Writing Style Guide

Web and Other Digital Writing

In addition to the issues described so far, the following section includes a guide to Web-specific writing.

Less is More

  • Keep your text to a minimum. Web writing should be to the point and
    easy to understand.
  • The Web is a visual space. Keep it interesting, with a few carefully placed images.

Follow the Visual Logic of the Site

  • Follow the pre-existing design of the site when creating new pages.
    This will make it easy for the viewer to follow your information.Unexpected designs generally interrupt and confuse the reader.
  • Keep your font and type size within the design logic of the site.
  • The more you emphasize, the less the reader will notice. Always resist extra large text, many colors, or fancy use of bold and italics in areas you want to emphasize.
  • Underline hyperlinks only.

Use the Structure of the Site to Simplify Communication

  • Use the left navigation area or other navigation areas on the page to logically serve the user's needs.
  • Resist repeating the same content on many pages.Use bulleted and numbered lists for sequential information.
  • Use the top of the page to indicate the most important information. Most viewers do not scroll down the page unless they become interested.

Update Your Information

  • Readers will not return to your site if information is out of date.
  • Readers will return more often if information is regularly updated and
    interesting to read.


  • Match links and page titles (e.g., Jacobs School of Music not
  • Make sure that the titles of links make sense, and avoid URLs as link text unless they're part of an identity system.
  • Indicate file type next to the link if they're not html pages (PDF, TIFF, etc.).
  • Display e-mail addresses for e-mail links.