The Department of Energy has an active and popular Plain Language Training Program. We train our employees at our Washington, DC headquarters and, upon request, at Department laboratories and facilities across the country. Our personnel have fully embraced Plain Language Training.
Plain Language classes are open to all DOE employees and contractors and are led by a DOE instructor. Plain Language Training classes are publicized though Departmental e-mail. Additionally, DOE Program Offices and facilities can request Plain Language Training for their respective offices and divisions.
The Department’s Plain Language classes provide tools that allow writers to present information more clearly, including the following guidelines:
- Focusing on what the reader needs to know
- Shortening sentences and paragraphs
- Limiting jargon and acronyms
- Using active voice
- Using pronouns and everyday words
- Identifying “hidden verbs” (such as using “prepare” and not “in the preparation of”)
- Using lists and tables instead of text
The Department’s wiki page, called Powerpedia, has a section devoted to Plain Language and Plain Language Training. Accessible only to DOE personnel, the Plain Language page on Powerpedia provides links to Plain Language videos and other federal Plain Language sites; offers tip on writing clearly; and lists the schedule of upcoming Plain Language training and allows employees to register.