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It's about consistency, not constraint. The Writing Style Manual is a set of standards for use when you're unsure of how a word, term, or name should be spelled, referred to, or punctuated. Its goal is to provide consistency so readers won't be distracted from your message by variations in style or grammar.
This set of "guidelines" is not meant to curtail creativity; it is intended to increase accuracy, understanding, and readability when communicating both internally among the university community and externally with the press and public.
In addition to editing, we can assist or write promotional text for all internal and external recruiting, fundraising, and promotional publications. Please refer to the Institutional Publications timeline for further detailed information.
Whatever style you are using, consider these basic principles:
• Organize your thoughts.
• Write and rewrite for brevity, using short words, short sentences, and short paragraphs.
• Write positively, not negatively. (Example: "UW is" rather than "UW is not.")
• Use active, not passive, voice.
• Use contractions and second-person "you" in publication texts for a more conversational, less formal tone.
• When in doubt, look it up.