Office of the Federal Register (OFR)

Plain Language Tools

We strongly encourage all agencies to write regulations in plain language.  Even though the Plain Writing Act of 2010 and M-11-15 (OMB's Final Guidance on Implementing the Act)don't cover regulations, three separate Executive Orders do: E.O. 12866E.O. 12988, and E.O. 13563.

Unfortunately, not all principles of plain language are available when drafting a Federal Register document, so consult the Document Drafting Handbook in addition to the Federal Plain Language Guidelines.

Tips, Tools, Webinars, Trainings, Checklists, and Guides

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Plain Writing page includes: NARA Style Guide, Checklist, Tips, Toolkit for Managers and Supervisors, Webinars, and annual compliance reports.

Federal Law and its Requirements (10/2021 presentation to National Association of Administrative Law Judge's annual conference): PDF and PPTX

Remember the two exceptions to using the Federal Plain Language Guidelines (in this order):

  • if you are drafting a Federal Register document and they conflict with the GPO Style Manual, use the GPO Style Manual
  • If they conflict with your agency's style guide, follow your agency's guide.

Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN) aka the home of the Federal Plain Language Guidelines, free Federal agency half-day training, examples, templates, tips, and checklists