Chapter 7 of the Writing Style Guide
Missouri S&T writers can be some of the best ambassadors for our university. The following tips can help writers create more engaging content.
Use active, “action” verbs, and follow the simple “subject-verb-object” construction.
Active voice (good): “We will post the updated policies and procedures manual on our office’s website.”
Passive voice (bad): “The policies and procedures manual has been updated and will be posted on our office’s website.”
Not sure how to write in the active voice? Consult The Associated Press Style Manual or read recipes and nursery rhymes. They use active verbs (“stir,” “chop,” “boil,” “baste,” etc.) and are written in the active voice (“Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet,” “Jack and Jill went up the hill,” and so on).
Strong verbs make your writing more concise, help you avoid vague descriptions, and can keep your readers interested.
Storytelling is a great way to convey information in an interesting way and can provide a connection to the audience.
More and more of our audiences are going online to get their news and information. At the same time, many online readers skim for information and often come across our websites because they are looking for specific information. Therefore, it’s important that we make it easy for them to find what they’re seeking..
Writing for the web involves writing in “chunks” of information. It also requires writers to think differently about how they present information. Consider options to enrich the reader’s experience. Do you have video and audio to accompany your story? If so, provide links or embed the content in your site. How about related articles? If you’re writing about a particular student group, provide a link to the group’s website or to previous articles on the subject.
Don’t bury your “lead” — the main point of your story. Summarize your story in the first paragraph so that readers may skim and get the important information first. Then provide background and details in subsequent paragraphs.
General tips that serve as a basis for our writing style guide
Capitalization, formatting and abbreviation guidelines for academic programs and titles
Capitalization and abbreviations campus buildings and landmarks
Guidelines, terminology and abbreviations for the Kummer Institute Foundation
Common misspellings, incorrect abbreviations, and proper use of terms
When and how to write the formal university name and other forms
Writing language involving age, race, sex, disabilities and religion
Tips for writing effective and engaging headlines for publications and websites