Surrey Learn

Plain English - Online


Communication Skills, Personal Effectiveness, Work Processes


Suitable for all staff.


1 day

Delegate rate

Approximately £100 per delegate. Charges depend on how many book.

  • Understand the features of a Plain English style
  • Realise the benefits of a writing style for you/your organisation
  • Recognise some traps a writer can fall into
  • Use a style/tone appropriate for the audience
  • Save time and money by getting the message across first time

Part One – Principles of Plain English 

  1. Thinking about your audience      –       Is your writing style appropriate?
  2. Write with brevity                          –       Shortening sentences
  3. Write with clarity                           –       Suggestions for clear writing
  4. Avoid the passive voice                –       Active writing                     
  5. Don’t annoy your readers             –       Righting some wrongs
  6. Revealing the action                     –       Nominalisations

Part Two – Applying Plain English Principles 

Working in small groups, delegates will apply the principles of Plain English from Part One to a piece of their/their organisation’s writing, identifying the lessons for their future writing.

You will be expected to email the trainer with three or four examples of your organisation’s writing, for them to use in writing exercises.  

After all, delegates learn best from applying what they have learnt to the documents they deal with at work, rather than random examples supplied by the trainer. 

 Each of your documents should be: (i) a few pages long, and (ii) have the kind of style/grammar/other mistakes your colleagues are making and that you are looking to improve, from them attending this course.  So, they may be first drafts or as yet unused/unpublished. 

Any documents you supply will be treated confidentially.  And they will be treated as illustrative of your business/organisation’s work, and for everyone to learn from (not singling out mistakes by the authors).


No dates are currently scheduled for this course.

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