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Plain Writing at NEH

The Plain Writing Act of 2010 requires federal agencies to write “clear Government communication that the public can understand and use.” President Obama also emphasized the importance of establishing “a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration” in his January 21, 2009, Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is committed to writing documents in plain language, using the Federal Plain Language Guidelines.

We need your help to comply with the act. Let us know if you have trouble understanding our documents or the pages on our website.

Chief Guidelines Officer Joel Schwartz is responsible for overseeing our plain language efforts. If you wish to communicate with the National Endowment for the Humanities about the clarity of its documents, please send an e-mail message to Joel at

We aim to ensure that you—the reader—will benefit from our products and services. To this end, we intend to use plain language in any document that

  • is necessary for obtaining any federal government benefit or service;
  • provides information about any federal government benefit or service; or
  • explains to the public how to comply with a requirement that the federal government administers or enforces.

Please let us know if we haven’t written a document in plain language.

As mentioned above, we invite your help in ensuring that our information is clear and accessible to our readers. Please let us know if you find any of our documents or web pages hard to understand, by sending an e-mail message to Be sure to give the title of the publication or URL if you’re referring to a particular publication or web page. Thank you in advance for your help in making us better at serving you.