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Content Development

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

Be brief.

  • 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