A Plain English Handbook: How to create clear SEC disclosure documents

Read by MaryAnn

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The Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Act) is intended to make it easy for the public to understand government documents. The SEC, like other federal agencies, must write documents in plain writing, defined under the Act as writing that is "clear, concise, well-organized, and follows other best practices appropriate to the subject or field or audience." Starting in October 2011, the Act requires us to write new and substantially revised documents in plain language using the Federal Plain Language Guidelines.

As a disclosure agency, the SEC is committed to communicating with investors in easily understandable language. In 1998, the SEC published a guide, A Plain English Handbook: How to Create Clear SEC Disclosure Documents, showing securities lawyers and companies ways to reduce legalese. (Summary by the SEC)

Reader Note: The examples in Chapter 7 - Designing the Document convey visual information. Please refer to the e-text to see these examples. (1 hr 29 min)


Acknowledgements, Preface, Introduction 8:04 Read by MaryAnn
Chapters 1-5 15:03 Read by MaryAnn
Chapter 6 33:53 Read by MaryAnn
Chapter 7 22:58 Read by MaryAnn
Chapters 8-12 9:49 Read by MaryAnn