On This Page: Our Tone | Examples of Our Tone

Our audiences will interact with us for different reasons, so we can’t expect to communicate with everyone the same way. Tone allows us to adapt our voice to maximize audience understanding, receptivity, and engagement.

For example, our voice will always be informative, but our tone can vary from direct and responsible to more discursive and playful in the delivery of information. Tone is not mutually exclusive; our tone can combine different attitudes to craft a texture for the message that is unique yet remarkably NYU.

Our Tone

As an institution of higher education, we are accountable for and to the many people who make up our community, so our communications should sound responsible and objective. We should not only come across as informative and accessible but also playful and imaginative, reflecting the inventive and creative spirits of the 15 locations we call home while being careful not to offer attractive but empty promises.

NYU believes we can move society forward but doing so requires an equal blend of realism and optimism. Therefore, our communications should be honest and clear but not insensitive and unfeeling. Approach complications and conflicts when necessary with a practical attitude while applying an idealistic, aspirational tone to inspire future innovation and change that are grounded in reality. If you have a lot of ideas to cover, communicating in a discursive style is fine but keep it topical and easy to follow. Be direct and avoid overly verbose or dense communications.

Although we have a strong sense of right and wrong, we always keep an open mind. Conscientious communications demonstrate our compassion and understanding while a casual attitude suggests flexibility. Always come across as caring, but steer clear of sensational emotional appeals. Choose to sound mindful and engaged over nonchalant and disinterested.

A note about taking a more playful or casual tone: Avoid impersonating student voices. Be cautious when using slang terms—meaning can shift very quickly and their use can sometimes perpetuate cultural appropriation.

Note: If the tone of your crafted message falls within the tonal range highlighted here, it is genuine to NYU’s personality and voice.
 

Examples of Our Tone

The following examples convey the same general information for prospective undergraduate students and embody the NYU personality and voice but do so using a different dominant tone.

Idealistic

Unparalleled education creates unprecedented opportunity. With over 250 areas of study, thousands of undergraduate courses, and locations around the world, at NYU, you’ll find the knowledge and the tools you need to change the world and become the person you were meant to be.

 

Playful

Indecisively curious or endlessly ambitious? Either way, NYU suits you. Change course, add minors, take on a second major. With so many options, you have the power to explore different disciplines or create your ideal educational experience. Here, you have the flexibility and the freedom to become who you were meant to be—your way.

 

Objective

NYU offers you myriad ways to pursue your academic and personal goals. More than 250 areas of study, 3,000 undergraduate courses, and 300 student-run clubs allow you to mix and match your interests across disciplines. What’s more, you can take your education global by studying away at any of our 14 additional global locations. Conduct substantive research. Learn a new language. Launch a grassroots organization. You can do all this and more at NYU.