Writing for Web

Traditional academic writing Pyramid style – NOT FOR WEB WRITING

  • Lays the foundation with lots of supporting research
  • Builds to a logical conclusion
  • Takes a lot of reading to get to the point

Inverted pyramid – YES FOR WEB WRITING

  • Catch your readers’ attention in the first few words
  • Start with the conclusion, follow with the details
  • Focus on key facts: who, what, where, when, why and how
  • Only one idea per paragraph
  • Use half the word count of traditional writing


  • As simple as possible
  • Never use a long word when a short one will do
  • Beware of acronyms (PLE? LMS? LO?, OER?, …)

Layout and formatting

  • Small chunks
  • Subheadings
  • Use bullet points whenever possible
  • Use bold intelligently and sparingly
  • Avoid italics
  • Write numbers as numerals (5 instead of five) 

Writing headlines

  • Short, specific, tell the story
  • Include keywords
  • Include place names
  • Don’t use metaphors and wordplay
  • Needs to make sense on its

Writing links

  • Links should be self-explanatory
  • Don’t waste words writing click here or follow this link
  • Web addresses shouldn’t be used as the text for links: You can book online
  • If the link takes users to a different section or website, make that clear

Keep it short

  • Headlines: 8 words or less
  • Sentences: 15 to 20 words
  • Paragraphs: 40 to 70 words
  • Break long articles / documents

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