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Idaho State University

Writing for the Web

Be concise

Web writing should use roughly half the words of conventional writing. Eliminate unnecessary words when possible, and make your point.

Write simply

Keep your sentences simple and short. Breaking up text improves scannability and helps users find information they are looking for.
Make your content easy to read and understand. Instead of the word "minuscule," say "small."

Avoid “marketingese”

Neutral language is easier to read and understand than subjective and boastful text. Be clear and direct.

Use the “Inverted Pyramid” style of writing

Put the essential and most interesting information at the beginning. Include additional information in order of diminishing importance.

Use keywords

Use terms that are commonly used to describe your topic. Avoid using proprietary terms and abbreviations as much as is possible.

Use headings

Break up your text with brief but descriptive headings and subheadings so users can find information faster.

Break up different ideas into different paragraphs

Long, dense blocks of text are intimidating to readers. Several short paragraphs are preferable to a single long paragraph.

Make your text skim-friendly

Use bulleted lists in place of long series or text lists.

Highlight only as necessary

Use bold very sparingly to draw attention to an important point.

Use the proper case

Sentence case is much easier to read than uppercase. To emphasize an important point, use bold.

Make links easy to identify

Links should be a consistent color and style. Do not change the color of a link to make it stand out. Do not underline any text since it may be confused for a link.
A link should never say 'Click here'.


Rules for displaying information



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View the Style Guide for more specific information.