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Welcome to StyleWriter For Government, Plain English Software from Writers SuperCenter!

The official site of StyleWriter Editing Software for Government
Now also available to organizations, corporations and individuals!
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STYLEWRITER SOFTWARE uses Plain English.

Who needs Plain English?

How is Government using StyleWriter and Plain English?


GET TEN FOR THE PRICE OF ONE!
When you buy StyleWriter Software, you also get at NO additional cost all these software programs, all on one convenient CD:

Writer's Organizer


Essayist


Technical Writer


Letter Writer


Resume Writer


Business Plan Writer


Writer's Dictionary Thesaurus


Typing Tutor


Writer's Calculator



The Electronic Writing Course:
Using the Electronic Writing Course for StyleWriter Training


StyleWriter is an easy and intuitive software program that doesn't require extensive knowledge about writing to use it. So no training is required. If, however, you feel your staff needs a brush-up course on basic writing, our Electronic Writing Course, which was created specifically for use in government, is the course for you.

The Electronic Writing Course is an intensive, self-directed, computerized program that takes about 20 hours (or about one week in a classroom setting) to complete. And it's an excellent primer for those who are going to be using StyleWriter, as StyleWriter is most effective when all its concepts and editing suggestions are fully understood.

COURSE OVERVIEW

The Electronic Writing Course teaches you everything you need to know to become a good writer and editor. Polish your writing skills at your own pace by working through the ideas, lessons, tips, quizzes, exercises and workshops.

The Course teaches you how to:

  • Plan and organize effectively
  • Write clearly
  • Write concisely
  • Write correctly
  • Edit thoroughly

The Course teaches professional writing tips and tackles different writing tasks such as letters, reports, regulations, instructions, and e-mails. Based on training tools we designed for US Federal Government employees, the Course teaches you everything you need to know to become a good writer. At only $75 (UK and EC £50 + £8.75 VAT), you can now sign up for a professional writing course to work at your own PC and at your own pace.

We've organized the Course into nine major sections:

  • Introduction
  • Clear Thinking
  • Concise Writing
  • Clear Writing
  • Correct Writing
  • Editing Skills
  • Writing Tips
  • Writing Tasks
  • Workshops
Introduction

The "Introduction" is the first section. It covers "Welcome to the Course," "Using the Course," "Writing in Plain Language," and "Plain Language Standards." It explains why you should write in clear and concise plain language style. It also explains how you can use StyleWriter to back up the training in the Course and set standards to measure how your writing improves.

Writing Course Introduction

Clear Thinking

This covers learning to write well by thinking through your writing task before you start. It teaches the essential ideas of thinking about your Aim, Audience, Content and Plan.

Think through your writing before you start

Concise Writing

This concentrates on six poor habits that make writing too wordy. It teaches you to overcome these habits and to learn to write concisely.

Overcome bad writing habit with concise writing

It covers:

  • Sentence length
  • Passive verbs
  • Hidden verbs
  • Wordy phrases
  • Business Clichés
  • Overwriting

Remember, StyleWriter shows you where to cut words from your draft. You will soon find you can write concisely so your reader concentrates on your message and does not have to fight through the waffle and padding so common in writing.

Clear Writing Style

This part of the Course teaches you how to write clearly by using simple, everyday words and avoiding jargon and abstract writing.

Write clearly using everyday word and avoid jargon

It covers:

  • Complex words
  • Jargon
  • Abstract writing
  • Abbreviations and acronyms
  • Foreign Expressions
  • Legal words
  • Signpost language
Correct Writing

This Section is a crash course in proofreading and correct English usage. It points out the mistakes and pitfalls most often found in writing. By learning what specifically to look for when you read your draft, you'll soon become an expert proofreader.

Proofreading and correct English writing

It covers:

  • Correct spelling
  • Correct punctuation
  • Correct grammar
  • Correct word use
Editing Skills

This Section draws together what you have learnt in the previous sections of the Writing Course. You'll work on exercises designed to cut, simplify and correct writing examples. By working through each example, you'll improve your proofreading and editing skills.

Improve your proofreading and editing skills

Writing Tips

This Section contains a host of writing and editing advice. It explains some of the main ways professional editors turn average documents into high-quality ones.

writing and editing tips

Writing Tasks

This Section looks at the key drafting and editing techniques to use when writing and editing different documents.

drafting and editing techniques

Editing Workshops

Here are the Writing Course's five Workshops. The Editing Workshops show you how to edit whole documents - turning the theory you have studied on the Course into reality. In each one you can see the original and then work through the style, usage and punctuation changes. We'll have a look at the E-mail Workshop.

The five writing workshops

e-mail Workshop

Here is a typical e-mail replying to a government official, explaining how to resolve an administrative matter over using some standard forms.

In the Course, you would go through the e-mail by clicking on the Editing Advice Buttons at the bottom of the screen. However, here we'll jump ahead to the before-and-after example of the e-mail after following the editing advice.

Click on the image below to see the before and after example.

Click here to see the original and redrafted email

Learning to Edit

Example of Editing

As you work your way through the Writing Course and the exercises, your writing and editing skills will improve. Eventually, you will move on to editing dozens of writing faults in the Editing Skills Section of the Course.

Here's an example of editing a 64-word paragraph. The first redraft cuts the text to 29 words. The second redraft produces a final draft of 18 words. You learn this skill by going through the Editing Exercises at the end of this Section. Let's take a look at one.

Example of editing exercise

Trying an Exercise

Here is Exercise 2 for us to try. Having read the sentence, you would type your suggested redraft in the yellow box, editing the words and phrases shown in bold.

Editing exercise example

Following the Editing Advice

When you have drafted your answer in the yellow box, you can go through the exercise by clicking the Editing Advice buttons. These suggested changes and explanations show how each change improves the draft.

Click on the image below to see how the Editing Advice works

follow the editing advice

Using the Electronic Writing Course

There's a wealth of material in the Course. We recommend you go through a section - taking between one and two hours each - and then take a break. Most people can finish the Course in about 20 hours - although to teach the material in a classroom would take about a week.

After four years working with plain English, I was surprised by the many new ideas and techniques the Electronic Writing Course taught me. It's like sitting down one to one with a professional writer and getting instant feedback. That packs a lot of learning power into a short time.

Tony Britten, Environmental Protection Agency

Click here to find out about ordering the Electronic Writing Course and/or StyleWriter Software.


Samples of documents
before and after
using StyleWriter:

(click to view)

Advertising copy
Business e-mail
Business letter
Business plan
Editorial
Instruction manual
Legal letter
Management report
Memo
Newsletters
Policy & procedure
Press release
Regulations
Research Paper
Technical report
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