Inclusive writing guide

Inclusive writing is accessible and welcoming to everyone. It avoids using words, expressions or assumptions that could exclude or offend anyone.

At the University of Bristol, we want to create an inclusive community where opportunities are open to all and diversity is valued. Writing inclusively is one important part of this work.

This guide is designed to help us write in a way that addresses our diverse community as inclusively as possible. It is based on research and ongoing consultation with staff and students.

Language evolves rapidly, so we will review this guide regularly. The guide is not intended to be exhaustive, and it is not a list of strict rules. Individuals may also prefer different language to what is suggested here. Instead of using this guide as a single source of truth, consider the principles of writing inclusively in all your work.

Many of the topics below are interlinked. We recognise the complex issues around intersectionality (the way a person's various identities overlap, creating different systems of discrimination or privilege). However, for ease of use, we have grouped the content into sections.

Further information

  • Find out more about good practice in equality and inclusion on our Student Inclusion and Staff Inclusion webpages.
  • We have a responsibility to make sure that we do not put people at a disadvantage due to any protected characteristics.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this guidance, contact You can also feed back anonymously using this Microsoft Form.

House style guide

For general writing guidance, including language use, punctuation, spelling and formatting, refer to the University's house style guide.

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