Establish voice

Voice is created through your word choice, your application of style and grammar, sentence structure and more. It can be casual or formal, impassioned or neutral, mocking or respectful. Keeping your target audience in mind, develop an appropriate voice that fits the context of your message.

Voice should reflect the brand of the college and the goals of the website

At the highest level, CCBC is about empowering people to reach their goals. The website exists to help them find the information and services they need from CCBC. As such, our content should speak with a voice that is professional yet inviting, helpful and supportive. Written content should not be intimidating in tone or rely on technical terms and academic jargon. Avoid acronyms whenever possible.


Before: Applicants must submit their complete contact information in order for their request to be processed in a timely fashion.

After: Be sure to include your complete contact information on your application so that we can get back to you as soon as possible

More information on the CCBC brand and key marketing messages is available in the college Branding Guide, published by the College Communications department.

Write for the world
Avoid biased or exclusive language. Avoid writing copy that could be perceived as offensive. CCBC values diversity and our Web content should reflect that value.

Before, gender exclusive:
Each applicant must submit his contact information.

Attempted fix with pronoun agreement error:
Each applicant must submit their full contact information.

Non-exclusive and grammatically correct:
Applicants must submit their full contact information.

A better approach, using appropriate voice:
Be sure to include your complete contact information.
One frequently encountered issue is maintaining gender neutrality. Most writers no longer use the masculine natural (his, he, him) to refer to an individual of unspecified gender. However, in attempting to avoid it, we often create an issue of pronoun number agreement. Consider revising sentences altogether to avoid this issue.