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PAIMI Report Writing. An Overview. Goals & Objectives. Goals: To reflect the conditions of the P&A system at the time of the visit To provide the P&A system with sufficient guidance on what they are doing well and how to make improvements Objectives: Adhere to and address prompts

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goals objectives
Goals & Objectives


  • To reflect the conditions of the P&A system at the time of the visit
  • To provide the P&A system with sufficient guidance on what they are doing well and how to make improvements


  • Adhere to and address prompts
  • Focus on facts and be objective
  • Write clearly and concisely with the audience in mind
  • Edit for content, grammar, and punctuation
address the prompts
Address the Prompts

KEY: Address ALL the prompts

(preferably in order and always finessed into a paragraph)

focus on facts
Focus on Facts

KEY: Write what you observed and have the paper work to back up your statements.

  • Temper your statements
  • Cite your source
  • Avoid Comparisons
  • Limit Embellishments
  • Use the might of “might”
clear and concise
Clear and Concise

KEY: Short sentences, direct and to the point

  • Any sentence longer than 4 lines is suspect
  • Keep your target audience in mind
  • Avoid colloquialisms
  • Don’t use two words when one will do
editing your writing
Editing Your Writing

KEY: Save time and energy

Editing Benefits Everyone

  • Company
  • Lead Writer
  • Editor
  • You
editing your writing7
Editing Your Writing

Singular or Plural

  • The words “data” and “staff” are plural
    • “The staff are…”
  • “Mental illness” and “emotional disturbance” are singular
    • “Emotional disturbance is…”
  • “Youth” can be singular or plural
  • “Majority”
    • “The majority is…”
    • “A majority are…”
editing your writing8
Editing Your Writing


  • Between
    • There is a direct line between

You Me

  • Among
    • We are among


edit your writing
Edit Your Writing


  • “State” and “Federal;” but not “statewide” or “federally”
  • When referring to the P&A system, “Division,” “Department,” “Bureau,” and “Agency” are capitalized
  • “Web site” is capitalized
  • Without a name, “council,” “commission,” “county” and “center” are lower case
  • Use lower case for “bachelor’s, “master’s,” “legislature” (unless Federal), “fee-for-service,” “internet” and “monitoring team.”
editing your writing10
Editing Your Writing


  • Time
    • 3 hours
  • Money
    • 50 cents
  • Measurement
    • 15 miles

Unless it is the first word in a sentence

    • It lasted 2 years, even though it was a 2-day project. Two years have passed since then.
  • In most other cases, numbers 10 and higher are written as numerals, nine and lower are spelled out.
editing your writing11
Editing Your Writing


  • With a number
    • “The population increased 15 percent.”
  • Without a number
    • “The percentage of the population with mental illness…”
  • The percent symbol (%)
    • In tables and exhibits only
editing your writing12
One Word











Followup vs follow up

The followup presentation will…”

“We will follow up on these data.”

Words beginning with “non” are one word except when followed by a capitalized word




Editing Your Writing
editing your writing13
Editing Your Writing

Two Words

  • Task force
  • Paper work
  • Fact sheet
  • Web site (W is capitalized)
edit your writing14
Words to omit







Time and again

On the other hand







In these regards

Being that

Edit Your Writing
edit your writing15
Edit Your Writing

More words

  • Use “composed of” or “includes” instead of “comprise”
  • “Persons” or “individuals” instead of “people”
  • “Persons with disabilities” instead of “disabled persons”
  • “Cultural competency” instead of “cultural competence”
edit your writing16
Edit Your Writing


  • Spelled out on the first usage in each chapter, with the acronym following in parentheses
    • Data Infrastructure Grants (DIG)
  • “The” appears before an acronym at the beginning of a sentence
  • The acronym “CMHS” stands exclusively for Center for Mental Health Services
  • Never use the same acronym to mean two different things in the same report
  • Avoid overuse
edit your writing17
Edit Your Writing


  • Hyphen
    • Most compound terms used as adjectives are hyphenated
      • “Long-term plans should be long term.”
      • “Long-term plans should meet long-term objectives.”
    • Words ending in “ly” are never followed by a hyphen
      • “Federally funded program vs. State-funded program”
  • Commas
    • Before the conjunction in a list
      • “Hospitals are located in Baltimore, Frederick, and Columbia.”
  • Space
    • Two spaces after a period at the end of a sentence
    • No contractions or ampersands (except in an acronym)
editing your writing18
Editing Your Writing


  • Legal cases are presented in Italics with the “v” in Roman type
    • Stoltenbragh v. Ottoman
  • Omit the names of specific persons; give only general titles
  • Use the correct ethnic designations
    • Caucasian
    • African American
    • Native American
    • Hispanic
  • “However” and “therefore” are not sentence starters