Plain Language Exercises

Material adapted from the PLAIN language training website at http://www.plainlanguage.gov/resources/for_trainers/PLAIN.cfm.

Nouns and Pronouns

Rewrite the following passages to speak more directly to the reader.

1. Copies of tax returns must be provided.

You must provide a copy of your tax return.

2. Loan applications will be reviewed to ensure that procedures have been followed.

Your loan application will be reviewed to ensure that all procedures have been followed.

3. Dietary patterns consistent with recommended dietary guidance are associated with a lower risk of mortality among individuals age 45 years and older in the United States.

Individuals 45 years and older in the US who’s dietary patterns are consistent with recommended dietary guidance have a lower risk of mortality. 

4. The applicant will be the primary source of information regarding his or her circumstances for the purposes of determining eligibility and need.

For the purposes of determining eligibility and need, you will be the primary source of information regarding your circumstances.

5. To establish eligibility for a voucher, an applicant must show that the applicant has a low income and that the present housing of the applicant is substandard and inadequate.

In order to be eligible for a voucher, you must show that you have a low and income and that your present housing is substandard and inadequate.

6. Easy access to information and resources concerning long-term care issues for seniors and the disabled has been made available on a new website developed by the County Department of Community and Senior Services

The County Department of Community and Senior Services’ new website provides easy access to information and resources concerning long-term care issues for seniors and the disabled.

Pronouns and Active Voice

Use pronouns, active voice, and any other technique to improve these passages. You may have to invent a subject for some of the sentences.

1. The scientific report was used to develop the Dietary Guidelines jointly between the two Departments and forms the basis of recommendations that will be used by USDA and HHS for program and policy development.

The USDA and HHS used the scientific report to jointly develop the Dietary Guidelines and inform program and policy development. 

2. Consumer messages have been developed to educate the public about the Key Recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines and will be used in materials targeted for consumers separate from this publication.

The departments developed targeted consumer messages separate from this publication to educate the public about Key Recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines. 

3. Recently, it was reported that dietary patterns consistent with recommended dietary guidance were associated with a lower risk of mortality among individuals age 45 years and older in the United States.

The USDA and HHS recently reported that individuals 45 years and older in the US who’s dietary patterns were consistent with the dietary guidance recommendations had a lower risk of mortality.

4. These two similar eating patterns are designed to integrate dietary recommendations into a healthy way to eat and are used in the Dietary Guidelines to provide examples of how nutrient-focused recommendations can be expressed in terms of food choices.

The Dietary Guidelines use these two similar eating patterns to integrate dietary recommendations with a healthy way of eating and to provide examples of how nutrient-focused recommendations can be expressed in terms of food choices. 

Sentences and Paragraphs Exercise

Rewrite the following sentences to improve them. Break them into multiple sentences if that’s the best solution.

1. Applicants may be granted a permit to prospect for geothermal resources on any federal lands except lands in the National Park System, unless the applicant holds valid existing rights to the geothermal resources on the National Park System lands listed in the application.

You must be granted a permit in order to prospect for geothermal resources on any federal lands except those in the National Park System.  You may prospect for geothermal resources on lands in the National Park System, if and only if, you hold valid existing rights to the geothermal resources on those lands and this is annotated in your application. 

2. The initiative works to educate specific underserved communities to recognize and report intolerance and hate crimes, to assist victims in accessing culturally and linguistically appropriate services, and to advocate on behalf of victims for institutional changes that can reduce hate crimes.

This initiative works to reduce hate crimes by educating specific underserved communities to recognize and report intolerance and hate crimes, assist victims in accessing culturally and linguistically appropriate services, and advocate on behalf of victims for institutional change. 

3. In most cases, your California Small Business certification or Non-Profit registration will be completed online in one business day or less when you have at hand the necessary information from your tax returns and business documents to enter into the online system.

If you have all the necessary information from you tax returns and business documents you can complete the online registration for your California Small Business or Non-Profit Certification in one business day or less. 

4. No approval of any noise compatibility program, or any portion of a program, may be implied in the absence of the agency’s express approval.

The agency must formally approve any noise compatibility program. 

Paragraph Rewrite

Rewrite the following using the provided guidelines.

 

(3) Travel restrictions. The operation of a motor vehicle on oversand routes is subject to all applicable provisions of this chapter, including part 4 as well as the specific provisions of this section.

Oversand Vehicle Guidelines.  The operation of a motor vehicle on oversand routes is subject to all applicable provisions in this chapter.

(i)             Route limits.

What is a route?

(a) On the beach, a vehicle operator will drive in a corridor extending from a point 10 feet seaward of the spring high tide drift line to the berm crest. An operator may drive below the berm crest only to pass a temporary cut in the beach, but will regain the crest immediately following the cut. Delineator posts mark the landward side of the corridor in critical areas.

On the beach, you can only drive in a corridor extending10 feet seaward from the spring high tide drift line to the berm crest.  You can drive below the berm crest only to pass a temporary cut in the beach and must regain the crest immediately after the cut.  Posts mark the landward side of the corridor in critical areas.

(b) On an inland oversand route, a vehicle operator will drive only in a lane designated by pairs of delineator posts showing the sides of the route.

On an inland oversand route, you may only drive in a lane designated by the posts.

(ii) An oversand route is closed at any time that tides, nesting birds or surface configuration prevent vehicle travel within the designated corridor.

Oversand routes will be closed any time that tides, nesting birds, or surface configuration are present in the corridor.

(iii) When two vehicles meet on the beach, the operator of the vehicle with the water on the left will yield.

When two vehicles meet, the vehicle with the water on their left must yield.

(iv) When two vehicles meet on a single-lane oversand route, the operator of the vehicle in the best position to yield will pull out of the track only so far as necessary to allow the other vehicle to pass safely, and then will move back into the established track before resuming the original direction of travel.

When two vehicles meet on a single-lane oversand route, the vehicle in the best position to yield will do so only enough to allow the other vehicle to pass safely.  Once the other vehicle has passed, the vehicle that yielded can move back into the track and continue its course.

(v) When the process of freeing a vehicle that has been stuck results in ruts or holes, the operator will fill the ruts or holes created by such activity before removing the vehicle from the immediate area.

Vehicle operators must fill any holes or ruts created by their vehicle before leaving the immediate area.

(vi) The Following are Prohibited

Prohibitions

(a) Driving off a designated oversand route.

You may not drive off a designated oversand route.

(b) Exceeding a speed of 15 miles per hour unless posted otherwise.

You may not exceed 15 miles per hour unless posted otherwise.

(c) Parking a vehicle in an oversand route so as to obstruct traffic.

You may not park a vehicle on an oversand route if it obstructs traffic.

(d) Riding on a fender, tailgate, roof, door or any other location on the outside of a vehicle.

You must ride sitting completely inside of your vehicle.

(e) Driving a vehicle across a designated swimming beach at any time when it is posted with a sign prohibiting vehicles.

You may not drive a vehicle across a designated swimming beach.

(f) Operating a motorcycle on an oversand route.

You may never operate a motorcycle on an oversand route.

(vii) Boat trailering and launching by permitted ORVs in designated open route corridors is permitted.

You may only trailer and launch boats with permitted ORVs in designated areas.

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