Learn Plain Writing Today. Be a Better Writer in High Demand
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Learn Plain Writing Today. Be a Better Writer in High Demand

Learn how to communicate well, plainly, without ambiguity, and become a writer in demand in this age of globalization
4.3 (15 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
870 students enrolled
Last updated 10/2016
English
Price: $95
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Includes:
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 3 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Assignments
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • By the end of this course, you'll be able to edit complicated sentences, simplify and re-write them in plain English.
View Curriculum
Requirements
  • Basic working knowledge of English.
Description

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LAST UPDATE 

AUGUST 11, 2017

WEEKLY UPDATE: "Examples of Editing for Plain Writing" (for registered students only)

JUNE 17, 2017

  • NEW ASSIGNMENT : Eliminate Ambiguity
  • NEW ASSIGNMENT : Eliminate Abstract Nouns
  • NEW ASSIGNMENT : Eliminate Abstract Verbs

June 16, 2017

  • NEW ASSIGNMENT : Writing in Active Voice
  • NEW ASSIGNMENT : Writing with Articles
  • NEW ASSIGNMENT : Tables for Text

June 14, 2017

  • NEW ASSIGNMENT : Splitting Long Sentences
  • NEW ASSIGNMENT : List Writing

June 13, 2017

WEEKLY UPDATE: "How to Type Perfect Fractions in MS Word"  (for registered students only)

June 5, 2017

WEEKLY UPDATE: "Plain Writing is the Federal Law in USA" (for subscribed students only)

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Learn plain writing from a veteran writer with over 15 years of hi-tech Fortune 100 experience.

Learn the basics of communicating in plain English for maximum success and productivity in your business and personal life in this age of globalization.

Writers of the future will be those who can write plainly, express themselves in a way that readers from diverse cultural and national backgrounds can understand easily.

Learn within a few a minutes every day such powerful plain writing techniques as:

  • Avoiding abstract nouns and verbs
  • Avoiding allusions
  • Using the active voice properly
  • How to use tables to help your writing
  • The benefits of eliminating the verb "to be" from your writing
  • Eliminating "unless"
  • Avoiding "IN phrases"

and much much more...

What's more, plain writing is now the Federal law in the United States.

Learn writing techniques to comply with the "Plain Writing Law" if you are working or planning to work for the U.S. Federal Government, or intending to correspond and do business with it.

SUPPLEMENTARY PDFs: Most lectures have downloadable PDFs related to the videos. Click the second-from-left button (with down arrow on it) on the upper-right corner of the lecture screen to access these PDF document.

Good luck!

*** IMPORTANT! This course comes with my PERSONAL NO-QUESTIONS-ASKED 30 Day FULL REFUND GUARANTEE! Try my course for 30 days and if you still don't like it Udemy will refund you 100%. You've got nothing to lose ***

Who is the target audience?
  • All speakers and writers of English.
  • All students of English.
  • ESL students.
  • All U.S. Federal Government workers.
Compare to Other Writing Courses
Curriculum For This Course
28 Lectures
02:05:34
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Why Plain Writing?
1 Lecture 02:28

Plain writing is a must for success in business and private life. When we communicate with short and clear sentences people understand us better, with little room for costly errors due to muddled writing. Globalization and localization processes increase the need for clear plain writing. Besides, it's the law in the United States (did you know that?).

Preview 02:28
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It's the Law in the U.S.!
1 Lecture 07:25

The U.S. federal law demands all government documents be written in plain language. There are several acts of U.S. Congress that mandate plain English documentation in finance, credit, medical, housing etc. transactions.

Preview 07:25

Check your understanding of the legal aspect of plain writing as far the U.S. government is concerned...

It's the Law in the U.S.!
1 question
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Principles of Plain Writing 1-4
1 Lecture 06:36

There are dozens of ways to write plainly. Here are the first four selected principles of plain writing. The most important of them is: write in short sentences.

Preview 06:36

Sentence Length
1 question

Active vs. Passive Voice
1 question

Writing with short sentences is one of the hallmarks of good plain writing. This assignment offers you the chance to practice what you have learned in this lesson and try your hand in splitting a long sentence into a series of shorter sentences.
Splitting Long Sentences
1 question

Communicating information through well-constructed lists is a great plain writing technique. This assignment offers you the chance to practice what you have learned in this lesson and try your hand in writing a well-structured list.
List Writing
1 question

Writing with articles like "a," "an" or "the" increases comprehension and retention. It leads to a better reading experience.
Writing with Articles
1 question

In general, your readers will have an easier time reading sentences written in active voice. There is one exception to that, which is noted in the lecture. Try your hand in these active voice exercises to strengthen your plain writing muscle.
Writing in Active Voice
1 question
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Principles of Plain Writing 5-8
1 Lecture 08:16

Here are four more principles of plain writing. For example: eliminate ambiguity from your writing. Eliminate all nouns and verbs with multiple meanings and thus which can be misunderstood.

Principles of Plain Writing 5-8
08:16

Using Slashes
1 question

A Plain Writing Technique
1 question

Eliminate ambiguity by eliminating words or phrases that suggest more things than one.
Eliminate Ambiguity
1 question

Abstract nouns, adjectives or phrases are not easy to understand and digest. Eliminate them whenever you can and replace them with their more-obvious and easy-to-understand counterparts.
Eliminate Abstract Nouns
1 question

Abstract verbs are not always easy to understand since they usually have multiple meanings. Eliminate such verbs for clarity and replace them with more obvious verbs used commonly in daily life.
Eliminate Abstract Verbs
1 question
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Avoid Assumptions
1 Lecture 07:03

Another golden principle of plain writing: do not assume too much on the part of your readers. What the readers get out of your writing may not be exactly what you had in mind. Several examples explain the hazards of making assumptions on your readers' behalf.

Avoid Assumptions
07:03

Assuming Things
1 question

Short and Long of it...
1 question
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Use Tables
1 Lecture 04:25

When you are presented with a complicated paragraph or text, sometimes the best way to present the same infomration plainly is to create a table. Sometimes tables communicate the same content much more efficiently than a paragraph. Several examples illustrate the point.

Use Tables
04:25

Tables
1 question

Use tables to present complex information and long descriptions that are hard to read and remember. Using tables for presenting text increases comprehension and retention considerably.
Using Tables for Text
1 question
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Eliminate Double Negatives
1 Lecture 04:28

Double negatives within the same sentences are a load on the mind; they are not easy to process. Get rid of double negatives for good clear plain writing.

Eliminate Double Negatives
04:28

Double Negatives
1 question
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Eliminate Sexist Language
1 Lecture 03:50

Using gender-free language is a fundamental principle of modern non-fiction prose. This lesson provides many examples showing how you can replace the male-indexed old-fashioned language with its gender-free counterpart.

Use Gender-Free Language
03:50

Gender-Free Language
2 questions
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Eliminate "To Be"
1 Lecture 02:58

Eliminate all forms of the verb "to be" for writing that breathes freely and communicates with power. Examples demonstrate how you can do that easily.

Eliminate "To Be"
02:58

To Be or Not To Be...
1 question
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Eliminate Ornaments
1 Lecture 06:02

Unnecessary ornaments are what clutters a paragraph and renders sentences hard to comprehend and remember. Follow the examples provided here for good clean writing without such deadwood.

Eliminate Ornaments
06:02

Eliminating Useless Phrases
1 question

Cultural Ornaments
5 questions
15 More Sections
About the Instructor
Ugur Akinci, Ph.D.
4.2 Average rating
342 Reviews
6,320 Students
5 Courses
Technical Writer & Trainer

Fortune 100 technical communicator and educator since 1998. The hi-tech companies he worked for include ADP, Fannie Mae, and Honeywell.

Ugur started his professional career as a senior translator for NATO Hqs. LSE. He has worked as a writer, translator, editor and publisher since the mid-80s.

For his copy writing clients, Ugur created all kinds of marketing materials and press releases while honing his skills as a Desk Top Publisher and even publishing a biweekly magazine for a number of years by using DTP techniques.

In mid-90s we see Ugur as a full-time accredited journalist, covering the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Congress for a daily publication.

In 1998, Ugur has discovered the joy of technical writing, marrying his love of science and technology to his artistic sensibilities and design skills.

Working for Fortune 100 hi-tech corporations like Fannie Mae, ADP, and Honeywell, Ugur created many user guides, system admin guides, reference sheets, release notes, quick start guides, and all kinds of similar software, hardware and networking documents, sometimes as a part of an international documentation team.

Ugur enjoys teaching a wide variety of writing, software tools, content development, and document design skills both online and also in person.

He is a Toastmaster (CC), an active senior member and Associate Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) and a Past President of his award-winning local chapter, STC Washington D.C. -- Baltimore.

With decades of writing and technical communication experience under his belt, Ugur teaches not only the general principles of good writing and content development but also the insider tips that will save you a lot of grief and headaches. Learn software documentation and different kinds of writing from an industry professional who is still working in this exciting field.