Content style

A quick guide to government website content style.


Content style is important in that it enforces consistency and uniformity in how government presents information.

Style accounts for the following:

Do's and don'ts


  • Use plain language and simple sentences.
  • Choose clarity over cleverness.
  • Talk like a person.
  • Address the user as you whenever possible.
  • Use an active voice.
  • Use contractions.


  • Use the word citizen when talking about the public. See the conscious style section for further guidance.
  • Use acronyms. If an acronym is necessary for future reference, spell the full word and follow with the acronym in parentheses on the first reference.
  • Use a passive voice.


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