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Career Information

Continuing Education for Natural Resource Professionals

Workshop Agenda for:

Plain & Simple! Document Writing


Webinars TBA

Live At Your Unit - contact Jud Monroe or Shelly Witt to schedule


Dr. Jud Monroe



Welcome to Plain & Simple! Document Writing. A workshop for natural resource professionals who write. Focus is writing better & quicker so you can spend more time "out in the field", less time going to court, and zip along to other projects. Participants will submit excerpts of example documents (double spaced) to the instructor prior to workshop. During the workshop participants will edit their document (sections), leaving with an improved product.

This workshop will enable you to ...

  • write clear, concise analytical documents readily understood by the average reader.
  • effectively communicate technical and scientific information to a variety of audiences.
  • prepare simple quality documents: NEPA, biological assessments/evaluations, and other types of analytical documents.
  • write "argumentatively" (present 'both sides' of the story).
  • improve your career opportunities. People who can express themselves clearly and concisely are always in demand. Combined with insightful biological analytical skills and many more doors will open. Try rewriting your "KSA" when you get home!

You take home ...

  • Edited products
  • Network of fellow writers (bounce future writings off of each other)
  • CD summarizing the workshop
  • Post-workshop instructor support (for 6 months)
  • Internet Resources

Workshop Information

Paying Tuition: Dr. Jud Monroe accepts Direct Deposit or checks (company, government or personal). Credit Cards are not accepted. Please pay 2 months prior to the workshop.

  • Direct Deposit Option: Jud is registered as a federal contractor via the Central Contractor Registration (CCR at For reference, my D-U-N-S number is 170943810. Please add a reference to "(location) PSDW 2005" and your name on the transmittal to the bank. Otherwise, there is no way to determine who has and has not paid.
  • Check Option: Write the check to "Jud Monroe". Put on the memo line "PSDW tuition for (participant name)". Send payments to Jud. If a check is being issued through NFC, please request having the memo line information inserted. Otherwise there is no way to track whose tuition payment is being made. It can take 3 months for NFC to process check payments.

Dropping from the Workshop: Pretty simple -- find a sub or pay fixed cost. Tuition is low cost for this workshop so we do not have much of leeway on letting people drop. The budget has been set and spent based on your current confirmation. Check with us first, just in case we have a waiting list. Thank you for your understanding and consideration.

Writing Style: You will write, re-write and edit sections of a document(s) during the workshop. You will edit your document and fellow participant documents. Please bring a laptop.

Graduate Credit: None.

What to Bring:

  • The document you are writing, re-writing and editing - in electronic format
  • Laptop computer for editing examples; Pen and paper for note taking
  • "Down time" material (i.e., additional document sections, good book)
  • Picture Identification (for getting in the Regional Office)

Look over the agenda & consider the work we will be doing. You will have considerable time to work with the instructor and participants (as well as by yourself). Be sure you have everything you will need, so you can get as much accomplished as possible (before heading home where the alligators are waiting to resume nibbling).

General Agenda

This agenda is under development. Presented here are the current "thoughts".
Note: Specific agendas are sent to registered participants as details are finalized.
Because this course is transitioning to distance delivery method, the hours for WebEx/Video Conferencing delivery is still under consideration. Having participants participate on WebEx/Video Conferencing for more than a couple hours can be exhausting. It can also be hard to reserve Video Conference facilities for 8 hours a day for 3 days. It will probably be spaced out over multiple weeks with shorter amounts of time each day. We will update this information.


8:00 am
Expectations & Goals for the Day

Review the Workshop

  • what is going to be accomplished during the workshop
  • different perspectives on writing - the audience and the purpose

As always, there will be housekeeping (bathrooms, breaks, etc.)

Talk, Write, Talk & Write

Talk: Stream Lining Your Writing; Examples of Good Science Writing; Sage Advice - keep it short...using big words doesn't make you more intelligent. It just takes longer to read what you wrote.
Blocking your writing
Write: Editing exercises.
Talk: Group discussions and one-on-one with Instructor.

Wrap Up 5:00 pm

Dinner - On Your Own
Group dinning will be facilitated, if desired


8:00 am
Expectations & Goals for the Day

Talk, Write, Talk & Write

Talk: Stream Lining Your Writing continued.
Write: Editing exercises; Edit samples from fellow participants
Talk: Group discussions and one-on-one with Instructor

Wrap Up 5:00 pm

Dinner - On Your Own
Group dinning will be facilitated, if desired


8:00 am
Expectations & Goals for the Day

Talk, Write, Talk & Write

Talk: Writing NEPA documents -- lessons learned; 1 through 12 of the sentence
Write: Edit samples from fellow participants.
Talk: Conferencing with Instructor in small groups and one-on-one

Wrap Up 5:00 pm

Dinner or Travel home - On Your Own
Group dinning will be facilitated, if desired

Disclaimers | Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) | Privacy Notice

Forest Service Continuing Education for Natural Resource Professionals
Author: Shelly Witt, National Continuing Education Coordinator,
WFW staff
Phone: 435-881-4203
Expires: none

Photo Credits

USDA Forest Service
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
(202) 205-8333

 Last Modified: November 2014