Plain English Essay

1274 Words Oct 20th, 2014 6 Pages
|Plain English Examples |Appendix B | |
| | | |

This appendix contains “before” and “after” examples from participants in the Division of Corporation Finance’s plain English pilot. The Division’s staff added marginal notes to show how aspects of the plain English rules apply to specific documents.

These annotated examples are excerpted from the booklet, Before & After Plain English Examples and Sample Analyses, prepared by the Division

of Corporation Finance. Although we revised the presentation and wording of the marginal notes in this
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To understand the plain English rules fully, you must read the proposing and adopting releases:

• the proposing release—Release no. 33-7380; and

• the adopting release—Release no. 33-7497.

Both releases are available from the SEC’s Public Reference Room and our web site at

We collected many filings from the Division’s plain English pilot in one book.

You can get a photocopy of this 756-page book, Plain English Pilot Program: Selected Plain English Samples, from the SEC’s Public Reference Room or a printed copy from Bowne Publishing in New York City. (The SEC does not endorse Bowne, nor do we have a business relationship with them.)

a p l a i n e n g l i s h h a n d b o o k 69

Before MBNA cover page, core prospectus

Note: When MBNA filed this disclosure document, they relied on the SEC rules that were in effect at that time.

Fully-justified text and lengthy

paragraphs give page a dense,

block-like appearance.

Abstract terms and legal jargon


A lot of passive voice, adding to

sentence length

Eliminate defined terms from

the cover page.

Long sentence–60+ words

Why capitalize these common


Long sentence–50+ words

Many long sentences–

40+ words

Centered text and all capital

letters are hard

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