Writing for the Web

BBC’s Journalism guide for online writing

When writing for the web, tell the story upfront. For it to work across all possible platforms and devices, it needs to be told in essence in the first four paragraphs, around 70 words:

  • Make sure the crux of the story is in the introduction – not in paragraph four

  • Check that paragraphs are clear, balanced, provide context, and are effectively self-standing

  • Double-check that the headline matches the story.


Writing for the Web- NYU Guide

Readability and Tone

  • The content of your site should be easy to read. Write in a conversational style.

  • Search out and destroy jargon, and avoid obscure acronyms. Even when your audience is internal, it’s important to be aware that other audiences, such as prospective students, are often viewing to get a sense of “what it’s really like”.

  • Online readers expect a personal, upbeat tone. They find bureaucratic writing so offensive and out-of-place that they simply ignore the message it’s trying to convey.

  • Write in active voice instead of passive voice (Ex: “Tim taught the class”, instead of “the class was taught by Tim”). Active voice is naturally less bureaucratic.

Writing for the Web- Monash University

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