Starts Sept 9, 2024
Instructor: Nicole Watkins Campbell
275.00 CAD

Citizens’ trust in their governments is disappearing. It’s happening around the world for many different reasons. But written government communication shows that governments have forgotten how to communicate with citizens. 

Plain language can help governments rebuild the relationship. The Government of Canada, for example, actually has a plain language policy for its public communication. Other governments are also working to use plain language in more communication.

This course will help municipal, provincial, and federal workers improve their writing or editing for the public and other stakeholders. It will also be useful to writers or editors who offer services to government clients. 

Learning goals

You will learn to:

·      identify your purpose in writing 
·      understand your audiences’ motivations and needs
·      use 10 writing tactics to make your writing more engaging
·      test whether your documents are working for readers

  1. Good communication is good public service
  2. Know your readers and your purpose
  3. Organize for clarity and ease
  4. Motivate with style and language
  5. Check your work
  • 6 exercises and a final project
  • About 10 hours of reading and work (I haven’t tested this number, of course)

Plain Language 2.0 and Health Literacy

Offered in English and Spanish 
Feb 27 $275 USD

Register at

Romina Marazzato Sparano is now teaching this course in English as well as in Spanish on She is also creating new plain language courses on her sister site to Plain Language Academy. If you have any questions, simply email Thank you for joining us.

In this course, we will explore the intersection between health literacy and plain language to promote successful health communication. Health literacy is defined as the ability to find, understand, and process information to make healthcare decisions. Plain language has a vital role to play in fostering access, understanding, and usability of health information.

Editing for Plainer Technical  Writing

Jan 16 and Mar 13 $275 CAD

For people who prepare technical information for non-technical readers

This six-week course is for anyone who prepare technical information for non-technical readers. You might write: 

  • correspondence to citizens about their water quality 
  • reports to elected officials about development projects 
  • user manuals for customers with new electronics

You will learn to assess your audience and their information needs and to edit a technical document so that they can find the information they need, understand what they find and use that information quickly.

This course gives a certificate of achievement after your assignments are completed and marked. 

Plain Language Project Leadership

Register. $275 CAD

Plain Language Project Leadership encompasses the whole plain language process, focusing on a project client document. This course lets you to practice leading a complete a project with guidance, feedback, and support.  You will develop a project plan, content, and a report.


  • opportunity to put together all your knowledge and skills on one project 
  • enhance your experience in audience awareness and document testing 
  • create a working template for future plain language projects.  

Topics covered:

  • Complete a planning document
  • Proposal to client
  • Quiz yourself on your leadership skills
  • Taking care of yourself while leading others
  • Create a definition of plain language that you are comfortable using.
  • Create a template for your Project Work Plan and Style Sheet
  • Audience Analysis with identification 
  • Create  a reader persona
  • Mid-Project Report
  • Demonstrate three clear design techniques 
  • Create a project stylesheet with before and after examples
  • Modify the PLA Plain Language Checklist  for your own use
  • Develop a testing plan 
  • Discussion forum on user-ease and dealing with feedback
  • Write a memo to client as your proposal and report
  • Finalize your project plan, report to client, and sample revision
We'll find a project for you to work on if you don't have one.

Science Supports Plain Language 

Next course: March 2024. $275 CAD 

Instructor: Cheryl Stephens,

Research shows the less work audiences need to put into reading, the more they will find sources credible, and the better they will connect with the messages. You will learn the most up-to-date techniques, drawn from neuroscience, linguistics, and cognitive psychology. We'll explore how to make the reader's work easier and fluent.

You will be introduced to best practices in:

  • the three-stage reading process of the brain
  • improving recall to ensure learning and retention
  • content frameworks that help readers 
  • making connections for continuity and comprehension 
  • roles of priming and recency
  • inferences and predictions as essential brain processes

Topics covered:

You can proceed at your own pace. You schedule a 1 hour Zoom session with the course facilitator. We expect you to take 4 to 6 weeks to complete.