Writing with Clarity


Target Audience:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other DOI employees who are responsible for writing technical, regulatory, or planning documents.

Summary and Objectives:

When asked about their writing process, the most common description people give is "it takes me a while to get started, but once I figure out what to say, I'm pretty good." Unfortunately, that is not a viable strategy for managing long-term, lengthy, or complex projects. And the notion that one day you're going to get a large block of time to gather your thoughts quietly, alone in a conference room, free from distractions is unrealistic. You need a plan that will allow you to tackle any writing project at any time of day in small, focused stages. Most of us are so anxious to produce something that resembles a finished product, we start generating sentences and paragraphs before we even know what we want to say. When we do so, we create conflict between the creative, problem-solving, idea-discovering right side of our brain, and the logical, analytical, language-using left side of our brain. That's why we feel stuck. We're pitting the two halves of our brain against one another. And that's exactly where the solution resides: in allowing each side of our brain to work independently without interference or judgment, in a process known as the Writing Cycle.

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Start writing with a sense of purpose in harmony with your agency's mission statement and the specific needs of the document and its audiences.
  • Have the confidence to approach any stage of the writing process with a set of tools that will allow effective, efficient completion of the task.
  • Write documents that are logically organized and well-developed, with precise diction, strong topic sentences, and clear transitions.
  • Work successfully with reviewers to move a document through the chain of approval to successful publication.

Competency Addressed:

Communication - Intermediate, Communicating Science - Intermediate, Written Communication - Intermediate

Course Short Name
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12 hours
Training Credit Hours
Semester Hours

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