Writing for the Web is about making your writing easier to read
and use, not dumbing down your ideas. Help readers by writing for
- Write in the journalistic “inverted
pyramid” style: Clearly state your most important idea
- Use meaningful subheads to help readers find the content they
- Highlight key phrases and words to draw visitors’
- Use links to provide easy access to background information and
(again) highlight key phrases and words.
- Use one idea per paragraph. As in newspapers, one-sentence
paragraphs are perfectly legitimate on the Web.
- Avoid acronyms and abbreviations. If you must use an acronym,
handle it as you would on paper: Spell it out in the first usage on
each page and then use the abbreviation thereafter.
- Use bulleted lists to pull out key ideas.
Make sure the content you especially want your visitors to see
is visible without scrolling.
Visitors will scroll, especially if they can tell there’s
content that interests them lower on the page. It’s still a
good idea to ensure that the first thing they see is the content
you most want them to see!
Check how you organize your content and think about the
proportions of each piece. A well-chosen image can convey your
department’s unique character in an appealing way.
However, placing a large picture at the top of your page hides your
other content, making it less likely that users will scroll down to
Authentic voice sounds true and genuine, the way we speak in a
conversation. Readers pay attention and listen to writing that
sounds like a person is talking. Use inviting and professional
language. Write to your readers in the second-person narrative:
Address your audience directly, using “you” and
Example: “Your research project, designed in
conjunction with your faculty mentor, will match your interests and
abilities with the needs of the research group. In our program, you
will work on a project that interests you.”