Editorial Style Guide

Babson’s Editorial Style Guide was developed by College Marketing to assist campus partners who write and prepare College messages. The goal is to achieve a consistent, standardized style throughout our communications.

Babson College uses the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook as its primary style reference. As a result, the College’s Editorial Style Guide is not intended to be comprehensive. It addresses common questions, as well as instances where Babson College style supersedes AP style.

For assistance in planning, composing, revising, and editing student work, the Babson College Writing Center offers consulting services.

General Usage Notes

  • Opt for modern usage and spelling.
  • Choose short, simple words when they’ll do the same job as long, overblown terms. Familiar words help engage readers; however, we do not sacrifice good grammar.
  • Precise diction to appear friendlier.
  • Aim for a concise, upbeat tone by using active voice and precise, assertive verbs.
  • Use one perfect word rather than a few words that only approximate your meaning.
  • Use common language that is appropriate for the medium. It’s critical for SEO (search engine optimization) to use the same words and phrases our visitors do. For example, while we use residence hall in print collateral, we use dorm online so prospective students can find the correct content using search.

Suggested Word Counts

  • Email Subject line: 50 characters maximum (each email client is different, and mobile throws another variable in here; keep it as short as possible, and remember to front-load the most important details).
  • Email body: 200 words maximum (keep the copy above the fold [the part of a page before you start scrolling to see the rest] so readers see your call to action; more people will do what you want them to do).
  • Webpage content: 500 words (more or less depending on what you have to say and how much copy you really need in order to convey it; saying the same thing 10 ways is less powerful than saying it the right way once). Each page should focus on a single goal. Focus on the goal and stop writing when you complete the goal.
  • Headlines: 60 characters/​7 words maximum.
  • Paragraphs: 225 characters/​60 words maximum.
  • Call to Action (CTA): 15 characters/​3 words maximum. Always begin with a verb.

Babson’s Trademarked Phrases

Our trademarked phrases help make our products and services distinct from others. Trademarking a phrase prevents someone else from using it for a product or service that could be mistaken for Babson’s. But, to protect them from infringement, they must be used in a consistent manner. Below are examples of proper use of our trademarked phrases.

  • The methodology for turning ideas into action
  • Balancing action, experimentation, and creativity, with a deep understanding of business fundamentals and rigorous analysis, for an ideal approach to growth and value creation.
  • Overcoming obstacles to create opportunities
  • NOTE: After the full copyrighted phrase is spelled out once, ET&A™ may thereafter be used as an acronym.
  • Individuals or groups who use an entrepreneurial mindset to overcome obstacles and create opportunities in organizations of all types and sizes.
  • Individuals or groups who transform opportunity into reality and create economic and social value for themselves and others.
  • Entrepreneurship is found in organizations of all types and sizes and at all levels of organization, where collaboration complements top-down leadership.


Should you have additional questions or suggestions regarding the College’s editorial style, please contact Jim Kiley in College Marketing.