Writing for the Web

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English
116 Pages
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Description

This book will help you write prose that's as good as your code. It includes a convenient, easy-to-use Webwriter's style guide to step you through the rules governing abbreviations, biased terms, capitalization, and compound words. Exercises will help you practice your new Webwriting techniques, and critiques of real Websites will give you practical advice.
PREFACE xv
INTRODUCTION xxi
1 HISTORY, HYPERTEXT, AND INTERACTIVE
COMMUNICATION 1
1. Plain Text versus Hypertext 3
2. The Interactive Communication Model 5
3. Computers Make Us Impatient 6
4. Computers Give Us Jolts 7
5. Computer-Screen Text Is Hard to Read 7
5.1 Computer-screen text is hard to proofread 8
6. Websites Attract Different Kinds of Visitors 8
7. Webtext Is Hypertext 9
v
CONTENTS
2 STRUCTURING YOUR WEBSITE 11
1. Chunking: Hit and Run Information Retrieval 12
2. Scrolling: Information Retrieval by Downloading 14
3. The Three Principles of Webtext 16
3.1 Orientation: Where am I and how do I get
around this site? 17
3.2 Information: The reason for the site’s existence 19
3.3 Action: What people should do once they’re
informed 20
3 ORGANIZING WEBSITE CONTENT 23
1. Orientation: Navigation Cues Provide a Site
Overview 23
1.1 Understand how visitors scan web pages 24
1.2 Treat every page like a home page 26
1.3 Signal transitions with navigation buttons 27
2. Orientation: Headlines 28
2.1 Use subheads 29
2.2 Grab readers’ interest: Hooks, links, and blurbs 30
3. Information: Analyze Your Audience — and Yourself! 34
3.1 What’s your exformation? 35
3.2 Create a “client brief ” 39
3.3 Organize consciously 40
3.4 Writing webtext from scratch 42
3.5 Style and display 44
3.6 Format for printing 45
3.7 Use bulleted lists 46
4. Action: Communication Runs Both Ways 48
4.1 Response cues 49
4 WRITING GOOD WEBTEXT 53
1. Activate the Passive 54
vi Writing for the Web
1.1 Don’t confuse passive voice with past tense 55
2. Choose Concrete Anglo-Saxon Words 56
3. Use Simple Sentences 57
4. Avoid Clichés 58
5. Choose Strong Verbs over Weak Ones 61
6. Be Aware of Dialect Variations 61
7. Be Precise 62
7.1 Diction: Choose your words carefully 63
8. Don’t Use Extended Metaphors 70
9. Use Clear Antecedents 71
10. Grammar and Usage: Common Errors 71
10.1 Sentence fragments 71
10.2 Subject-verb disagreements 72
10.3 Incorrect pronouns 73
10.4 Misuse of adjective for adverb 74
5 EDITING WEBTEXT 77
1. Don’t Trust Your Spell Checker 77
2. Check Your Reading Level 78
3. Cut Verbiage 79
4. Critique Your Own Text 79
5. Print Out to Proofread 81
6. Don’t Respect the Text! 82
7. Edit for International Readers 84
8. A Webwriter’s Style Guide 85
8.1 Abbreviations 88
8.2 Business abbreviations 89
8.3 Business symbols 93
8.4 Email abbreviations 94
8.5 Greek and Latin 95
8.6 Scholarly/general abbreviations 96
Contents vii
8.7 Web abbreviations 99
8.8 Punctuating abbreviations 100
8.9 Pluralizing abbreviations 101
8.10 Abbreviating dates 101
8.11 Biased terms 102
8.12 Capitalization 107
9. Online Advice about Online Writing Style 114
6 CORPORATE WEBWRITING 115
1. Challenges for Corporate Webwriters 116
2. Define Your Audience 118
3. Corporate Webwriting Needs the “You” Attitude 119
4. Too Many Webwriters Can Spoil the Site 121
5. Components of Corporate Websites 123
5.1 Mission statements 123
5.2 Policies 124
5.3 Products 125
5.4 Services 125
5.5 Departments 125
5.6 News 126
5.7 Archives 126
5.8 “Good news surprises” 127
5.9 Action items 127
7 WRITING FOR BLOGS 129
1. Personal Blogs 130
2. Job Blogs 131
3. Specialist Blogs 134
4. News Blogs 135
5. Advocacy Blogs 136
6. Developing the Right Style for Your Blog 138
6.1 Orientation: What your blog is about 139
viii Writing for the Web
6.2 Information: What you want to tell your readers 140
6.3 Action: What you want your readers to do 141
7. Online Résumés 143
7.1 Make a good first impression 143
7.2 Surprise: Redefine yourself as different 145
7.3 Create a portfolio on your site 147
7.4 Provide useful services 149
7.5 Make response easy 149
8 ADVOCACY AND MARKETING ON THE WEB 151
1. Semantics and Register 152
2. Three Elements of Persuasion 153
2.1 Logical argument 154
2.2 Appeal to authority 154
2.3 Emotional appeal 155
2.4 Credibility 155
3. Constructing Persuasive Webtext 156
3.1 Orientation 156
3.2 Information 157
3.3 Action 158
4. What’s a Legitimate Appeal? What’s Not? 158
5. Notes on Propaganda 159
6. Major Types of Propaganda 160
7. Propaganda myths 160
8. Basic Propaganda Devices 162
9. Analyzing Advocacy Websites 164
9 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 165
1. Can I Make Money as a Freelance Writer
on the Web? 165
2. Can I Teach Webwriting? 166
3. Can I Create My Own E-zine? 169
Contents ix
4. Can I Write Hypertext Fiction for the Web? 169
5. Can I Copyright My Webwriting? 170
6. How Do I Cite Web Sources in Scholarly Writing? 171
7. Can a Website Enhance a Book on Paper? 172
8. How Can I Attract Visitors to My Site? 173
9. How Can Writers and Graphic Designers
Work Together? 174
APPENDIX 175
AFTERWORD 177
EXERCISES
1 Assessing Website Structure 34
2 Identifying Exformation 38
3 Reviewing a Website 51
4 Converting Prose to Bullets 52
5 Identifying Clichés 59
6 Activating the Passive 74
7 Using Anglo-Saxon Vocabulary 75
8 Critiquing Corporate Websites 127
9 Reviewing Blogs 142
x Writing for the Web

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Published by
Published 15 July 2015
Reads 0
EAN13 9781770409361
Language English
Document size 1 MB

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