The Online College & University Staff Handbook: A Comprehensive Style Guide

Date of Graduation

Summer 2003


Master of Arts in Writing



Committee Chair

Kristene Sutliff


Because of their convenience, durability, and flexibility, online formats provide colleges and universities the ideal medium to impart important policies and procedures to their employees. A definitive guide for these documents, however, does not exist. Many universities, while providing the appropriate information to their staff, do not compose or design the information in a way that makes the data accessible to the widest possible audience. By studying the writings of human resources, technical writing, and information technology practitioners while investigating and evaluating representative examples of current online handbooks, I designed a style guide for online employee handbook authors and designers. This style guide defines, analyzes, explores, and critiques the dynamics and conventions of the online employee handbook and attempts to fill a void within the current market. The text speaks directly to the online handbook designer or design team, and is written to inform and offer examples and suggestions concerning features of the online employee handbook. By following these researched principles, information designers at the college and university level can more effectively communicate institutional policies and procedures in a format that employees can use.

Subject Categories

Creative Writing


© Jonathon Kitchin