28 February 2006
Write in a direct, active voice with simple, concise sentences as much as possible. Use
language appropriate for the user with the experience level required by the subject
matter. Avoid ambiguous, indefinite terms such as "too short" or "relatively simple."
Quantify whenever possible. Define what applies before using "applicable." Do not use
"and/or"; do not use the virgule (/) to substitute for "and" or "or." Do not use "etc."; use
"e.g.," "for instance," or "such as." For more guidance, see Principles of Clear Writing at
Mood, Tense, and Voice.
Use the imperative mood (e.g., install equipment) of "shall" and "must" to prescribe
mandatory requirements, actions and procedures. In documents that are likely to
become part of legal contracts such as Design-Build Templates, the term "shall" is
preferred. Use "will" for future action that is not mandatory. Use "can" and "may" to
permit choice and identify guidance. Use "should" to indicate desirable procedures that
are advisory in nature. Use of the first and second person pronouns "we" and "you" is
acceptable. The third person singular pronouns "he" or "she" must meet neutral
language requirements. Often, rewriting a sentence eliminates the need for repetitive
"he or she"; e.g., "Information managers complete their training" rather than "the
information manager completes his or her training." For more guidance, see Principles
of Clear Writing at
Abbreviations and Acronyms.
If the UFC contains more than 20 different abbreviations and acronyms, list and define
in an appendix titled "Glossary".
Abbreviations. Follow guidance in the United States Government
Printing Office Style Manual regarding abbreviations, terms of measure, and use of
signs and symbols. Use abbreviations consistently throughout a UFC. Spell out proper
names on first use, and present the abbreviation immediately following in parentheses;
use the abbreviation thereafter. Do not use symbols in the text; e.g., use the word
"inches," not the symbol ("). Use of % is acceptable. Spell out degrees; do not use the
symbol (). Greek symbols are acceptable. Symbols may be used in figures and tables.
Acronyms. When use of an acronym will improve reader understanding
of the text, provide the complete term the first time it appears, followed by the acronym
in parentheses. Then, use the acronym consistently throughout the remainder of the
Metric System of Measurement.
The following requirements are consistent with the provisions of DOD (AT&L)
Standardization Directory - 10, Guide for Identification and Development of Metric
Standards, December 2003. In new or revised publications, provide dimensions in
English inch-pound units with metric dimensions in parentheses. Calculate metric