|Effective: 12/1/1984|| |
|CAM 30101: Guidelines for Clear Writing|
To provide guidelines for clear writing
Academic and Administrative Documents
For a manual to be useful to readers, the policies and procedures in it must be clearly expressed. Wordiness, awkwardness, and the use of passive voice often interfere with clarity and make the readers task more difficult. This section offers some writing standards to increase clarity in policies and procedures.
Use the active voice rather than the passive voice in most cases. (Make the subject perform the action rather than receive the action.) The active voice is more direct and vigorous, and it clearly indicates who does what.
Active Voice (usually preferable)
The Records Section checks the immigration status of a new staff member at orientation.
Passive Voice (usually not preferable)
The immigration status of a new staff member will be checked by the Records Section at orientation.
All bids are filed in the formal bid folder with a copy of the purchase order.
Omit needless words. Wordiness discourages manual users. Manuals have a notorious reputation for being difficult to use, and therefore useless, because many writers make simple ideas complex. A good rule is to use as few words as possible but as many as necessary to say what you mean. Wordiness leads to redundancy, or needless repetition. The following list identifies four techniques for cutting through redundant writing patterns. You should:
University malls must be accessible and free from congestion in order that students, faculty, and employees may have unobstructed passage through those areas of the campus.
University malls must be free enough from congestion to allow people to walk through easily.
Use short, common, concrete words rather than long, abstract, obscure terms. Generally, try to use words with three or fewer syllables.
Room accessories such as refrigerators, televisions, bookcases, and tables are added accoutrements to room furnishings and are available on an optional basis to hall residents.
Refrigerators, televisions, bookshelves, tables, and other room accessories are available to hall residents.
Favor simple sentences over compound and complex sentences. Try to keep sentence length to an average of 1520 words, especially for procedures.
A faculty or staff member, who is prevented from using his officially registered vehicle due to mechanical difficulties, and who desires to use another vehicle that is not registered must apply at Parking Services for a temporary parking permit to allow the same parking privileges as provided by his or her parking decal.
A registered vehicle may become disabled from time to time. In this situation an employee may apply at Parking Services for a temporary parking permit for an unregistered vehicle. The temporary permit allows the unregistered vehicle the same parking privileges as the employees registered vehicle.
|Note:||Please be advised that the policies and procedures used as examples in the CAM manual are often out of date and no longer applicable. They were chosen as examples when the CAM manual was revised in 1992. To access the current policies and procedures manuals, please go to http://www.asu.edu/aad/manuals.|