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Editorial Help Desk:
Your Resource for Grammar and MCPS Style


Word of the Month


1. Pretentious, fancy.

2. Expressed in or marked by the use of language that is elaborated or heightened by artificial or empty means. Synonym: Pompous, giving a highfalutin speech.


Tip of the Month

Design Your Message

Part of getting your message across to your audience successfully is designing your communication. The visual appearance is just as important as the content. It may make or break your efforts to communicate your message.

  1. Use plain language. A communication is in plain language if its wording, structure, and design are so clear that the intended audience can easily find what they need, understand what they find, and use that information.                       International Plain Language Federation  
  2. Consider your layout. Make sure you have plenty of white space to help separate your content into groups of information. White space also gives the appearance of calmness and simplicity, as opposed to crowded chaos.
  3. Use a font that is simple and make it a size that is easy for your audience to read. Times Roman and Arial (11 or 12 point) are popular.
  4. Start with a call to action for your readers and use succinct, useful headings to separate information and help readers navigate the content.
  5. Use bullets and numbering to help make your information easy to follow.
  6. Do not be afraid to use tables, charts, and photographs to simplify your information and make it appealing.

It's all about getting your audience to engage in the document and get the information they need from it. It's also about getting them to respond to your call to action.

Learn more at the Editorial Summit, November 8, 9 a.m. to 12 noon, CESC auditorium.

Contact Donna M. Marks on Outlook or call 301-517-8139.

Get the new MCPS Acronyms  

Learn to decipher the alphabet soup! Look it up in MCPS Acronyms

Do you know the difference between an ELT and an EMT, between FLS and FLES? Keep this reference on hand and you'll never get lost in jargon.

MCPS Acronyms (PDF)

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Correspondence Manual 2016

Learn to prepare memoranda, letters, and other documents in a consistent format. See the updated examples of memoranda and letters. Refresh your knowledge of e-mail etiquette and more.

Montgomery County Public Schools Interactive Correspondence Manual

Editorial Stylebook

You've got to have style! Get the interactive Editorial Stylebook

Present your message in a clear, consistent, and professional manner. Learn some basic style rules to save time and improve your documents.

Montgomery County Public Schools Interactive Editorial Stylebook

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