Writing for the Web is drastically different than writing for print. Hypertext on the Web not only tells a story, it presents an experience in which the user interacts with the content.
Basic Web Writing Tips
- Use the "pyramid" style of writing, placing important information first
- Write short sentences
- Use bulleted lists
- Keep paragraphs concise
- Utilize informative titles and subheadings
- Write in conversational, easy-to-understand language
- Link to relevant pages
Know your audience.
- Identify your primary audience
- Determine what visitors already know and what they're looking for
- Have an objective: to inform, encourage a specific action, elicit a response
- Use words familiar to your users
- Address users as “you” rather than “the student,” “the faculty member”
Consider the structure.
- Arrange menu items in a logical order
- Develop clear pathways to information
- Provide just enough text and links to lead visitors to the next relevant page
Use best practices.
- Include internal sub-headings to make text easy to scan
- Use one idea per paragraph
- Never type in all capital letters on the Web; it's the equivalent of shouting—and bad practice
- Use embedded links. For example: check out Web Writing Tips and not: Check out Web Writing Tips at www.ubalt.edu/webwritingtips
- Capitalize words in headlines, except prepositions