This handbook shows how you can use well-established techniques for writing in plain English to create clearer and more informative disclosure documents. We are publishing this handbook only for your general information. Of course, when drafting a document for filing with the SEC, you must make sure it meets all legal requirements.
This handbook reflects the work, ideas, and generosity of many individuals and organizations at the SEC and in the private sector.
At the SEC, staff in the Divisions of Corporation Finance andInvestment Management, the Offices of Public Affairs and General
Corporate officials and lawyers enthusiastically helped us to breathe life into our plain English initiatives and this handbook. The Society
of Corporate Secretaries, the American Bar Association, and The Bond Market Association invited us to conduct workshops where we tested
much of the information in the handbook.
Chapter 1 - What Is a “Plain English” Document?
Chapter 2 - Getting Started
Chapter 3 - Knowing Your Audience
Chapter 4 - Knowing the Information You Need to Disclose
Chapter 5 - Reorganizing the Document
Chapter 6 - Writing in Plain English
Chapter 7 - Designing the Document
Chapter 8 - Time-Saving Tips
Chapter 9 - Using Readability Formulas and Style Checkers
Chapter 10 - Evaluating the Document
Chapter 11 - Reading List
Chapter 12 - Keeping in Touch with Us
Appendix A - Plain English at a Glance
The SEC’s Plain English Rules—an Excerpt
Appendix B - Plain English Examples
“Before” and “After” Filings with Notes