The Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN) is a group of federal employees from many different agencies and specialties who support the use of clear communication in government writing. We develop and maintain the content of this site.
The Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN)
Originally called the Plain English Network, PLAIN has been meeting informally since the mid 1990s. Our goal is to promote the use of plain language for all government communications. We believe that using plain language will save federal agencies time and money and provide better service to the American public.
We meet monthly to discuss plain language issues. Our meetings are open to all federal employees. See our meetings section for information on attending a future meeting.
To promote plain language, we
- offer limited editing services to all federal agencies
- sponsor occasional seminars about plain language
- comment on agency documents, especially regulations
- offer a short half day introduction to plain language and writing for the web free of charge to any federal agency
Please contact us if:
- we can help your agency with plain language issues
- you want us to present a half day training program at your agency
- you want to join PLAIN
Amy Bunk, Director of Legal Affairs and Policy, Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration
Kathryn Catania, Chief, Plain Language and Content Division, Office of Communication, US Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security
Miriam Vincent, Staff Attorney, Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration.
About Our Site
PLAIN launched our original site in 1994. We redesigned plainlanguage.gov in 2004 with volunteers from PLAIN and student work facilitated by Thom Haller, writing and information architecture instructor. Read Thom Haller's article about this process.
Students gathered information on audiences, evaluated content based on what we learned audiences would want to do, categorized and grouped content, tested structure and usability of the site, and built the site to respond to user needs. This process, and documents related to site development, can be found at the instructor’s site. www.infodn.com/structure/gecko.html.external link
The Plain Language Action and Information Network continues to monitor and improve the site. Feel free to provide feedback on the site.