative Design Methods and Tips
    References
    Appendixes
    Appendix A: Reviewers
    Appendix B: Sample Measures
    Appendix C: Sample Testing Documents
    Appendix D: Overview of ODPHP Original Research
    Appendix E: Resources for Creating Easy-to-Use Web Sites
    Appendix F: Annotated Bibliography
    "Why Design Easy-to-Use Web Sites?
    Although the problem remains largely
    invisible, millions of Americans
    have a hard time reading. As many as half of U.S. adults have limited
    literacy skills.2 Even more
    Americansas many as 9 out of 10
    have limited health literacy skills.
    This means they have trouble
    understanding complex health
    information.2 As more health
    information and services
    move online, Web developers and
    professionals must find new
    and better ways to communicate
    health information to the public.
    The number of older adults using
    the Internet continues to grow.
    A significant number of older Web users are searching for health
    information. However, age-related changes in vision, hearing, and cognition affect older adults use of
    the Internet.
    Taken individually, each of these factors presents a challenge for Web
    developers and health professionals.
    Taken together, they represent an
    urgent need for innovative designand
    redesignof health content on the Web.
    Several factors affect how well users
    can find, understand, and use
    information on the Web, including:
    Access to computers and experience onlineAbility to read and understand printed text
    Complexity of information on the Web
    Usability of the Web in general and Websites specifically.
    Clearly written content, uncluttered Websites, and simple navigation dramatically improve the performance and experience of Web users, including those with limited literacy skills.
    Studies show that simplifying your Web site improves the experience of all users, not just those with limited literacy skills.
    Clean layouts and familiar language are more usable for everyone"
    The complete online publication may be read at the URL above.
  • Writing for GOV.UK: How to Write Well for Your Audience, Including Specialists
    Content Design: Planning, Writing and Managing Content
    From Government Digital Service

    Contents:

    Writing well for the web
    Writing well for specialists
    Know your audience
    How people read
    Titles and summaries
    Structuring your content
    Writing to GOV.UK style
    After publication
    Change notes

    Excerpt 

    Writing well for the web

    People read differently on the web than they do on paper. This means that the best approach when writing for the web is different from writing for print.

    Our guidance on writing for GOV.UK is based on research into how people read online and how people use GOV.UK. It explains what each rule is based on.

    When you write for GOV.UK you should:
    use writing for the web best practice
    follow the Government Digital Service (GDS) style guide and writing guidance
    Meet the user need
    Don’t publish everything you can online. Publish only what someone needs to know so they can complete their task. Nothing more.
    People don’t usually read text unless they want information. When you write for the web, start with the same question every time: what does the user want to know?
    Meeting that need means being:
    specific
    informative
    clear and to the point

    Finding information on the web

    An individual’s process of finding and absorbing information on the web should follow these steps.

    I have a question

    I can find the page with the answer easily – I can see it’s the right page from the search results listing

    I have understood the information

    I have my answer

    I trust the information

    I know what to do next/my fears are allayed/I don’t need anything else

    A website only works if people can find what they need quickly, complete their task and leave without having to think about it too much.

    Good content is easy to read

    Good online content is easy to read and understand.

    It uses:
    short sentences
    sub-headed sections
    simple vocabulary

    This helps people find what they need quickly and absorb it effortlessly.

    The main purpose of GOV.UK is to provide information - there’s no excuse for putting unnecessarily complicated writing in the way of people’s understanding.

    Click this link to continue reading.
  • WRITING AND WRITERS: STYLE AND WRITING MANUALS : COUNTRIES: GREAT BRITAIN: GOVERNMENT: Content Design: Planning, Writing and Managing Content
    Content Design: Planning, Writing and Managing Content
    From Government Digital Service

    Contents

    Planning and managing digital content to meet the needs the public has of government.

    What is content design? Introduction to content design.

    User needs How to write and record a user need for GOV.UK.

    Planning content Find out how to decide if something is suitable for GOV.UK, what the content lifecycle is and why accessibility must be planned for.

    Content types When and how to use the GOV.UK formats.

    Writing for GOV.UK How to write well for your audience, including specialists.

    Content maintenance How to manage your content.

    GOV.UK content retention and withdrawal ('archiving') policy When content should be withdrawn ('archived') and when it should be taken down.

    Research and evidence Tools and evidence to back up content design decisions.

    Welsh language on GOV.UK The policy governing use of Welsh language on GOV.UK.

    Links Adding links to content, making them accessible and GOV.UK's external linking policy.

    URL standards for GOV.UK How URLs are used on GOV.UK, their
    formatting requirements and why short URLs are sometimes created for promotional purposes.

    Data and analytics How to use tools, such as Google Analytics, to improve your content's search engine optimisation (SEO) and get data on how users are interacting with your content.

    Images How to choose images, and copyright standards for GOV.UK.

    Campaigns on GOV.UK: standards and guidelines Options to support promotions and marketing campaigns, from short URLs to dedicated landing pages.

    Use of government logos on GOV.UK When government logos can be used on GOV.UK.

    Blogging How and when to publish a blog.

    Tables When to use tables and how to make them accessible.

    Feedback How to send the Government Digital Service
    comments and suggestions about this manual.

    The complete document may be read at the URL above.
  • WRITING AND WRITERS: STYLE AND WRITING MANUALS : UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT: EIA Writing Style Guide
    EIA Writing Style Guide
    November 2012
    U.S. Energy Information Administration

    Contents

    Introduction

    Quick Tips-Style, Writing, and Grammar Tips

    1. Editorial Voice and Words and Phrases to Avoid

    Chapter 2: Policy-Neutral Writing

    Chapter 3: Advice for Good Writing

    Chapter 4: Grammar

    Chapter 5: Commonly Misused Words

    Chapter 6: Capitalization

    Chapter 7: Numbers

    Chapter 8: Commas

    Chapter 9: Hyphens and Dashes

    Chapter 10: Colons and Semicolons

    Chapter 11: Periods

    Chapter 12: Symbols

    Chapter 13: Punctuating and Formatting Quoted Text

    Chapter 14: Abbreviations and Units

    Chapter 15: Itemized Lists and Bullets

    Chapter 16: Footnotes, Sources, and Notes

    Chapter 17: Hypertext Links

    Chapter 18: British versus American English

    Excerpt:

    Quick Tips-Style, Writing, and Grammar Tips

    EIA Style Use the serial comma: red, white, and blue.

    Website and homepage and email: one word, no hyphens.

    Spell out United States as a noun: U.S. oil is produced in the United
    States.

    Do not capitalize state, federal, or nation unless it's a proper name
    (Federal Register).

    U.S. Energy Information Administration and EIA; not U.S.

    EIA and not the EIA. Write Washington, DC, not Washington, D.C.

    Don't use postal codes except in addresses and footnotes: Cushing, Oklahoma, not Cushing, OK (except for Washington, DC
    where the postal code is part of the city name).

    Writing time: Correct-3:00 p.m.; Incorrect-3:00 pm; 3:00pm; 3:00 PM.

    Writing dates: Correct-January 2012; Jan 5. Incorrect-Jan 2012; January, 2012; January '12; January 5th.

    Write 1990s, not 1990's. Don't CAPITALIZE or underline for emphasis.

    Use bold or italics. American vs. British English: gray (A) vs. grey (B); traveled (A) vs. travelled (B); forward (A) vs. forwards (B).

    EIA style uses American spelling and usage.

    Punctuating bullets: No ending punctuation (no commas or semicolons) unless they are all complete sentences (then end each sentence with a period).

    Don't link click here or here. Link to the subject: See the full report;
    Register now.

    Writing Be consistent with % (informal and education content)
    and percent (formal content) within a document.

    Title case capitalization: Natural Gas Consumption Increasing. Sentence case: Natural gas consumption increasing.

    Be consistent for headers and titles within a document.

    Spell out (or define or link to a full spelling) acronyms the first time used and repeatedly in separate sections of a long document.

    Avoid overuse of due to-try because, as a result of, or following.

    Use since with time (Since 2005, natural gas use has grown.) and because when you want to show cause (Because it was raining, we got wet.).

    Be policy neutral. Avoid words like plummeted, skyrocketed, slashed, spiked, huge.

    Use simple words: additionally ? also; utilize ? use; in order to ? to; numerous ? many.

    Don't use impact as a verb:
    The weather affected (not impacted) electricity demand.

    Don't begin a sentence with a numeral or a year. Incorrect: 2012 stocks are increasing.

    Correct: Stocks in 2012 are increasing.

    Also correct: The year 2012 shows increasing stocks.

    Grammar Which or that? Which nearly always has a comma before it.

    If you can use that, use that. These two words are not interchangeable.

    Which is not a more formal word for that.

    Make bullets consistent: start with verb, verb, verb; noun, noun, noun; adjective, adjective, adjective.

    A person is a who, and a thing is a that. Correct: He is the person who
    said yes.

    Incorrect: He is the person that said yes.

    Use an en-dash to mean through or to: the temperature was 70-80 degrees.

    Use the word minus in an arithmetic phrase.

    Correct: Net imports = imports minus exports. Incorrect: Net imports =
    imports-exports. An em-dash is the length of two hyphens.

    It's used to show a break in thought and is almost always used in pairs.

    Correct: My sister Amy-who is two years younger than I am-
    graduated from college before I did.

    Hyphens with adjectives: short-term forecast, end-use technology.

    No hyphens with nouns: in the short term, three end uses. i.e. and e.g. must be followed by a comma.

    It is better to spell out i.e. ? in other words and e.g. ? for example.
    "Punctuation goes inside the quote marks."

    The complete document may be read at the URL above.
  • WRITING AND WRITERS: STYLE AND WRITING MANUALS : UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT: Style Manual: An Official Guide to the Form and Style of Federal Government Printing
    Table of Contents

    About This Manual

    GPO's Online Initiatives

    1. Advice to Authors and Editors

    2. General Instructions

    3. Capitalization Rules

    4. Capitalization Examples

    5. Spelling

    6. Compounding Rules

    7. Compounding Examples

    8. Punctuation

    9. Abbreviations and Letter Symbols

    Standard word abbreviations

    Standard letter symbols for units of measure

    Standard Latin abbreviations

    Information technology acronyms and Initialisms

    10. Signs and Symbols

    11. Italic

    12. Numerals

    13. Tabular Work

    14. Leaderwork

    15. Footnotes, Indexes, Contents, and Outlines

    16. Datelines, Addresses, and Signatures

    17. Useful Tables

    U.S. Presidents and Vice Presidents

    Most Populous U.S. Cities by State

    Principal Foreign Countries

    Demonyms: Names of Nationalities

    Currency

    Metric and U.S. Measures

    Common Measures and Th eir Metric Equivalents

    Measurement Conversion

    18. Geologic Terms and Geographic Divisions

    19. Congressional Record

    Congressional Record Index

    20. Reports and Hearings

    Index
  • WRITING AND WRITERS: STYLE AND WRITING MANUALS : UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT: NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION: NARA Style Guide
    National Archives and Records Administration
    NARA Style Guide

    Preface

    Clear writing conveys clear thought. NARA writers in all offices must strive for clear communication to explain their increasingly complex work. They write letters, memorandums, finding aids, web pages, blogs, leaflets, reports, articles, exhibit scripts, brochures, budget requests, speeches, forms, and email messages. This style guide establishes agency standards of punctuation, word usage, and grammar that will answer writers‘ most common questions and will, we hope, promote clear and effective writing 
    throughout NARA.

    Style changes over time and even from place to place, depending on the intended audience. These differences do not necessarily make one choice 
    ―wrong.‖ What is ―right‖ is consistency within your own work and using the appropriate language and usage for your audience.

    The NARA Style Guide fills two needs. First, the section ―Writing for Plain Language ‖ will help us comply with the Plain Writing Act of 2010. Second, it addresses many of the questions and issues unanswered by the Government Printing Office Style Manual (GPO manual). This guide is based on the GPO manual but includes modifications that reflect current usage.

    The most notable difference from the GPO manual concerns the treatment of numbers. This style guide simplifies the rules. In most cases, writers will spell out numbers under 10 and use numerals for numbers 10 and over. 
    (See section 4.10.)

    The GPO manual is still NARA‘s primary reference for style. For issues not covered in the NARA guide, continue to consult the GPO manual.

    The appendix, ―Quick Reference,‖ may be particularly helpful to NARA writers. This list of words and phrases provides quick answers to common questions about capitalization, spelling, compound words, and plurals.

    The NARA Style Guide took shape from the agency‘s specific language needs and will continue to change to reflect the needs and concerns of NARA writers. Use the NARA Style Guide for all NARA communications.

    If you have questions about spelling, grammar, or usage that are not addressed by this guide, contact the Strategy and Communications staff 

    Helpful References

    PlainLanguage.gov 

    http://www.plainlanguage.gov

    Bremner, John B. 
    Words on Words. 
    New York: Columbia University Press, 1980.

    The Chicago Manual of Style. 
    16th ed. 
    Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.

    Cormier, Robin. 
    Error-Free Writing: 
    A Lifetime Guide to Flawless Business Writing. 
    Paramus, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1995.

    Editors of EEI Press, 
    E-What?: 
    A Guide to the Quirks of New Media Style and Usage. 
    Alexandria, VA: EEI Press, 2000.

    General Services Administration, 
    Standard and Optional Forms Procedural Handbook. 
    Washington, DC: GSA, July 2009. 

    http://www.gsa.gov/portal/forms/type/SF

    Gunning, Robert. 
    The Technique of Clear Writing. 
    New York: McGraw-Hill, rev. 1983.

    Lauchman, Richard. 
    Plain Style: 
    Techniques for Simple, Concise, Emphatic Business Writing. 
    New York: AMACOM, 1993.

    National Archives and Records Administration, 
    Guide for Preparing NARA Correspondence: 
    A Supplement to NARA 201 (June 13, 2005). 

    http://tinyurl.com/p9zmaol

    National Archives and Records Administration, 
    Office of the Federal Register, 
    Plain Language Tools. 

    http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/write/plain-language/

    National Archives and Records Administration, 
    Office of the Federal Register, 
    Drafting Legal Documents

    http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/write/legal-docs/index.html

    The New York Public Library 
    Writer’s Guide to Style and Usage. 
    New York: HarperCollins, 1994.

    Redish, Janice (Ginny). 
    Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works. 
    San Francisco: Morgan Kaufman, 2007.

    Strunk, William, Jr. 
    The Elements of Style. With revisions, an introduction, 
    and a chapter on writing 
    by E. B. White. 
    4th ed. 
    Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1999. 
    (commonly known as ―Strunk and White‖)

    United States Government Printing Office 
    Style Manual. 
    Washington, DC: GPO, 2008. 

    http://www.gpoaccess.gov/stylemanual/browse.html

    Contents

    1. Writing in Plain Language

    1.1 Think about your audience

    1.2 Organize your material

    1.2.1 Use headings and subheadings

    1.2.2 Limit heading levels to three or fewer

    1.2.3 Write short sections

    1.3 Verbs

    1.3.1 Use the active voice (unless passive makes more sense)

    1.3.2 Use the simplest form of the verb

    1.3.3 Don‘t hide the verb

    1.3.4 Don‘t use ―shall‖

    1.3.5 Avoid the false subjects It is and There are

    1.3.6 Use contractions when appropriate

    1.4 Nouns and pronouns

    1.4.1 Use everyday words

    1.4.2 Avoid ―noun strings‖

    1.4.3 Use pronouns

    1.5 Omit unnecessary words

    1.5.1 Write with a word, not a phrase

    1.5.2 Avoid redundancy

    1.5.3 Avoid intruding words

    1.5.4 Don‘t ―double‖ terms

    1.5.5 Beware basis, manner, fashion, and way

    1.6 Sentences

    1.6.1 Write short sentences

    1.6.2 Place words carefully

    1.6.3 Use idioms

    1.6.4 Minimize the use of ―not‖

    2. Formatting for Readability

    2.1 Understand that isolation is emphasis

    2.2 Don‘t hesitate to use headings in any document

    2.3 Isolate lead sentences

    2.4 Feel free to write one-sentence paragraphs

    2.5 Use standard typefaces for the text

    2.6 Leave the right margin ragged

    2.7 Leave plenty of white space

    2.8 Use discretion with graphics

    2.9 Use tables to present comparisons

    2.10 Use vertical lists

    2.11 Use footnotes and endnotes for explanatory or peripheral information iv

    2.12 Adjust established formats when necessary

    3. Writing and Formatting Email

    3.1 Think before sending

    3.2 Use the subject field

    3.3 Be cautious about using special type styles

    3.4 Be judicious when capitalizing words

    3.5 Keep paragraphs short

    3.6 Maintain a businesslike tone

    4. Usage and Style

    4.1 Abbreviations and Symbols

    4.1.1 Geographic locations

    4.1.2 United States / U.S.

    4.1.3 Personal titles

    4.1.4 Citations

    4.1.5 Typographic symbols

    4.2 Acronyms

    4.3 Addresses

    4.4 Capitalization

    4.4.1 Geographic terms

    4.4.2 Military terms

    4.4.3 NARA forms, directives, and notices

    4.4.4 Organizations

    4.4.5 Personal titles

    4.5 Compounds

    4.5.1 Prefixes

    4.5.2 Compound adjectives

    4.5.3 Compound nouns

    4.5.4 Suspended compounds

    4.5.5 References to ethnicity

    4.6 Computer-related terms

    4.7 Dates

    4.8 Grammar reminders

    4.8.1 Subject/verb agreement

    4.8.2 Prepositions and pronouns

    4.9 Gender-neutral language

    4.10 Numbers

    4.11 Plurals

    4.12 Possessives

    4.13 Problem words and phrases

    4.14 Punctuation

    4.14.1 Apostrophe

    4.14.2 Colons and semicolons

    4.14.3 Comma

    4.14.4 Dash

    4.14.5 Ellipses

    4.14.6 Parentheses

    4.14.7 Quotation marks

    4.15 References to NARA

    4.16 Titles of works: italics or quotation marks

    Appendix: Quick Reference

    Content Sample: 

    1. Writing in Plain Language

    Writing in plain language means writing clearly. It means writing so that readers can
    find what they need, understand what they find, and use what they find to meet their needs. The more clearly you communicate, the more likely your readers will grasp what you want them to grasp and do what you want them to do, from filling out a form correctly to complying with a regulation. 
    And the less likely it is that your readers will 
    call or write you to ask questions or express 
    frustration.

    Ultimately, your job will be easier and more pleasant if you take the time to communicate clearly.
  • WRITING AND WRITERS: STYLE AND WRITING MANUALS : MEDICINE : HEALTH : UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICE. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC): Plain Writing at CDC
    Plain language improves communication. Decide who you are trying to communicate with and decide on your key message. Be clear.

    Dr. Thomas Frieden, CDC Director, 2012

    Our Promise to the Public: Writing You Can Understand

    CDC is committed to using plain writing in information for the public.

    Our information is relevant to many groups, and plain writing makes the information even more useful. The Plain Writing Act of 2010 requires all federal agencies to write plainly when they communicate with the public, and CDC is taking many steps to use plain writing.
  • WRITING AND WRITERS: STYLE AND WRITING MANUALS : MEDICINE : HEALTH : UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT: U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY: United States Environmental Protection Agency. EPA Communications Stylebook
    United States Environmental Protection Agency.
    EPA Communications Stylebook

    Contents Include 
    Nine steps to publication
    Graphics Guide
    EPA Communications Stylebook: Graphics Guide
    Color Printing vs. Black and White
    Writing Guide
    Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling, Vocabulary, Syntax and Usage
    Introduction - Writing Style in General
    and much more
  • WRITING AND WRITERS: STYLE AND WRITING MANUALS : MEDICINE : HEALTH : UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT: THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION : SOCIAL MEDIA : SOCIAL NETWORKING: CDC's Guide to Writing for Social Media
    Table of Contents

    ..

    Acknowledgements
    Table of Contents
    Chapter 1: Introduction
    What Is Social Media?
    What Is This Guide For? How Should It Be Used?
    Social Media and Communication Strategy
    Chapter 2: Before You Start
    Target Audiences, Health Literacy and Plain Language, and Social Marketing
    Chapter 3: Principles of Effective Social Media Writing
    Creating Content
    Examples of Relevant, Useful, and Interesting Messages
    Chapter 4: How to Write for Facebook
    Profiles and Pages
    Best Practices for Writing CDC Facebook Posts
    Sample CDC Facebook Posts
    Chapter 5: How to Write for Twitter
    Twitter Syntax
    Anatomy of a Tweet
    Best Practices for Writing CDC Tweets
    Sample CDC Tweets
    Chapter 6: How to Write Text Messages
    Best Practices for Writing CDC Text Messages
    Sample CDC Text Messages
    Chapter 7: How to Use Your Web Content as Source Material for Social Media
    Content
    Make Social Media Writing Easier by Repurposing Web Content
    Plan to Rewrite Your Web Content for Use in Social Media
    Chapter 8: Hands-On Practice in Revising Social Media Content
    Improve These Draft Facebook Posts
    Improve These Draft Tweets
    Improve These Draft Text Messages
    Improved Facebook Posts
    Improved Tweets
    Improved Text Messages
    Chapter 9: Checklist for Writing for Social Media
    Chapter 10: Glossary
    Facebook Terms
    Twitter Terms
    Texting Terms
    Chapter 11: Social Media Writing Resources
    CDC's Social Media and Writing Resources
    Federal Agencies' Social Media and Writing Resources
    State Government Social Media and Writing Resources
    Other Social Media and Writing Resources
    Appendix A: Audience Segmentation
    Audience Information, by Age
    Audience Information, by Role
  • WRITING AND WRITERS: STYLE AND WRITING MANUALS : UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT : PROPOSALS : WRITING AND WRITERS: PROPOSAL WRITING: A Guide for Proposal Writing. FROM National Science Foundation. Directorate for Education and Human Resources
    A Guide for Proposal Writing.
    FROM National Science Foundation.
    Directorate for Education and Human Resources
    Division of Undergraduate Education

    Table of Contents
    Introduction
    Program Information
    Review Process
    Criteria for Evaluation
    I. Intellectual Merit
    II. Broader Impacts
    ADVICE TO PROPOSAL WRITERS
    Step 1 - Before You Write
    Getting Started
    Gathering Background Information
    Looking at the Program Solicitation or Announcement
    Thinking About the Target Audience
    Building Coalitions
    Other Considerations
    Step 2 - Writing the Proposal
    Writing the Proposal Narrative
    Including Budget Information
    Writing the Credentials of the PI and Other Staff
    Including Evaluation and Dissemination Information
    Letters of Endorsement
    Project Summary and Project Data Form
    Step 3 - Before Sending Your Proposal to NSF
    Learning More About the Review Process
    Getting Advice
    Before Finishing the Proposal
    Little Things That Can Make a Difference
    Step 4 - Awards and Declinations
    If The Grant is Awarded
    If Your Proposal is Not Funded
    A Final Note
  • Plain Writing FROM The United States Agriculture Department (USDA).
    "On July 19, 2012, the Center for Plain Language issued the first report cardThis is an external link or third-party site outside of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website. of federal agencies' efforts to comply with the Plain Writing Act. The report card grades agencies on their efforts to comply with the Plain Writing Act and each agency's plain writing supporting activities. USDA received the highest grades among federal agencies in both categories. We are honored by this success, but there is more work to do and we need your help. Please let us know if you have trouble understanding any of our documents."

    As a measure of our success, the Center for Plain Language awarded USDA its second "A" for compliance and a "B" for how well our documents adhered to plain language principles. We are proud of our continued success - and will strive to further improve how well we communicate with you.

    Our pledge is in keeping with our long-standing commitment to provide you with the information you need from us. President Obama emphasized the importance of establishing "a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration" in his January 21, 2009, Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government.

    The Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN) is the official interagency working group designated to assist in issuing plain writing guidance. The PLAIN web site includes guidelines on plain language and tools for writing in plain language.

    Federal Plain Language Web Site
    Federal Plain Language Guidelines
    Federal Plain Language Tips and Tools
    Plain Writing Act of 2010 (PDF)

    In addition to the Federal Plain Language website tools and resources available, USDA has developed its own materials to assist employees with Plain Language training and compliance, and guide you through the process of integrating plain writing into covered documents.

    Plain Language Writer's Checklist (DOC, 15KB)
    Plain Language Reviewer's Checklist (DOC, 13KB)
    Plain Language Training Resources (DOC, 23KB)
    USDA Plain Writing AgLearn Training (updated course)

    Some other good resources developed by other Federal agencies that discuss how to write using Plain Language in technical writing can be found using the links listed below. These include guides on how to write Federal Register notices, legal documents, short rules, and more.

    Federal Register Tools for Plain Language
    SEC Plain Writing Handbook (PDF)
  • Guidelines FROM Usability.GOV
    Guideline Chapters

    Chapter 1: Design Process and Evaluation
    Chapter 2: Optimizing the User Experience
    Chapter 3: Accessibility
    Chapter 4: Hardware and Software
    Chapter 5: The Home Page
    Chapter 6: Page Layout
    Chapter 7: Navigation
    Chapter 8: Scrolling and Paging
    Chapter 9: Headings, Titles, and Labels
    Chapter 10: Links
    Chapter 11: Text Appearance
    Chapter 12: Lists
    Chapter 13: Screen-Based Controls (Widgets)
    Chapter 14: Graphics, Images, and Multimedia
    Chapter 15: Writing Web Content
    Chapter 16: Content Organization
    Chapter 17: Search
    Chapter 18: Usability Testing

    The Research-Based Web Design and Usability Guidelines 
    is also available as a PDF (21MB) for downloading convenience. 

    It includes the:

    Background and methodology
    Glossary
    Appendices
    Sources
    Author index
  • United States Government Printing Office Style Manual. Washington, DC: GPO, 2008.
    Title Page, Style Board, Extract from Title 44, U.S.C., 
    About This Manual, GPO's Online Initiatives 
    PDF | Text | More

    Contents PDF | Text | More

    Chapter 1 - Advice to Authors and Editors PDF | Text | More

    Chapter 2 - General Instructions PDF | Text | More

    Chapter 3 - Capitalization Rules PDF | Text | More

    Chapter 4 - Capitalization Examples PDF | Text | More

    Chapter 5 - Spelling PDF | Text | More

    Chapter 6 - Compounding Rules PDF | Text | More

    Chapter 7 - Compounding Examples PDF | Text | More

    Chapter 8 - Punctuation PDF | Text | More

    Chapter 9 - Abbreviations and Letter Symbols PDF | Text | More

    Chapter 10 - Signs and Symbols PDF | Text | More

    Chapter 11 - Italic PDF | Text | More

    Chapter 12 - Numerals PDF | Text | More

    Chapter 13 - Tabular Work PDF | Text | More

    Chapter 14 - Leaderwork PDF | Text | More

    Chapter 15 - Footnotes, Indexes, Contents, and Outlines PDF | Text | More

    Chapter 16 - Datelines, Addresses, and Signatures PDF | Text | More

    Chapter 17 - Useful Tables PDF | Text | More

    Chapter 18 - Geologic Terms and Geographic Divisions PDF | Text | More

    Chapter 19 - Congressional Record, Congressional Record Index PDF | Text | More

    Chapter 20 - Reports and Hearings PDF | Text | More

    Index








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