SPS Brand Standards

Visual and editorial guidlines and resources for SPS staff

Writing for the Web

In addition to the editorial guidelines, please pay particular attention to the following guidelines when writing copy for the SPS website.

Punctuation

  • Follow AP style and do not use a serial comma when listing items in a sentence. For a series of complex terms, commas may be used after each for clarity.
  • To maintain a serious professional and academic image, avoid using of exclamation points. Rare exceptions are generally only when messaging and creative content take a lighter tone.

Spacing

  • Use a single space after punctuation that ends a sentence (period, question mark, exclamation point).

Web Conventions and Recommendations

  • Avoid linking “click here” in imperative text. Add the link to the descriptive text, e.g., “Download the Faculty Handbook”. (link highlighted) Users now know they have to click to get places and download things. Links should always be in context — avoid typing out URLs.
  • Avoid long paragraphs and run-on sentences. Web users no longer read long articles of text. When formatting pages, try to keep block text as close to 100 words as possible. Exceptions can be made for important information. Be judicious and remember that lengthy information pushes other items down the page.
  • Heading blocks in Cascade are to have one single paragraph (no breaks) with 100 words, plus or minus 20 words as needed.
  • Be judicious in creating duplicate information. If information already lives somewhere on site, link there rather than repeat information. Repeating information creates clutter, complicates updates and creates potential version control problems.
  • Cascade offers a very helpful spell check to in the edit mode. You can activate spell check with the "Spelling" check box near the bottom of your window. Please use it when adding or updating text. 
  • Cascade also offers a find and replace function while editing blocks of content. Use the AB button in the Cascade WYSIWYG menu.