Administrative Policy Drafting Tips

The tips below help with drafting policies and procedures that are accessible, easily understood, and effective.

For style guidelines, see the Administrative Manuals Style Guide, the WSU Marketing and Communications Editorial Style Guide, and the Inclusive Language Guide.

For any questions, contact Policies, Records, and Forms at

  • Check to see if a WSU policy on the same topic already exists or overlaps.
  • Look at other universities’ policies for ideas.
  • Create an outline of the policy.
  • Use the right template:
    • EPM Template   (Policies intended for publication in the Executive Policy Manual)
    • BPPM/SPPM Template  (Policies intended for publication in the Business Policies and Procedures Manual or Safety Policies and Procedures Manual)
  • Use simple, plain language and short sentences.
  • Write with the intended audience in mind.
  • Don’t use unnecessary words. For example, use “to” instead of “in order to” and “because” instead of “as a result of.”
  • Keep it short. Don’t try to cover every possible situation.
  • Make it helpful. State who (or which unit) needs to do what, and why.
  • Make it enforceable. State how it is to be enforced and by whom.
  • Use vertical lists and bullets to help the reader focus on important material.
  • Check for compliance with laws, regulations, and industry standards.