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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Writing for the web - Leeds University Library

Supposedly, the advice at this website is "mainly aimed at writing academic text content for an existing website." But I disagree. Most of its guidelines are useful for all types of writing in any form.

The article begins:
The following guidelines include information and advice on presenting your content to best effect, getting it read, and making it interesting to your target audience. They also introduce you to issues such as copyright that you'll need to consider when using images and other media.
Before providing a list of guidelines, the article gives a key points on the difference between writing for the Web and writing for other types of documents, like this one:
Web content is different from other written forms. Most visitors come to a website looking for a particular piece of information - and they don't want to read the entire contents of the site to find it.
By clicking on each of these guidelines at the website, you can get additional advice and examples:
  • Use clear, plain English
  • Be concise
  • Keep paragraphs short
  • Use subheadings to help people scan the page
  • Use bullet points to break up text and convey key information
  • Aim for a maximum word count of 350 per page
  • Be wary of using idioms and humour
  • Use an active rather than passive voice
For more advice on using "clear, plain English," check out Garbl's Plain English Writing Guide.

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