Skip to main content

Plain Language

Oregon law requires all state agencies to prepare public communications in language that is as clear and simple as possible. Learn more about plain language and find resources to help you meet those requirements.

What is the Plain Language Standard?

Oregon law requires all state agencies to prepare public communications in language that is as clear and simple as possible (ORS 183.750). This includes publications, forms and instructions, licenses, agency notices, and administrative rules. HB 2702 specifies an additional standard for written documents. A document meets the plain language standard if it, whenever possible:

Content Strategy for the Web

If your website content is out of date, off-brand, and out of control, you're missing a huge opportunity to engage, convert, and retain customers online. Redesigning your home page won't help. Investing in a new content management system won't fix it, either. So, where do you start? Content Strategy for the Web explains how to create and deliver useful, usable content for your online audiences, when and where they need it most.

Safari Books Online

1980 - Current

Over 40,000 ebooks, audio books, videos, tutorials and conferences available. View online or download to mobile device. Broad based coverage of technical and business topics featuring top publishers. Coverage includes exclusive online access to OReilly Media materials.

Plain Language in Plain English

420.71 Plain

This book shows you how to write for customers and clients in language that's easy to understand. It is a thorough companion to the writing process, with comprehensive guidance and advice on understanding your readers, planning and creating your text, and presenting your words in a good design.

The Government Manager's Guide to Plain Language

808 Myers

The ability to write well correlates highly with the ability to think well, to analyze information, weigh alternatives, and make decisions. Government managers must make instructions and policies clear to employees, give effective presentations, and communicate effectively with the public. In addition, government managers must model clear, effective writing for their staffs. A comprehensive chapter on using social media effectively and appropriately is included.

Usability in Government Systems

Open government, plain language, accessibility, biometrics, service design, internal vs. external systems, and cross-cultural issues, as well as working with the government, are all covered in this book. Provides practical material that allows you to take the information and immediately use it to make a difference in your projects

Writing Well for Business Success

808.042 Lamb

So much of success in business depends on writing well. From résumés to reports, proposals to presentations, Writing Well for Business Success will help you communicate your ideas clearly, quickly and effectively.

Plain English for Drafting Statutes and Rules

352.80973 Marti

The book begins with a history of the Plain English movement. The text describes the process by which rules and statutes are drafted and passed at the federal, state and local level. There are chapters on rules governing the structure of a bill or regulation. The authors then present specific rules of good drafting, with a variety of examples.

Letting Go of the Words

Web site design and development continues to become more sophisticated. An important part of this maturity originates with well-laid-out and well-written content. Ginny Redish is a world-renowned expert on information design and how to produce clear writing in plain language for the web. All of the invaluable information that she shared in the first edition is included with numerous new examples. New information on content strategy for web sites, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media make this once again the only book you need to own to optimize your writing for the web.

Oxford Guide to Plain English

808.042 Cutts

Plain English is the art of writing clearly, concisely, and in a way that precisely communicates your message to your intended audience. This book consists of 25 practical guidelines helping you to improve your vocabulary, style, grammar, and layout to achieve clear writing.

A division of the State Library of Oregon | 250 Winter Street NE Salem, Oregon 97301 | Monday-Friday 8am-5pm | 503-378-8800 |