you vs. we: As a very general rule, posts should be directed toward you, not we. The page title also becomes the bookmark text, and many web browsers truncate long page titles (more than sixty-five characters, including spaces) in a way that makes them less legible. 3 NIU Editorial Style Guide 1 Introduction and Purpose The Northern Illinois University Editorial Style Guide is a compilation of university -specific editorial standards. Applications such as screen readers give users a list of links or a list of page headings. This is what a modern design style guide looks like. Although the heading and list markup might look excessive in print form, on the web this markup has two big advantages: Users approach a web page with a quick skim in order to form an overview of the page and determine whether the information they are seeking is likely to be found there. It is the text that displays in the browse history, and becomes the default text for any bookmarks the user makes to your pages. It can be tempting to create the most comprehensive style guide of all time. The most detailed style guide (with extensive help and examples concerning punctuation, capitalization, and grammar) and the one regularly followed by book publishers is The Chicago Manual of Style, published by the University of Chicago. The content on your web site is most often an answer—to a question, to a need. Embedded hypertext links pose two fundamental design problems. Start with the information, written in a concise and engaging style. A style guide can provide guidance on many facets of the site, including: Often organizational style guides and branding standards are internal documents. Choose an approach and stick with it throughout your site. Decide what sections you think your style guide needs. By highlighting a high-quality and well-executed style guide, the organization shows its commitment to providing users with quality experiences. Agencies can meet their obligations by following the Federal Plain Language Guidelines. Editorial tips In addition to the personality traits and tone of voice as well as the writing on brand section, here are some general editorial guidelines to help you write content that showcases your story while remaining on brand. Ideally, there is one keyword or key phrase for your page, and it is mentioned in most or all of the following elements: One thing you should never do is pack in gratuitous repetitions of keywords or use sophomoric tricks like creating white text on a white background to hide keywords. A newspaper front page or home page isn’t just about packing the maximum amount of news into a given space. Start with a clear content strategy, defining what you have to say, to whom, and what questions they want answered or tasks they want to achieve (see the section on “Content Strategy” in Chapter 1, Strategy.) Even small lapses can erode the ethos of a site: broken links, missing graphics, outdated content, and misspelled words all damage the overall trustworthiness of a site. All the major search engines know that even in well-written and edited text, keywords and phrases will make up only 5–8 percent of the number of words on the average page of text. Short sentences naturally follow from using active voice. Download File PDF Editorial Style Guide Example Editorial Style Guide Example When people should go to the books stores, search launch by shop, shelf by shelf, it is in fact problematic. Even if it’s difficult to find, at least it’s there—somewhere. Ethos establishes the credibility of an information source. If you must send your reader away, make sure the material around the link makes it clear that the user will be leaving your web site and entering another site by following the link. Using uniform connectedness both on the surface in the visual design and in the structural markup in underlying page code allows both visual and nonvisual users to make sense of the structure of a document. The measure of good editorial style is whether the content is useful—whether it meets clear user and business goals. A style guide is a set of editing and formatting standards for use by students, researchers, journalists, and other writers. Most of your web visitors are passing through on their way to some other destination and will appreciate your efforts to make the trip as straightforward and predictable as possible, with few meaningless side trips or dead ends. For instance, you may want sections on common mistakes, your organization's stylistic choices, tone, formatting, and preferred words and acronyms. When headings are used as hyperlinks, they are signposts marking the path from one content chunk to the next. Links are the signposts that help users know which route is most likely to get them to their destination. Tags tell software, for example, that the text from point A to point B is a heading, and the following text block is a paragraph, and so on. Take your content strategy—defined by matching business goals with an understanding of users and their questions and “desire lines”—as a starting point. Most web sessions involve trial and error. Sentences that use active voice place the actor before the action, and are easier to comprehend than sentences that use passive voice. And short paragraphs are easier to read and understand, and also add white space to the page to make it more inviting. Given the low resolution of the computer screen and the awkwardness of the scrolling page, many users find reading on-screen uncomfortable, and so they scan on-screen text and print pages for reading. A style guide saves documentarians time and trouble by providing a single reference for writing about common topics, features, and more. A desire line is a natural expression of impulse, visibly demonstrating how we prefer to navigate our environment when given the option, rather than following a predefined journey based on choices made by the designer. Contain carefully chosen keywords and themes for the page, Form a concise, plainly worded description of the page contents, Titles of documents mentioned in the text, References to other sections within the site. Keep it short. Use the content strategy as a starting point for creating coherent and comprehensive content chunks. The primary design strategy in thoughtful hypertext is to use links to reinforce your message, not to distract users or send them off chasing a minor footnote in some other web site. People read differently on the web, and a new writing genre designed to accommodate the reading habits of online users has emerged. A casual and conversational tone is acceptable and appropriate; overly informal language, slang, jargon, and disparaging or heavily opinionated comments are not. One of the only benefits of long, complex documents is that all the required information is probably contained somewhere on the page. The Wayne State University style guide below sets standards for words, phrases and information frequently used in WSU communications. The added structure of heading and list markup aids in search engine optimization and online searches for content, because the additional markup provides explicit semantic emphasis, heading keywords, and context cues that listed items are strongly related to one another. In this chapter we focus on writing style and composition best practices specifically as they apply to the web, mobile, and social media channels. Many editorial matters—such Ironically, with attention to editorial detail, ethos can also be easily spoofed on the web. You don’t want to be a bore, droning on and on about things that are deeply meaningful to your organization but that are immaterial to your web site users, who have questions and needs they have come to you to resolve. Structural markup is visually identifiable as a heading because it is bold and sits directly above plain text. Include a section on web writing guidelines for content contributors to educate on best practices, such as writing concise sentences, keeping paragraphs short, and incorporating headers and bulleted lists to make text scannable. Web Style Guide by Patrick J. Lynch and Sarah Horton. We use the gestalt principles of perception to decode the structure of a document visually. Remove anything that is tangential, and revise what remains. Specifications for terminology and usage, such as how to handle abbreviations and how to format dates and phone numbers. The title is crucial for several reasons. The CDC Style Guide The CDC Style Guidewill help everyone who writes documents ranging from letters to press releases to journal articles. The contemporary World Wide Web is a unique combination of all three media, but audience reaction to your high-tech web site is still governed by aspects of rhetoric that the Greek philosopher Aristotle identified almost twenty-four hundred years ago. An editorial style guide, also called a writing style guide or content style guide, provides information people need to be clear and consistent when they communicate on behalf of or about your organization. If you do this, be sure to write the nam… Create clear sections and headings. Single return after paragraphs. We are not "OSU" because the Ohio State name has greater awareness and familiarity than OSU. Broken links shake the user’s confidence in the validity and timeliness of content. Editorial Style Guide Punctuation, Hyphenation, and More The primary purpose of the Rutgers Editorial Style Guide [PDF] is to address topics specific to Rutgers that may not be adequately covered in the standard published style guides, such as the Chicago Manual of Style or the Associated Press Stylebook . Such features are more usable when links and headings begin with keywords than when every link or heading begins with “The.”. It is a reference tool for the people who write, edit, and review your organization’s copy and materials, including employees, contractors, and consultants. The inverted pyramid is a method for presenting information whereby the most important information, represented by the base of the pyramid, is presented first and the least important (the tip) is presented last. Editors andevaluators may allow exceptions to the standard guidelines depending on the book's context or on an author's specificrequest. Even the tag surrounds a phrase and declares its relatedness as a book, magazine, or article title. This is why we offer the ebook compilations in this website. Content should meet real, carefully researched user needs. iUniverse evaluators and editors follow the same industry-standard style guidelines as most major traditional bookpublishers. This often means breaking up long paragraphs, and using more subheadings than you would for print publication. The AP Stylebook is used broadly by other Universities for communication and news writing. Since that time, plain language has been written into law in the United States, where federal agencies are obligated to ensure that they follow plain language best practices for presenting information that is simple and easy to understand. Write names in full and include the acronym in brackets after the first mention, for example, 'The Institute for Policy Research (IPR)'. You can then use the acronym for any further mentions. 9 Editorial Style How do I know what I think until I see what I say? One is through field studies, observing how people work with digital products to accomplish their goals. Desire lines are the pathways that arise from many people taking the same path, usually in opposition to built routes and pathways. In Chapter 4, Information Architecture, we discuss the concept of content chunking, and how modular content informs the architecture and structure of a site. Links also become a maintenance issue, because most web pages are ephemeral. Links should be used sparingly and never as a substitute for real content. Here we list what they call the “dirty dozen.”. They can also radically alter the context of information by dumping the users into unfamiliar territory without preamble or explanation when they follow the embedded links to new pages—particularly when those new pages are outside your site. Web reading is also not a stationary activity. Consult the latest Associated Press Stylebook or Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.) A list tag in essence draws a line around several items and asserts that they are related. Information designed using this model begins with a lead that summarizes the information, followed by the body, where the information presented in the lead is elaborated on and substantiated, in descending order of importance. Bad link text, such as nondescriptive “click here” links or catchy but meaningless phrases, forces the user to follow the link to learn its destination. Many style guides focus on presentational and interaction styles rather than editorial style, which is a shortcoming, since content is a huge part of user experience. Make sure the text you present is of immediate value. Write it. Canada Post Corporation Discover the writing principles for the ways that Canada post add value to their digital products with concise and meaningful language. Here we summarize best practices for web writing, drawing on several sources, including Ginny Redish’s Letting Go of the Words, Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, and the Federal Plain Language Guidelines. Underlining is a carryover from the days of handwriting and the typewriter, when options such as bold and italics were not readily available as ways to distinguish elements such as headings and emphasized words or phrases.
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