How to write on behalf of ANU

When you are communicating on behalf of the University, there are lots of things to think about.

You should be engaging, but not informal. The Australian National University communicates in a way that is open and friendly. The University's voice is clear and concise.

The University is confident in its position as the national university; you should write with authority and substance.

Remember to speak as ANU first. You must provide context first before specifying your research centre, school or college.

Top ten pointers

  1. Know your audience and what you want them to feel, learn, think or do. Who are they? Will they understand what you have written? What do they want to hear? How do they like to be spoken to?
  2. Use plain English. Pitch your writing to your audience using clear language that communicates as simply and effectively as possible, without being patronising or simplistic: avoid wordy phrases, keep sentences and paragraphs short, avoid academic jargon and if you do have to use it, it must be explained adequately.
  3. Use an active voice. Do not use passive language.
  4. We don't ever use ANU's. If that apostrophe ever disappeared... you get the idea.
  5. ANU does not have a 'the' before it, except when spelling out our entire name, in which case use a capital T for The: The Australian National University. E.g. "She studied at ANU" NOT "She studied at the ANU".
  6. University should have a capital U only when it refers specifically to ANU.
  7. Only proper nouns need to be capitalised. The words 'college', 'school' and 'department' should only be capitalised if part of the full name or referring to 'the College'.
  8. Numbers one to nine should be spelt out in letters, 10 and above in numerals (except when the number begins a sentence in which case it is always spelt out in letters).
  9. Avoid academic jargon, and if you do have to use it, explain it adequately.
  10. Avoid overuse of adjectives and avoid cliches.

Other questions? We've got the answers in our writing style guide.