A Simple Guide to Writing for Your Website

A Simple Guide to Writing for Your Website

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It's the words that matter. Research into how people use the Web repeatedly shows that the words used on a website are crucial to its success. It seems obvious when you think about it. Yet we are so preoccupied with the colour, the design, the links and the layout that the question 'What is the site going to say?' is often the last thing we consider. Successful sites are those with a clear purpose, clearly expressed. They contain the right amount of information, and are well structured and presented. Many websites fail because they have not been properly thought out or carefully written. They do not communicate well with the user or give the relevant information. The Web is a demanding medium for writers. You have a few seconds in which to get the user's interest and you can lose it very quickly; you have to organise your material quite differently from the way you would for a printed publication; and your product is never finished. This Simple Guide will help you understand the medium you are writing for and meet those demands.
It will take you through the process of writing for the Web step by step, giving you techniques for tackling individual tasks, useful examples of what works and what doesn't, and a reminder of the basic rules of written English. Whether you are starting from scratch or maintaining an existing site, you can keep the Simple Guide by your side and consult it as you go along.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 147 x 210 x 10mm | 260g
  • Prentice Hall
  • Upper Saddle River, United States
  • 013041557X
  • 9780130415578

Table of contents

Introduction Chapter 1 - What's so special about the Web? - describes the characteristics of the Web compared with other media and ends with a list of lessons for writers. Chapter 2 - What's your website for? - takes you through a process of sorting out your ideas and rigorously eliminating all but the essential things you want your website to do. Chapter 3 - Who is it for? - uses exercises to help you focus on your target users and write for them. Chapter 4 - What's the story? - gives you practical guidance in organising material for a non-linear medium. Chapter 5 - The language of the Web - looks at the kind of language you should use on the Web and the differences between written and spoken English. Chapter 6 - Using as few words as possible - gives you tips and exercises to make your writing concise. Chapter 7 - Choosing the right words - gives you advice on what to avoid and how to improve a piece of bad writing. Chapter 8 - The functions of words - reminds you of the mechanics of the language; the grammar. Chapter 9 - Constructing sentences - helps you put words in the right order and make your sentences flow. Chapter 10 - Spelling and punctuation - gives you advice on spelling consistently and using punctuation effectively. Chapter 11 - How does it look? - helps you use layout, fonts and colours to make the most of your words. Chapter 12 - Writing your home page - tells you what your home page must do if it is to work. Chapter 13 - Writing summaries, headlines and lists - takes you through three essential skills in Web writing. Chapter 14 - Editing and maintaining - reminds you that a website is dynamic, not static, and needs constant attention; a good reason for keeping it simple. Sources - lists the books and websites drawn on, which you may also find useful. Acknowledgements - includes a list of the sites used as illustrations.
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Review quote

"It may seem expensive for what is little more than a GCSE Internet Literature revision guide, but if you want to get top marks it could be a grade A investment." "PC Basics", September 2001 "...if you're a writer or Web developer looking to improve your Web site with good writing that works on the Internet, this is the perfect book...it's easy to read and follow. It has good explanations, including photos of Web sites and suggestions for how to improve the writing. This may be a simple guide, but with it you'll have a great Web site with quality writing." HTML Guide, about.com
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