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  Writing for the Web - Course Summary :

GBDirect Course :

Writing for the Web - 
Course Tutor - Dave Fisher
May 26th 2009

Course Overview

This one- or two-day training course in Writing for the web aims to provide web content authors and contributors with the fundamental skills and knowledge to express themselves effectively in the web environment. In addition to highlighting the distinctive features of web audiences, web content, web page structure and web writing styles (registers), it also addresses the practical tensions, trade-offs and workarounds involved in realising different web writing objectives.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course you should be able to:

  • Understand the key issues and decisions involved in writing for the web
  • Write website content which is appropriate for and targeted at different types of reader
  • Communicate different types of information appropriately on the web
  • Order or sequence content to speed readers to their ultimate goals
  • Structure information effectively for onsite and offsite readers
  • Write modularised content which can be shared, re-used and minimises duplication
  • Write web text which helps rather than hinders user navigation
  • Write texts which are differentiated and help user search
  • Write content which lets users access content in the way that suits them best
  • Write easily maintainable and revisable content
  • Minimise confusion among readers
  • Minimise unwanted queries from readers

Target Audience

  • Anyone writing for the web, whether on public websites, private intranets, or web application interfaces.
  • Copywriters
  • Journalists
  • Marketing and communications professionals
  • Public relations (PR) staff
  • Web designers

Course Prerequisites

  • A reasonably good command of written English is expected
  • Technical knowledge of HTML, XHTML, CSS and other web standards is not required
  • Essential, content-related, aspects of these standards (e.g. document structure, metadata, separation of content from presentation, etc) will be covered in the course.

Course Delivery

The one-day version of this instructor-led course in writing for the web is very intensive. It is practically impossible to cover all of the content listed below and to accommodate hands-on exercises plus open discussion in a single day.

In practice this means that, on publicly scheduled and 1-day versions of the course, whole-class discussion tends to take the place of hands-on exercises, and that the day usually begins with delegates prioritising which course modules they wish to cover before the end of the day.

In-house 2-day versions of the course always include hands-on exercises, although the amount and intensity of interactive work can be varied to meet client requirements, i.e. those wishing to cover more ground may need to sacrifice some interactivity, whereas those wanting more interactivity will need to sacrifice some content. Either option must be agreed with the tutor, in writing, before course delivery.

At present, there is no open public schedule for the 2-day version of this course.

Writing For The Web: Course Contents

Overview

  • Common objectives, issues and constraints
  • Target audience(s)
  • Interactivity
  • Web standards and conventions
  • Statutory and contractual requirements
  • Hypertext
  • Metadata
  • Navigation
  • Document structure

Web Audiences

  • Differences between Web and Print/Broadcast
    • Reading versus skimming versus scanning
    • The need to locate and navigate
    • Expectations and preferences
    • Control, interactivity and feedback
    • The reading context: work, home, travelling
  • Different Web Audiences
    • Visitors versus searchers: onsite versus offsite readers
    • Abilities and disabilities
    • Focus, inclusivity and exclusivity
    • Linguistic differences
    • Age differences
    • Cultural differences
    • Physical differences
    • Levels of knowledge, experience and expertise (specialist or general)

Labelling, Headings, Titles and Summaries

  • Support for scanning
  • Support selection
  • Vocabulary
  • Brevity
  • Understandability
  • Call to action
  • Out of context presentation
  • In search results
  • Indexes and site maps
 

Page Copy and Copy Writing

  • Page Structure
  • Order: The Inverted Pyramid
  • Discursive style
  • Plain English
  • Vocabularly
  • Sentence structure
  • Paragraphs
  • Keyword placement
  • When to use links
  • Where to place links
  • How to label links

Proofreading, Editing and Editors

  • Responsibility and accountability
  • Style guidelines and consistency
  • Lean text and copy writing expertise
  • Grammar and spelling
  • ‘Webifying’ offline documents
  • Selecting content
  • Sub-editing headings, labels, pull-quotes, etc

Metadata

  • Why metadata matters
    • Finding appropriate content
    • Selecting from similar content
    • Organising, ordering and indexing content
    • Re-presenting information in different contexts
  • The different forms of metadata in a web page
    • Metadata describing the whole page’s subject matter
    • Page structure and structual markup as metadata
    • Metadata applying to single page components, e.g. headings, links, images, tables, etc.
  • General metadata standards
    • HTML, XHTML and XML metadata
    • W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
    • Dublin Core
  • Specialist metadata standards: some public sector examples
    • e-GIF and the e-Government Metadata Standard (e-GMS)
    • Integrated Public Sector Vocabulary (IPSV)
    • Esd-Standards controlled lists
    • Local Authority Websites National Project (LAWs)
  • Practical exercises

      

  Writing for the Web - Course Cover :

Writing for the Web Course Cover

      

  Writing for the Web - Course Certificate :

Writing for the Web Course Certificate

      

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