The goal of this activity is your learning to use an online tool for analyzing documents for correctness and a readable style. The style we’re practicing in this course is Plain Language, as des

The goal of this activity is your learning to use an online tool for analyzing documents for correctness and a readable style. The style we’re practicing in this course is Plain Language, as described by The Center for Plain Language.

Here’s the outline/blueprint for the rest of these directions:

  • Due dates and criteria for success
  • Recommended process

Due dates and criteria for success

Our grading rubric for this discussion may differ from ones you’ve encountered in other courses. It includes these criteria:

  • Timeliness of your “initial” post by Thursday 
  • Features of your main post
  1. specific and accurate application of MS Word readability statistics to one sample report
  2. specific and accurate reference to a feature of Plain Language
  • Substantive contributions to others’ analyses – up to three thoughts supported by details, examples, stories, research, etc., by Sunday

For the details of each criterion, please click on “Show Rubric” behind the gear icon in the upper right corner of this text box.

Recommended process

Here are six steps you may find useful. You’ll find additional information, if needed, in links.

  1. Read about Plain Language at the top of our Week 1 Module. I’ve added, in blue type, ways that you can apply the “5 steps” to your writing in this course.
  2. Set up your computer to check documents for spelling, grammar, and style (readability). Here’s advice for MS Word. Please feel free to use any online checker you find useful. The Internet offers many of them!
  3. Run a readability checker on one sample report written in a previous class. The writers of sample documents throughout the course have given written permission for their work to be used, and I have changed their names.
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  1. Take notes on what you learn about the technical readability of the report and its use of Plain Language. Here’s terminology that you might find useful.
  2. Write and post a two-part readability analysis of the report you chose. Here’s a sample critique from a previous class. 
  • one readability statistic (average sentence length, the percentage of passive voice, etc.) provided by your readability checker. Tell us what this statistic suggests about the clarity and readability of the report.
  • one feature of Plain Language, based on your reading of “5 Steps to Plain Language, annotated.” Name the feature, or quote from the handout.

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