The University of Texas at Austin

ITS Style Guide

Common writing tasks

There are a few common writing tasks where we try to use consistent language and reference techniques.

Directing users to the ITS Help Desk

Always direct users to the ITS Help Desk, and not just the Help Desk, since there are Help Desks in other departments on campus.

Say "If [insert phrase describing what user is trying to do], please contact the ITS Help Desk." The link for "ITS Help Desk" is http://www.utexas.edu/its/helpdesk/. For example:

If you need to change your mailbox name or need more help setting up your address, please contact the ITS Help Desk.

Try to direct users to Web resources first, but include the ITS Help Desk contact information if it is needed.

Referring to students, faculty, and staff

When writing about our constituents, always list them in this order - students, faculty, and staff.

Creating links

On the Web, it is appropriate to link within the sentence without directly adding referential language. You should make the title of the page to which you are referring a hyperlink. For example:

For more information, see the Blackboard Web site.

Style sheets for ITS Web pages will include the full URL after the reference for printed documentation, but in an email or plain text communication where you cannot create hyperlinks, you must include the complete URL.

Use cross references like this judiciously. Sometimes it is better to restate information than to make users look for it elsewhere - it can be frustrating to click through several links to get to the information you need.

When including an e-mail address in a Web page, use this format:

Send an e-mail message to the ITS Help Desk at help@its.utexas.edu.

We Can Help

Get help from an expert:

* ITS Help and Service Desk

* Call us at 512-475-9400

* Submit a help request online

We also have a walk-in service in the first floor lobby of the Flawn Academic Center (FAC). Stop by and let us help you!