Writing for the Web

Users want to find what they are looking for as quickly and easily as possible. Web-oriented writing and editing are essential for optimal content delivery.

Key Concepts

  • Omit non-essential words. Users don't read—they scan.
  • Use "inverted pyramid" writing style: start with the point, then support it, using links for more in-depth details.
  • One idea per paragraph.
  • Keep the most important elements "above the fold," that is, visible upon initial page view without scrolling.
  • Categorize according to users' needs, not by departmental organization or hierarchy.
  • When creating a link, highlight only the one to three most important words, NOT "click here."

Do

  • Facilitate scanning with subheads, bullet points, lists and captions.
  • Provide links to related and additional detail.
  • Use an active voice: "The company published the book."
  • Use lists or tables when possible.

Don't

  • Expect your visitors to read everything.
  • Put everything on one page.
  • Use a passive voice: "The book was published by the company."
  • List items in a paragraph to save room.

Consistency of Style

The only Web constant is change. Stylistic debates continue ("Is it E-mail, e-mail or email?"). Style manuals will help, but the most important style and usage point, one that cannot be emphasized enough, is consistency. You must adhere to the style you choose.

Writing Style Guide

Florida Tech’s Creative Services has produced a Writing Style Guide that addresses many stylistic issues you are likely to encounter in Florida Tech-related communications. Standard university terminology is found here:

http://www.fit.edu/creative/editors.php

If you have any questions regarding the style guide, please contact Creative Services at creativeservices@fit.edu

Copyright Issues

Follow all applicable copyright laws. See copyright policy for additional information.