Why do we even need a guide?

The Kapi‘olani Community College (KapCC) community takes great pride in its independence, initiative and entrepreneurial spirit. Many offices and departments on campus produce their own print materials: memos, letters, brochures, posters, invitations, fliers, booklets, catalogs, magazines and newsletters. Writers and editors have developed their own unique priorities and objectives, but every publication or website at KapCC has one thing in common: They can only be effective if they reflect consistency and clarity in their messages. These publications often have one more thing in common—the reader.

Since our campus audiences overlap, one reader can easily receive a variety of publications and invitations in one week. Imagine the confusion if every publication treated the English language differently. It’s easy to confuse readers when published articles combine standard English with local slang, misused punctuation, and common internet “netspeak.” On a campus known for its strong multicultural and multilingual diversity, this can be especially troubling. It’s for the sake of our readers that we advocate using a clear, consistent, contemporary style of writing in non-academic websites and web publications originating from Kapi‘olani Community College.

Guidelines, not rules

When writing in English we are often confronted with options that reflect the vast scope of the language. In a multicultural population such as Hawai‘i, it is especially difficult to lock down a set of definitive rules governing web publishing. But consistency is key when producing a website that specifically represents an academic community. Keep in mind that this Content Guide is intended to assist you in sharpening the clarity and consistency of your office and department. Consistency vs. Chaos.

We’ve assembled these guidelines using the Associated Press Stylebook as an authoritative model. Much of our published content is targeting external readers, made up of prospective students and parents, donors, government officials, business leaders, press and the general public. These guidelines are NOT intended as instructions for technical or academic writing. There are plenty of resources available on the internet specifically designed to help you with those types of projects. We encourage you to use these guidelines freely to assist you in writing content intended for our campus and public communities. Your efforts in utilizing these guidelines are greatly appreciated. And remember – content published today forms the foundation for a stronger and more dynamic Kapi‘olani Community College web presence.

Just as the English language has changed over the years, this style guide will adapt and evolve. We welcome your suggestions and comments and encourage your input toward the growth of this guide. Write us at bbotbyl@hawaii.edu.

Remember – consistency and clarity are essential for a more effective Kapi‘olani Community College website. Be clear, be concise and have fun!

But wait! There ARE rules we can’t avoid

While most of the recommendation offered in this guide are designed to be optional. Our commitment to accessibility on our campus is mandated by federal law.

The university is committed to ensuring that our communications with individuals with disabilities are as effective as our communications with people without disabilities. With respect to these interim guidelines, “accessible” IT means a person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to access the same information and services as a person without a disability in an equally effective and integrated manner. A person with a disability should be able to obtain an accurate translation and timely delivery in an independent manner. Although this might not result in identical ease of use compared to those without disabilities, it still must ensure equal opportunity to experience the educational benefits and opportunities afforded by the technology.

The university has developed guidelines to ensure equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.

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