Tone and voice
How to write in an appropriate tone and voice for government.
Writing must be:
- impartial — expressing information in a neutral way.
- ‘You can apply for’ — not ‘you may be able to apply for’.
- ‘You can get’ — not ‘you may be eligible for’.
- plain, familiar language
- the active voice, where possible
- ‘you’ and ‘your’ when talking to the reader
- respectful, gender-neutral language
- ‘Take a copy of your [document] to [location]’ — not ‘provide supporting documents’.
- ‘Inland Revenue will send you’ — not ‘we send you’ or ‘you’ll be sent’.
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