Writing for the Catalog
In an attempt to reduce redundancy among catalog sections, we have created a couple of charts that compare the distinguishing attributes of both fields. For a more complete guide on how best to create and use catalog text, especially introductory text, please reference the Catalog Style Guide.
Marketing text and program descriptions
|Comparison: Marketing Text vs. Program Description|
|Attribute||Marketing Text||Program Description|
|Purpose||To make an emotional connection with the student, or to draw them in so they continue reading||To present factual basic and specialized information about the academic program in a way that helps students decide if this is the right program for them as well as providing clarity for current students about what they should be learning in the program and any special opportunities they could have while in it.|
|Audience||Prospective students||Prospective students, current students, faculty, future employers, funding sources (VA, foreign sponsors, etc.), ABOR, other educators and schools, accreditation bodies|
|Limit||50 words||150 words (undergraduate); 450 words (graduate)|
|Updateability||Text is not archived, so it can be updated on-demand.||Text is included in academic catalog archive, so it can be updated only during the yearly catalog review.|
|Answers These Questions||
|Catalog Style Notes||Avoid stating the degree name here; it's redundant. Writing style is encouraged to be more informal (should use second person voice "you")||
Program name must be used in program description; catalog style applied to all references to name; style must be more formal - third person voice only.
Present-focused - "Students learn", "Students can", "Students do".
However, remember the ASU language style is to be clear, direct and succint.
|Hyperlinks||Text may be hyperlinked as long as it is an ASU URL; to direct to a non-ASU site, the full URL must be used||Text may be hyperlinked as long as it is an ASU URL; to direct to a non-ASU site, the full URL must be used|
|What Does Not Belong Here||Admission information, curricular content (culminating experience changes, extra courses, concentration information, etc.), anything already stated in the program description||Hyperbole or hyperbolic statements, admission information, campus information, course listings, careers|
- Your department’s marketing team is the best resource to help you pinpoint what to feature in your introduction text and program description and how best to present it. Please reference this Google doc for your college’s marketing contact person.
- You can refer to the Catalog Style Guide for information specific to the Academic Catalog and for great ways to think about and start creating introduction text.
- It also may help to familiarize yourself with the ASU brand and platform, as well as the language section of the Enterprise Brand and Marketing Guide’s writing style guide.
|Comparison: Career Opportunities vs. ONET Codes|
|Attribute||Career Opportunities||ONET Codes|
|Audience||Prospective students, current students, parents, funding sources, employers, government agencies||Prospective students, current students, parents, funding sources|
|Style||Descriptive text in catalog style; future-focused - "Graduates can", "Graduates do"||Prescriptive codes provided by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics https://www.onetonline.org/|
|Limit||150 words||10 codes|
|Purpose||To connect transferable skills developed through the program to possible career pathways||Details growth data and salary data of jobs|
|In Other Words||Star-shaped degrees: ASU degrees can prepare students for multiple, interdisciplinary careers. A major does not always equal a career trajectory, and a career increasingly consists of a composite of jobs held throughout the working life.||Round peg jobs: often have a singular focus; BLS data can lag behind in creating occupational titles for new fields (e.g., biomimicry)|
|Updateability||Catalog exception: Although text is archived, it can be updated on demand||Text is not archived, so it can be updated on-demand.|
|Answers These Questions||
It is okay to dream in this section and include a career field that might not currently exist or for which an ONET code does not exist.
It is okay to be aspirational in this section, and to include jobs that might need an extra step (like an advanced degree or certification) between your program and the job.
|Hyperlinks||Text may be hyperlinked as long as it is an ASU URL; to direct to a non-ASU site, the full URL must be used||Hyperlinks are created by data pulled in from the BLS database.|
|What Does Not Belong Here||Admission information, curricular content, campus information, course listings, anything already stated in the program description, salary data||Anything that is not an ONET code|
*Access to Lightcast data requires a license. The dean's office can inform if one exists for the college.
Note: Degree Search does not display the official ONET title as listed on https://www.onetonline.org/. Instead, we have worked with Career and Professional Development Services to create alternate titles that better match how a student may search for a career (e.g., "doctor" instead of "physician").
Note: ONET codes are only displayed on Degree Search for undergraduate programs as there is not a way to adjust the BLS data to display the salary or skill increases that would occur as a result of completion of post-baccalaureate degrees. However, ONET codes have proven useful in extending the me3 game to graduate programs and certificates, as well as for classifications on the . ONET codes in categories that list "All Other" do not carry enough information on the BLS site to be assigned a RIASEC code that would allow them to be used in the me3 game.