Rows of desks face a projection screen in a classroom-like environment.

March 19, 2015: Getting the Message Across: Clear Writing Tips with Frances Peck

What: EAC-BC professional development seminar
When: Thursday, March 19, 2015, 8:30 am – 11:30 am
Where: Library Square Conference Centre, 350 West Georgia Street, Vancouver | map

Workplace documents have one goal: to deliver a message quickly and clearly to a particular audience. But too often that message gets buried by weak organization, wordiness, abstract language, jargon, unhelpful design, and other barriers to readability.

This half-day introduction to clear writing shows you how to remove those barriers and build a document that says what it means. We’ll talk about the all-important reader, including the different types of readers and their varying needs. We’ll cover seven practical techniques for making written documents clearer. We’ll finish with a look at how page layout affects readability. (Detailed agenda below.)

The workshop includes short exercises to help you apply what you learn. You’ll also receive a list of recommended resources.

Part one: the blueprint

  1. Introduction to clear writing
    • What it is, what it isn’t
  2. Purpose and objectives
    • What is the document’s aim?
  3. Reader-centred writing
    • Who is your reader?
    • Types of reader and what they need
    • Three reader-centred techniques

Part two: the construction

  1. Use plain words
  2. Use concrete words
  3. Avoid jargon
  4. Put statements in positive form
  5. Trim wordy sentences
  6. Shun passive voice
  7. Highlight verbs

Part three: the design

  1. Hierarchy
  2. Layout
  3. Fonts
  4. Graphics

Frances Peck (West Coast Editorial Associates) is a writer and Honorary Certified Professional Editor who specializes in editing and rewriting for clarity. She has taught for the University of Ottawa, Simon Fraser University, Douglas College, the Editors’ Association of Canada, and countless government and private sector organizations. Frances is the author of Peck’s English Pointers, a collection of articles and quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada, and a co-author of the HyperGrammar website.

Register online now!

Early bird on or before February 19, 2015:
Member: $75 | Non-member: $115

After February 19, 2015:
Member: $85 | Non-member: $130

Registration closes March 11, 2015, at midnight.

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