When government writers use plain language, the audience finds what it needs, understands what it finds, and uses what it finds to meet its needs. State agencies are encouraged to use the resources posted below to promote use of plain language to meet the
General Questions: State employees should contact their agency’s communications or public information office for guidance on the use of plain language.
Department of Administrative Services
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:
Uses everyday words that convey meanings clearly and directly
Uses the present tense and the active voice
Uses short, simple sentences
Defines only those words that cannot be properly explained or qualified in the text
Uses type of a readable size
Uses layout and spacing that separate the paragraphs and sections of the document from each other