In Write Smart I, II,orIII, we can address your general writing needs or focus on one of the following specific areas:
Plain writing techniques for general information (letters, memos, e-mail messages)
Reports (IG, IT, EEO, audit, investigative, white papers)
Editing (GPO Style, AP Style, Chicago Manual Style, MLA Style, APA Style, Blue Book)
Technical and scientific Writing
Plain English for lawyers (briefs, regulations, judicial decisions)
Newsletters, advertising, PR
Articles for publication
Write Smart I
Fundamentals of Plain Writing
How do skilled professional writers and editors apply the fundamentals of grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation to express ideas clearly and concisely? In this intensive 6-hour program (two 3-hour classes), you will learn ways to produce reader-friendly documents — and how to catch embarrassing grammar goofs that may undermine confidence in your credibility.
Write Smart offers seven programs designed to meet the needs of your organization — on-site or online!
Write Smart Workshops —a series of2-hourclasses
One-on-One Coaching: Writing or Editing
Convenient, Practical Online Training (via WebEx)
Includes 10 hours of individualized instruction, the 240-page Write Smart eBook,
and access to online training tools.
Write Smart Workshops
Ongoing Writing and Editing Training
Online only — a continuing series of 2-hour classes for people who have completed Write Smart I, II, or III.
Write Smart II
Advanced Plain Writing Techniques
Write Smart III — an 18-hour program
• Applying the “smart = simple” rule: how to deliver information in language that
people can understand easily and respond to promptly.
• Relying on the sentence patterns that most professional writers and editors use
most of the time. (Generally speaking, shorter sentences are smarter sentences.)
• Spotting the little problems — subject-verb agreement, correct use of pronouns,
and other careless grammatical errors — that will undermine confidence in your
• Using the right word: a review of the 100 most frequently misused words — who vs.
whom, which vs. that, its vs. it’s, affect vs. effect, insure vs. ensure, infer vs. imply, etc.
• Understanding why action verbs make your sentences direct and interesting, while
cumbersome passive verbs usually produce sentences that are longer and blander.
Passive: It was stated by the investigator that misleading information was provided
by the contractor.
Active: The investigator stated that the contractor provided misleading information.
• Applying consistent, time-tested, professional punctuation techniques vs. “put a
comma where you hear a pause.” (What if the reader doesn’t hear the pauses
• Understanding when to use colons, semicolons, dashes, hyphens, and parentheses.
• Sharpening writing and proofreading skills: solving “GrammaText ® Puzzles” to catch
common errors that your computer’s spell-check and grammar-check will miss.
>> Includes the 240-page Write Smart eBook — plus access to web-based audio
training tools and GrammaText ® word puzzles.
This 12-hour program covers all of the material in Write Smart I plus 21st century English usage and style. Good writers know how to present ideas in a way that sparks the reader’s interest, commands attention, and earns respect. We’ll address the problems of how to present ideas in logically developed paragraphs and how to organize paragraphs into a coherent, engaging narrative. Topics include:
• Getting to the point.
• Holding the reader’s interest.
• Putting the right words in the right place: mastering the tricks of English syntax.
• Dealing with one idea at a time — more than one will confuse the reader.
• Knowing which so-called “rules” of English aren’t rules at all — and never were.
• Using key transitional words to tie ideas together.
• Overcoming the tendency to write sentences that follow the typical . . . blah, blah,
• Framing your message in a simple, unifying structure that gives the reader a clear
sense of direction and continuity.
• Shaping the message to fit the reader: writing from the reader’s point of view.
• Understanding when to use parallel construction.
• Making sure that the information sounds as if it’s coming from a real, live human
being, not from an impersonal bureaucracy.
Canned: Further notification will be forwarded in the near future.
Human: We will send you the results next week.
• Correcting the problem of “gender-specific” language without resorting to the
awkward s/he, he/she, or his/her forms.
• Editing your second draft carefully — so that people at the next level won’t have
to waste time doing it all over again.
>> Includes the 240-page Write Smart eBook and a review of job-related writing
samples — plus access to web-based audio training tools and GrammaText ®
Write Smart III
Developing a Polished, Professional Style
Why is the typical magazine article easy to follow, while so many government documents are tedious and muddled? In the Age of the Internet, the ability to translate ideas into lean, clean English sentences — quickly and professionally — will often make the difference between success or failure, for organizations and individuals alike.
In this lively, interactive 18-hour program, we’ll go beyond clear, concise, and correct. After a review of the material in Write Smart I & II, the emphasis will be on techniques that help you write persuasively — techniques they don’t teach you in high school and college. We’ll spend most of our time discussing and editing on-the-job writing samplesprovided by the participants or the agency. Topics include:
• Acquiring good writing habits.
• Eliminating ambiguous language that may lead to costly misunderstandings.
• Cutting the message down to size: overcoming the tendency to indulge in log- winded
explanations that will bore the reader.
• Achieving a natural, conversational tone.
• Communicating successfully with people at different levels within the organization.
• Getting your point across with straightforward, reader-friendly language, not stale
jargon or official-sounding phrases.
Stale: Due to an extended seasonal deficiency in precipitation, the subject biota
experienced a mortality rate of 100 percent.
Plain: A long summer drought killed all the plants.
• Mapping the message: when will bullets and graphics help — and when will
• Coming up with strong introductions and solid conclusions.
• Writing and editing effectively under pressure: shortcuts to help you get the job
done — on time!
• Making every word count.
>> Includes the 240-page Write Smart eBook and the 26-page Write Smart Editorial
Checklist — plus access to web-based audio training tools and GrammaText ® word
puzzles. Heavy emphasis on reviewing and editing writing samples provided by the participants or the organization.
"Broadly speaking, the short words are the best… "
– Winston Churchill
Introduction to Write Smart
Writing and Editing Your Rough Draft
This introduction to the "plain writing" techniques used by America’s best professional writers and editors includes the 240-page Write Smart eBook plus a 90-minute online class. You will learn how to a) deliver ideas in sentences that people will pay attention to; b) organize without outlining; and c) spot and correct common errors quickly. The Write Smart eBook covers everything — from the fundamentals of grammar and punctuation to the finer points of organization and style.