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Public Affairs and Communications (PubCom)

Writing for Lewis & Clark

Writing well is hard work, whether you’re recruiting students, asking for donations, promoting an event, describing policies, or just providing instructions. We’re here to help.

Contact Joe Becker if you have questions about writing.

Our guide to writing for the web isn’t just for online content. It provides helpful advice for those writing about the college, law school, or graduate school online or in print. Our style guide is a resource for when you’ve got questions about spelling, punctuation, and how to refer to locations, people, and programs on campus.

In addition to these tools, the guidelines below are important  to keep in mind before undertaking any project.

Keep your audience in mind.

Remember your reader’s perspective as you work on any piece of writing. Some questions to consider include the following:

  • How familiar is my audience with Lewis & Clark?

When writing for many external audiences, don’t assume that the reader is as familiar with a given topic as you are. This doesn’t mean you need to include long explanations or glossaries with every piece, but introducing people by title, using full names of organizations (instead of acronyms), and avoiding abbreviations are good practices.

  • What is my reader looking for?

Never bury what’s important in your writing, particularly when you’re providing instructions on how to complete a task or basic information readers want (like costs, programs offered, or when and where an event is).

  • How much will my audience be willing to read?

Online, in particular, readers have short attention spans. In print, they’re usually willing to spend more time with a piece of writing—but someone looking at a poster will spend only a few seconds evaluating its relevance. Don’t overload your readers with details. Give them what’s essential.

Highlight what’s special about Lewis & Clark.

Our website, including the Newsroom and the Chronicle are excellent sources for stories about what makes Lewis & Clark extraordinary. Whatever your project, consider incorporating relevant stories and facts from these and other sources that show how Lewis & Clark stands out. For basic information about the enrollment and programs, check the quick facts for the College of Arts and Sciences, the graduate school, and the law school.