Join Judy Steiner-Williams for an in-depth discussion in this video Exercise files, part of Writing in Plain English.
- The exercise file. Exercise can mean of course something requiring physical effort, or to use or apply something, or even to train. And that's exactly the purpose of the exercise file in the course. Items in the exercise file will require you to do something, or apply the principles presented, or even retrain yourself in how to write. As you go through the course, you might want to stop after specific lessons and further investigate that topic.
Or you may want to wait until you've completed the course and have the complete picture of plain English before you start the exercise journey. For example, after learning exactly what plain English is and its history, you might want to look at the websites in the exercise file that provide more in-depth information. As we look at before-and-after versions in various lessons, you could visit the exercise file for links that show more of those types of before-and-after writing. Checklist can be a valuable rubric to help you analyze each component of plain English writing.
Maybe click on a couple of the checklist links in the exercise file before you listen to the rest of these lessons. Maybe even print a couple examples and check off the items as they are discussed, lesson by lesson. And then of course, no exercise program is possible unless we do the workout. Watching those exercise videos may be a lot easier than actually doing the exercise, but we don't gain the real benefits until we actually do the jumping jacks or the glute bridges.
That's the same as with this course and exercise file. You can listen to the lessons and understand the theory, but then the action must begin. That's why the exercise file contains over a dozen unplain English examples for you to revise or rewrite into plain English. Possible rewrites are then available for you to compare with your revision. So whether you use the exercise file before a lesson, during a lesson, in between lessons, or wait until the end, do be sure to get the full value of this plain English workout.
If you can write in plain English, you can save time, save money, and save face in communications. Start watching to learn how to make your writing more "plain": stronger, clearer, and more concise.
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- Explain how to make your writing clear, concise, and straightforward.
- Recognize the average reading level for most audiences.
- Identify commonly overused words.
- Recognize how strong verbs can help avoid passive writing.
- Explore the benefits of deleting extra words.
- Define “weasel words.”