Plain Language Exercises

Here is a complete listing of all the exercises in this course.

Exercise One: How well do you understand?

  • Comparison of two sample passages - one in plain language and one not
  • Shows how plain language encourages understanding.

Exercise Two: What are they trying to say?

  • Have fun trying to decipher obscure language

Exercise Three: Website Comparison

  • A simple and effective tool for a high-level assessment of your page's organization and structure

Exercise Four: A Structured Overview

  • Bring structure to your content by writing an overview first

Exercise Five: Chunking and Headings

  • Demonstrates that "chunking" and headings help to organize thoughts and makes reading easier

Exercise Six: Latinate

  • Have fun decoding archaic academic language

Exercise Seven: Sentence Shortening

  • Break long sentences in two to simplify them

Exercise Eight: Cut Wordy Phrases

  • Some phrases to avoid altogether

Exercise Nine: Changing Verbs from Passive to Active

  • Practise using the active voice to simplify and clarify your text

Exercise Ten: Sentence Simplification

  • Look for prepositions and other clues to simplify lengthy sentences

Exercise Eleven: Evaluating Sample Text

  • Practise using a variety of Plain Language editing tools on a sample text passage

Exercise Twelve: Evaluate a Page Using a Plain Language Checklist

  • Put it all together by revising an existing page
  • Use Plain Language Tools to help