Web Writing: Style and Appearance

Writing Styles and Standards

TMCC's website and online communications adhere to a modified Associated Press (AP) Stylebook. For more details and examples of common style occurrences, please visit the College Style Guide that's posted under the Marketing and Communications Office.

Additional Style Information for Online Content

Consistent look, feel and function improves usability and presents TMCC as a unified organization.

  • You may use italics to indicate book titles and magazine titles.
  • Do not use underlines; Web users may think that they are links.
  • Use bold only sparingly to emphasize points or bring attention to key phrases.
  • Do not colorize text. You don’t need to make things red and flashy to grab attention. A clean page and layout does that for you automatically.
  • Do not manually adjust font size.
  • Do not use UPPERCASE for anything (except abbreviations or acronyms).
  • Use header styles (H2s, H3s and H4s) for headings as provided in the CMS editor. Do not create your own headings in the HTML.
  • Don’t try to override or change the page style that is already present. Focus on content.

WRONG

The TMCC Business Plan Competition seeks to teach students at ALL high school, college and university levels the IMPORTANCE of developing high quality business ideas and plans. The competition also seeks to provide them with the resources, not only to write comprehensive, complete and concise business strategies, but to also see those plans come to be realized. Participants of TMCC Business Plan Competition are strongly encouraged to participate in the spring Donald W. Reynold's Governor's Cup Business Plan Competition and the subsequent Tri-State Competition to compete for a share of the more than $250,000 in CASH prizes offered.

RIGHT

The TMCC Business Plan Competition seeks to teach students at all high school, college and university levels the importance of developing high quality business ideas and plans.

The competition also seeks to provide them with the resources, not only to write comprehensive, complete and concise business strategies, but to also see those plans come to be realized.

To compete for a share of the more than $250,000 in cash prizes, we strongly encourage participation in the Governor's Cup Business Plan Competition and the Tri-State Competition

Accuracy and Timeless Content

Make sure that all information presented is correct. Incorrect or outdated information is unacceptable and should be updated immediately. Try to avoid posting absolute dates and years in your content if you can. Making your content timeless will lessen how often it might become outdated.

WRONG

The Handbook of Guidelines for students for 2007 (including information from TMCC President Philip Ringle) is a required resource for all students.

COMING SOON: The Updated Handbook of Guidelines. We are working on it and should have it ready in the very near future!!!

RIGHT

The TMCC Handbook of Guidelines for Students is a required resource for all students and includes important information from the TMCC President. An updated/revised version will be available on November 5, 2014.

Spelling, Grammar and Abbreviations

All Web pages must be free of spelling errors. Carefully proofread material and review the CMS spell-checker results that appear after you submit a page. Text on the TMCC website should follow the grammar, punctuation and spelling rules outlined in the Associated Press Stylebook.

Use of abbreviations should follow the TMCC style guide and the AP Stylebook.

Relevant Content (no "Coming Soon")

All content should be interesting and relevant to the target audience. Include all necessary information about a subject. If some important information is undetermined or unknown, state all known facts and provide a timeframe during which the other information will be added.

Do not create placeholders that say "Coming Soon". Better to wait until you have content and post it later to avoid user frustration.

No Duplicity - Be Unique

Do not try to recreate content that already exists on another department's Web page or especially in the TMCC College Catalog; instead, link to the relevant page. This will help avoid conflicting and outdated information.

We can also “mirror” content on more than one page in our CMS so that it’s not duplicated but can display on another page. See Web Services about this if needed.

Examples of Content and/or Writing Style Issues:

Wrong Corrected
Things needed for graduating Graduation Requirements
SU Policies Student Conduct Policies
VSS Veteran Student Services
“Suit”-ability Proper Interview Dress
CONTACT AN ADVISOR! Contact an Advisor
The “Write” Way Tips for Effective Writing

See Also: Brand, Logos and Colors

Back Next