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Content style guide

Specific topics and programs

Read this page to learn how this style guide section can help you as you create VA content—and how to suggest new entries.

How this section helps VA content creators

Speaking plainly, compassionately, and consistently across VA content helps us build trust with Veterans, service members, and their family members. As we continue to move toward creating a seamless customer experience across multiple communication channels and in multiple languages, consistency in content becomes even more important.

The entries in this section can help guide teams across VA as they create content about a specific topic or program.

What informs the guidance in this section

The information within each entry is based on these factors:

  • VA content and plain language standards
  • Search and analytics research
  • Guidance from VA subject matter experts
  • Continued feedback from Veterans, service members, and family members through sources such as direct usability research and feedback surveys.

What you’ll find in each entry in this section

Within each topic or program entry, you’ll find these sections:

  • Considerations for how to write about the topic
  • Related terms and how we use those terms
  • Retired terms to avoid and what to use instead
  • Resources, including links to examples of published content on the topic plus relevant research and SEO data

If you need guidance on a specific term, you can also check our word list.

Go to the VA style guide word list

How to suggest a topic or program entry

We’ll continue to add entries to this section over time.

Entries coming soon:

  • Appointments
  • Claims
  • Medical records
  • Messaging
  • Prescriptions

If you want to suggest a dedicated entry for us to consider, email us at vawebdesign@va.gov.

Last updated: Aug 07, 2023