The words we use
Use this section to find style guidelines and rules for writing copy.
Web WritingNewswriting A to Z Style GuideCopy Editing Tips
Inclusive Language Guide
It is important at Northwestern that we communicate in an inclusive manner. Use our inclusive language guide to learn more about ways to use inclusive language in your communications.
Because of our rich heritage and our complex and diverse community, several names are used to represent the University.
Official Informal NameColloquially, we all refer to this institution as simply “Northwestern.” This shorthand is acceptable in all content where it’s apparent that the communication is coming from a university. Using it can lend a more conversational tone to communications.
Social Media AbbreviationFor social media handles, use the briefest and clearest explanation of your entity, but be sure to include the “Northwestern” name in the account description.
Avoid: The NU Abbreviation
It’s too generic to identify us and too casual to represent our University. (Although legacy names using the abbreviation may continue to do so.)
Using the "Northwestern Direction" Theme
The idea of the Northwestern Direction can be used in a variety of ways throughout communications. However, this language should never be locked up with the Northwestern logo.
- Make it personal
"See Kyle Kremer's Northwestern Direction..."
- Make it empowering
"See what you can accomplish when you take a Northwestern Direction."
- Make a point
"Math by way of music. That's a Northwestern Direction."
- Use it for everyday information
"For this Northwestern Direction, turn left on Sherman Avenue, then go 1 mile..."
- Make it seem prescriptive
"We all follow the Northwestern Direction."
- Make it monolithic
"There's only one Northwestern Direction."
- Make it an endpoint
"Tony's Northwestern Direction landed him at Goldman Sachs."
- Lose the institutional context
"Take a Department of Quidditch Direction today."