A Brief Guide to Writing for the Web
Determine your primary audience. How does audience affect your writing?
Determine their purpose in visiting your site.
- Locate information (What are the admissions requirements?)
- Interact (Facebook)
- Complete a task (download the form I need)
People scan web pages rather than read them.
- F-pattern scanning
- Basic areas of a web page (web lingo) – Header, Footer, Body, Main navigation, Secondary navigation
- Expect certain conventions (logo will take them to the homepage, contact information in the footer)
General Guidelines for Web Writing
- Headers and subheaders
- Main idea of content in about 7 words or less
- Short paragraphs
- 1 idea per paragraph
- 2-4 sentences per paragraph
- Bulleted list
- Simple active sentences
- Passive: The following classes were offered.
- Active: We offer the following classes.
- Add visual interest
- Pull quotes & side bars
- Follow Wentworth’s standards
- Wentworth or Wentworth Institute of Technology (not WIT)
- The Institute (not The College or The University)
- Serial commas are preferred (use a comma before the conjunction)
- Check your work
- Use built in spell check and grammar check
- Have someone else read your work
- It looks different when it is displayed on the web, so it is a great opportunity to look it over it again.
- Wentworth Style Guide, Visual Identity Guide, and Logos are all available on Lconnect under the Employee Resources tab.
- Strunk and White’s Elements of Style (http://www.bartleby.com/141/)