011 FW 2
Standards for Format and Text for Service Manual Chapters

Supersedes 011 FW 2, 02/22/10

Date:  August 15, 2016

Series: Service Directives

Part 011: The Fish and Wildlife Service Manual

Originating Office: Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs

 

 

PDF Version


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Topics

Sections

Overview

2.1 What is the purpose of this chapter?

2.2 What are the objectives of this chapter?

2.3 What is the scope of this chapter?

2.4 Who is responsible for writing Service Manual chapters?

Formatting

2.5 How does an author format the text when writing a chapter?

2.6 What questions should the author include in each chapter and in what order?

2.7 How long should a chapter be?

Tips for Writing

2.8 What are some tips for writing good chapters?

2.9 What plain language principles does the Service use when writing a chapter?

2.10 What style manual does the Service use for capitalization, punctuation, and spelling rules?

Exhibits, Handbooks, and Amendments

2.11 What is an exhibit?

2.12 What if the author wants to include technical and detailed instructions that are too specific or too long to put into a chapter?

2.13 How does the author write and format amendments to chapters?

Clearance

2.14 What are the requirements for review and clearance of Service Manual chapters?

 

OVERVIEW

2.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter provides U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) employees with the information they need to write consistent, clear Service Manual chapters.

 

2.2 What are the objectives of this chapter? Service employees will use this chapter to:

 

A. Properly format chapters for the Fish and Wildlife Service Manual,

 

B. Include the appropriate elements in the chapters they write, and

 

C. Write chapters using plain language principles so they are clear and easy to read.

 

2.3 What is the scope of this chapter? This chapter is applicable to all national policy written for the Fish and Wildlife Service Manual.

 

2.4 Who is responsible for writing Service Manual chapters? See Table 2-1.

 

Table 2-1: Responsibilities for Writing Service Manual Chapters

These employees…

Are responsible for…

A. The Director

Approving or declining to approve Servicewide policy.

B. The Assistant Director – Budget, Planning and Human Capital

Overseeing Service directives.

 

C. Regional Directors

Reviewing draft chapters and providing program offices with comments (see 011 FW 3 for more information).

D. The Chief, Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs (PPM)

(1) Ensuring that Service Manual chapters are easy to read,

 

(2) Working with program offices to develop and manage chapters, and

 

(3) Publishing Service Manual chapters online after the Director approves them.

E. The Chief, Division of the Program Writing the Chapter

(1) Working with PPM to develop the chapter,

 

(2) Sending the draft chapter through the Director to the Directorate for review and comment (see 011 FW 3),

 

(3) Incorporating comments from the Directorate and preparing a final chapter for surname, and

 

(4) Keeping the chapter up-to-date.

 

FORMATTING

 

2.5 How does an author format the text when writing a chapter? Exhibit 1 is a Microsoft Word template that you can use when writing a chapter. You are responsible for very little formatting because PPM will reformat the chapter for publication. Following are guidelines for formatting your chapter:

 

A. Use a table of contents. It orients readers by giving them an overview of the organization of the chapter, and it helps them to find specific information.

 

B. Use a standard, one column format with single spacing. Use two lines between paragraphs.

 

C. Assign a number or letter to every paragraph so that readers can refer to them by letter or number. Follow the standard format shown in Figure 2-1 below:

 

 

Figure 2-1: Format for Numbering Paragraphs
 
2.1 Put major paragraphs in the form of a question. Make the question bold. The first section of Chapter 2 is “2.1.” You can answer the question right after you ask it, or you can break your answer down into understandable subsections, if appropriate.
 
A. The first subsection is A. Use a capital letter for the first subsections. Do not tab. Make the capital letter bold.
 
B. If you use a subsection A, then you need a B.
 
C. Continue with capital letters as necessary.
 
(1) If you need to break down the first level subsection to another level, identify the second level by an Arabic numeral in parentheses. Do not tab. Make the numeral and parentheses bold.
 
              (a) If you need to break down subsection (1), identify the third level by a lower case letter in 	parentheses. Tab once. Make the letter and parentheses bold.
 
              (b) If you use an (a), then you need a (b).
 
                             (i) If you use a fourth subdivision, like this example, identify it by a lower case Roman 			numeral in parentheses. Tab twice. Make the numeral and the parentheses 				bold.                                            
                             (ii) If you use an (i), then you need a (ii).
 
(2) If you use a (1), then you need a (2).


2.6 What questions should the author include in each chapter and in what order? Figure 2-2 below is a list of the questions that you should include in the chapter if they are applicable. We show them in the order in which we recommend that you include them. Exhibit 1, the chapter template, also lists these questions. You may leave out questions that are not applicable or do not fit well into the organization of the chapter you are writing.

 

 

 

Figure 2-2: List of Questions to Include

2.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This question should be in every chapter. You describe the reason you are writing the chapter.

2.2 What is the overall policy? or What are the objectives of this chapter? If you use this question, you should follow this with an overview of the policy or a list of the objectives of the policy. 

2.3 What is the scope of this chapter? This question should be in every chapter. It is about to whom or what the policy covers.

2.4 What are the authorities for this chapter? This question is applicable if a policy is derived from a specific law or Presidential, Secretarial, or Executive agency directive. You must then list the authorizing law(s), directive(s), etc. Do not interpret the authorites—just list them. For example:

A. National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321–4347).

B. Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Requirements of NEPA (40 CFR 1500–1508).

C. 516 Departmental Manual (DM) 1–4, National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.

2.5 What terms do you need to know to understand this chapter? Only use this question if you have several technical terms that you need to define. We prefer that you define a term the first time you use it. You follow this question with a list of terms and their definitions, or you may choose to use a table or an exhibit if you have a lot of terms to define (see Exhibit 1 for guidance). Do not define terms that you do not use elsewhere in the chapter or common terms or words unless you use them in an unusual manner. 

2.6 Who is responsible for (insert policy name)? If the chapter establishes responsibilities for managers, offices, and staff, you include this question. You follow the question with a table listing the positions responsible for carrying out all or parts of the policy.

2.7 What questions will people ask that help them to understand the policy? From this point on, you write questions that describe the policy and procedures associated with the policy.


 

2.7 How long should a chapter be? Try to limit the length of chapters to fewer than five or six pages. If your chapter is longer than six pages, you should consider breaking it up into more than one chapter or using exhibits for illustrations or examples (see section 2.11).

 

TIPS FOR WRITING

 

2.8 What are some tips for writing good chapters?

 

A. First, consult with PPM and any other affected offices or divisions to see if they can contribute to the process.

 

B. Check other Service Manual chapters, Director’s Orders, and handbooks to be sure your chapter does not contradict or duplicate them.

 

C. Use plain language (see section 2.9 below for more information).

 

D. Check your facts and make sure your information is accurate.

 

E. When you are listing laws or other policies in the authorities section of your chapter, be sure to check your references to make sure the citations are accurate and in the proper format.

 

F. Identify any forms that are part of the policy. PPM can help you determine how to develop and use forms with your policy.

 

G. If your chapter replaces an existing chapter or supersedes a part of a chapter or a Director’s Order, be sure to indicate that by typing, “Supersedes XYZ, dated MM/DD/YYYY” on the top of the chapter (see Exhibit 1, the template for writing chapters).

 

H. A chapter is a Service policy. It does not take the place of proposing a regulation. Do not write a Service Manual chapter instead of proposing a regulation.

 

2.9 What plain language principles does the Service use when writing a chapter?

 

A. Exhibit 3 provides tips and techniques for writing clear, easy-to-understand chapters.

 

B. You may also read 116 FW 1, the Service’s chapter on plain language.  

 

C. The PPM staff member who edits and publishes Service Manual chapters can help you with plain language questions.

 

2.10 What style manual does the Service use for capitalization, punctuation, and spelling rules? We use the U.S. Government Printing Office Style Manual, which is available on the Internet and in hard copy.

 

EXHIBITS, HANDBOOKS, AND AMENDMENTS

 

2.11 What is an exhibit? Typical exhibits include glossaries, examples, illustrations, supplementary reports, templates, and organizational or flow charts.

 

A. Numbering Exhibits. Number exhibits consecutively in the order in which you mention them in the text of the chapter. Identify them by part and chapter number in the upper right corner of the document. For example:

                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                   Exhibit 1

                                                                                                                   011 FW 2

B. Page Numbers on Exhibits. When an exhibit is more than one page, number each page consecutively in the upper right corner. For example:

 

                                                                                                                   Exhibit 1

                                                                                                                   011 FW 2

                                                                                                                   Page 1 of 3

 

2.12 What if the author wants to include technical and detailed instructions that are too specific or too long to put into a chapter? You can develop a handbook to accompany a chapter (see 011 FW 4). Reference the handbook in the chapter. You must submit the handbook for review when the authorizing chapter is going through the review and surname process.

 

2.13 How does the author write and format amendments to chapters? If you want to make a minor change or update a chapter, and it does not require an extensive revision, then you can amend the chapter.

 

A. To amend the chapter, you:

 

(1) Prepare an amendment to the chapter using the amendment format shown in Exhibit 4. The amendment must include a brief description of its purpose and a clear explanation of what you are changing or adding.

 

(2) Prepare a surname package as described in 011 FW 3.

 

B. We recommend that you do not amend a chapter more than once or twice. If you must change the chapter again, it is better to revise the entire chapter.

 

CLEARANCE

2.14 What are the requirements for review and clearance of Service Manual chapters? See 011 FW 3 for these requirements.

 

 

For more information about this policy, contact Krista Bibb in the Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs.

 

 

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