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The Government Manager's Guide to Plain Language

Book Description

The ability to write well correlates highly with the ability to think well—to analyze information, weigh alternatives, and make decisions. Government managers must make instructions and policies clear to employees, give effective presentations, and communicate effectively with the public. In addition, government managers must model clear, effective writing for their staffs. A comprehensive chapter on using social media effectively and appropriately is included.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  8. CHAPTER 1: Succeeding as a Writer in Today’s Government Workplace
    1. The Importance of Plain Language in Government Writing
    2. Why Use Plain Language?
  9. CHAPTER 2: Getting Started: The Planning Stage
    1. Guidelines for Planning
    2. Guidelines for Brainstorming and Organizing
    3. Guidelines for Outlining
  10. CHAPTER 3: Drafting: Writing It Down
    1. Turning Off Your Inner Critic
    2. Planning Paragraphs
    3. Writing Sentences
    4. Tips for Writing Drafts
  11. CHAPTER 4: Editing: Using the Right Voice and Tone
    1. Prefer the Active Voice
    2. Bring Submerged Action to the Surface
    3. Substitute Action Verbs for Forms of “To Be”
    4. Choose the Appropriate Tone
  12. CHAPTER 5: Editing: Writing with Clarity and Conciseness
    1. Improving Clarity
    2. Being Precise
    3. Avoiding Common Barriers to Understanding
    4. Checking Readability
  13. CHAPTER 6: Editing: The Final Phase
    1. Two Types of Editing
    2. The Editing Process
    3. Making Changes Online
    4. How Can a Style Manual Help?
    5. Editing Someone Else’s Writing
  14. CHAPTER 7: Emailing the Right Message
    1. Planning Email
    2. Elements of Email
    3. Email Etiquette
    4. Security and Privacy Issues
    5. Some Landmines to Avoid
  15. CHAPTER 8: Writing Effective Letters
    1. How to Format a Business Letter
    2. Basic Steps in Writing Business Letters
    3. Types of Business Letters
  16. CHAPTER 9: Preparing Reports
    1. Informal or Brief Reports
    2. Formal Reports
    3. Formats for Government Reports
  17. CHAPTER 10: Other Forms of Government Workplace Writing
    1. Collaborative Writing
    2. Ghostwriting
    3. Talking Points
    4. Position Descriptions
    5. Performance Reviews
    6. Budget Justifications
    7. Exhibit 300 Reports
    8. Policies
    9. Regulations
  18. CHAPTER 11: Using Social Media
    1. Policy Regarding Social Media
    2. Guidelines for Use of Social Media Platforms
    3. Security Risks and Mitigation Strategies
  19. INDEX
  20. Back Cover