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Clear English at Work – how to improve your writing and be more effective at work

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Last month, I wrote a piece for the Government Digital Service blog on the evidence that shows how clear English can help us all to be more effective in our work.

Since then I’ve had lots of people ask to see the online training resources I mentioned.  Well, even though some are still a work in progress (please tell me if you spot any errors!), I thought I’d share what I’ve got.  They will soon have a permanent home on the Department of Health’s intranet and I’m looking into the best way we can store them publicly too.

One thing I hate doing is reinventing wheels.  So some things, like the Department of Health writing style guide, are variations of documents developed elsewhere (thanks to the Department for Education and the GDS Style-guide), or are links to excellent websites which already do the job brilliantly.  Others, such as the videos, I’ve made myself.

I hope you find them useful.  I’d really love to know what you think of them, how they could be improved and what else you’d find useful.  If you have your own resources, please share them.  If we all work together I think we can start to make a big difference in the way we civil servants write.


Quizzes and exercises:


These are a work in progress and need a little re-editing.  For example, they are called ‘Plain English at work’ rather than ‘Clear English at work’, but the content is good.  I’ve also drafted reminders and some quick quizzes – or linked to pre-existing online tests.

There are more videos on the way.  These are the ones I'm currently working on but there should be more to follow:

  • Clear English: The evidence
  • What is Clear English?
  • Writing for your reader
  • Testing your work
  • How to use

Online resources:

Mark Morris is a former speechwriter and Head of Clear English at the Department of Health.  He can be reached at or @ClearEnglishGuy.

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