“This Meeting Could Have Been an Email”


For more tips and resources on how plain language can strengthen communication, both inside and outside your organization, check out the information below from Kate Goggin, a communications consultant to the federal government.

Kate Goggin’s List of Quick and Easy Plain Language Resources
  • While training your workforce is the best long-term strategy for plain language adoption, using AI or online applications can often be your best short-term strategy. I recommend the following options that edit for plain language in real time*:
    • https://hemingwayapp.com/
    • Microsoft Word advanced editing options: To set up Word for plain language editing, you must change the proofing settings:
      • Choose File > More > Options
      • Within Options, choose Proofing > Grammar and Refinement > Settings
      • Within Grammar and Refinements, you will find over 150 checks that include plain language points such as:
        • passive voice
        • jargon
        • wordiness
        • long sentences
        • unnecessary adverbs
        • subject/verb agreement
        • redundancies
      • Select desired options and press “ok.”
    • I do not recommend ChatGPT or Pi AI for plain language editing. They cannot and do not edit for purpose, message, audience or tone. Pi AI is known to add grammar and punctuation errors and drop citations from its rewrites.
    • Bookmark an easy checklist to apply plain language.
    • Use the Federal Plain Language Guidelines for simple instructions on how to apply plain language principles.

*Kate receives no compensation from any company for her editing software recommendations.

Justification Resources for Plain Language Training