Journalism / Skills

Writing: The English language

The English language is full of traps and confusing rules. Audiences complain loudly when the wrong word is used and mistakes can be public for some time. This section of the BBC Academy website offers basic advice to help you maintain high standards of literacy and grammar.

Writing in English: Rules and choices

The public expect the language the BBC uses to be clear and precise. So how do you decide whether words are jargon or specialist language?

Grammar for news

Tips on when to write with an active or passive voice, the need for consistency, how to bring your scripts to life - and other essential grammar

Writing judgements: Abbreviations, attribution, clichés and repetition

Don't assume a certain level of knowledge among your audience, always attribute your assertions, while avoiding clichés and repetition

Writing: Fashionable, foreign and superfluous words

There is fashion in language, as in most things. Here are some tips on navigating English jargon and avoiding vogue words

Writing: Sensitivity and offence

Many words may or may not be offensive to BBC audiences depending on the context. It is often your choice whether to use them

Writing: Accuracy with names and titles

It is important for the BBC's credibility and reputation for accuracy that it identifies people and organisations correctly. Job titles, names and post-nominal initials are key

Writing: Accuracy with numbers and measures

It is important to report data in an interesting and accurate way so that audiences do not switch off - here's how to make numbers and measures engaging

Writing about European institutions and immigration

Stories about European institutions, immigration or asylum can be tricky to write. Follow our guidance to help avoid confusion or offence

Writing about devolution

UK devolution made reporting a complicated system even more difficult - here is some advice to guide you through the constitutional complexities