Learn how to make your writing as effective as possible
This practical plain language writing course is taught by a former Sydney Morning Herald editor who has helped a wide range of organisations use plain language – from government departments and universities to law, real estate and financial firms.
Customised staff training is available as well as a self-paced online writing masterclass that can be paired with optional one-on-one Zoom sessions.
What does this plain language writing course cover?
This course will teach you how to:
- think about what the reader needs to know
- plan what you need to write
- clarify your core message
- use short sentences to make your writing easier to read
- set the right tone for your audience
- use strong verbs
- write in the active voice
- use positive language
- use plain English without dumbing your writing down (even when explaining complex issues)
- cut your own copy
- format your writing to make it easier to scan
- write in the inverted pyramid style
- proofread like a pro
- avoid common punctuation and grammatical mistakes.
This is a lively, interactive writing course with plenty of exercises.
Staff training – help your team write with clarity
This course can be customised to suit you and your staff, whether they work in customer service, HR or management.
I’ll take the time to become familiar with your content and can even create exercises and examples from it.Ask about staff training
Writing Essentials online masterclass
If you want to study at your own pace, whenever and wherever you want, then the online Writing Essentials course is for you.
It’s equivalent to a full-day course, with six sessions that each take between 45 minutes to an hour and a half.
You will receive:
- a handbook filled with writing tips, as well as a certificate (both given as a PDF)
- unlimited access so you can repeat the course as many times as you want.
You can also arrange an optional one-on-one Zoom session for an additional $180 (plus GST) per hour if you’d like to ask questions, get feedback or work on your own writing.Find out more about the Writing Essentials course
What’s the difference between plain English and plain language?
Although it’s common to use the two terms interchangeably, some people (including the Australian government) like to differentiate them by saying that:
- plain English is about using the simplest language possible
- plain language is about making sure people can find what they need, understand it (such as by using simpler language when appropriate) and then be able to act on it.
There’s a large amount of crossover between the two terms – but plain language is increasingly being used as its considered a broader term that encompasses far more than just plain English.
Who’s teaching this plain language writing course?
I’m a former Sydney Morning Herald editor and UTS lecturer with over 25 years of writing and teaching experience.
Over the past decade I’ve taught plain language writing to a wide range of staff across every industry, from politics and law to finance, health and education. I know how crucial using plain English is in the workplace and I’m passionate about inspiring others to feel the same way.
- "I've done a few writing workshops in my career and this was the best."Tara D'Souza – ACCAN
- "It was a really useful workshop. It helps you think about how you write and the words you use. I learnt a lot about the importance of using plain and everyday language. I will definitely be using what I have learnt in my job."Paige Wall – Australian Super
- "This workshop has helped me to develop a clear understanding of grammar, punctuation and copy. I've learnt about common mistakes I've been making for years – I won't now. The practice and activities helped to put it into action and I can't wait to get back to work with these skills. Thank you!"Annie Waterworth
- "Great content and very helpful to everyone. The way you engaged everyone made them feel happy to contribute and easily get responses."Amanda Manwaring – Department of of Transport and Main Roads
- "Really good refresher workshop. Helped to clarify often-made grammatical errors and simplify concise writing habits."Rebecca Sands – Knight Frank
- "Thanks Dan. Great information, useful tips and lots of content in the handbook, which is a great resource. I've learnt a lot of things I'm either doing wrong or could do much better!"Jenny McDonagh
- "I am taking away a lot from this workshop: making more use of strong verbs, frontloading and writing short sentences. Thank you very much. Very enjoyable and a rich writing essentials booklet to study."Siobhan Steven
- "Dan was an engaging presenter and answered all questions well. The exercises were extremely helpful in understanding the content."Lurline Byles – Department of Fire and Emergency Services
- "I learnt so much from this workshop. Your teaching style and passion for writing is inspiring. Thank you."Peter Emptage
- "I was really impressed with the course and the delivery was both entertaining and engaging. We covered a lot of ground."Ewan Richmond – Yarra City Council