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Voice and Tone

Words are central to the promise of higher education and are the foundation of our message on screen and in print. We are approachable, enthusiastic and human.

Close up of Hillviews article about voice

We talk to our readers, never at them.

Undergraduate admissions view book

“You’re a leader, and you want to guide others toward new and challenging paths.”

Undergraduate Admissions viewbook

Best Practices

  • Treat every message like it's a conversation.
  • Keep the tone warm and focused on the specific audience you're trying to reach.
  • Help your audience see themselves represented in the text.

Avoid

  • Don't use slang; be genuine, but also respectful and professional.
  • Avoid impersonal articles like “students” and “their”; use “you” and “your” whenever possible.

We believe simple language opens doors.

McCoy College view book

“A company's code of ethics can determine whether it becomes a trusted household name or a punch line.”

McCoy College annual report

Best Practices

  • Use ordinary vocabulary and familiar phrases to get your point across.
  • Be brief; organize your content into easily scannable and digestible chunks.

Avoid

  • Avoid complicated terminology, fancy words and insider language; this can cause readers to lose interest.
  • Be sure not to alienate your readers; always review your writing with this in mind.

We are ready to change the world.

Honors view book

“The Honors College brings students together to discuss ideas, interpret meanings and raise questions.”

Honors College viewbook

Best Practices

  • Use an active voice.
  • Match the enthusiasm and energy of your audience.
  • The use of vibrant words and strong construction shows the world that Bobcats are a force to reckon with.

Avoid

  • Avoid passive sentences; put the source of the action at the front of the sentence.

Resources

  • Editorial style:  View our encyclopedic Editorial Style Guide for details on words, phrases and Texas State terminology.
  • Social media:  View our social media style guide to learn about the techniques required for effective social communications.