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Communicating Effectively in Public Service:
The Virtues of Plain Language


An easy thing elected officials and staff can do to promote transparency and trust in one’s agency is encouraging all agency communications to be in plain language.

“Plain language” involves using words that reflect the interests and needs of the listener or reader rather than the interests and needs of the speaker. The ultimate goal is for everyone to understand what is being said.

The two pieces at the right explain why plain language matters and suggest tips for writing for officials.

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