Linda J. Seibert, MA, LPC, NCC - 719-362-0132 OR Elizabeth Moffitt, MA, LPCC, NCC - 719-285-7466

Please … They’re the holy grail of writer’s guidelines, making it easy for everyone to understand your organization’s voice, style, and tone. Engaging content is relevant and targeted, and does not waste the users’ time or demand unnecessary effort. Browsing a page is easier when the text is broken into segments topped by headings that describe the subject of each segment. Ironically, with attention to editorial detail, ethos can also be easily spoofed on the web. Web authors use hypertext links to create or supplement concepts: a list of related links can reinforce their content or even serve as the focus of their site. The look of text layout strongly affects how readers relate to written content. Ethos establishes the credibility of an information source. In addition, most search engines regard the page title as the primary descriptor of page content, so a descriptive title increases the chance that a page will appear as the result of a related search query. New projects can benefit greatly from field studies of comparable products, observing ways in which users who are familiar with the products follow the paths defined by the design and architecture, and where they veer off and create a more desirable path to achieving goals. In The Art of Rhetoric, Aristotle outlined three major elements of rhetorical persuasion that can easily be understood in relation to web design. For example, finding a phone number or a price or location may involve multiple rounds of searching and following unproductive paths. Frequent headings and lists of items favor both scanning and methodical readers by adding visible structure to the online reading experience. One of the only benefits of long, complex documents is that all the required information is probably contained somewhere on the page. Headings are a key component in the success of a content chunking strategy. If the chapter title is marked as

Structural markup

, software knows that the page is about structural markup, and that in turn facilitates all kinds of functions, such as returning the page on searches for structural markup or adding the page to compilations about structural markup. This guide helps University communicators follow a style that is consistent and appropriate for print and online materials written for and about the University.We use The Associated Press Stylebook for our published content. Positioning keywords at the beginnings of sentences, headings, and links makes scanning more effective. Even if you’re a content production team of one, an editorial style guide ma… It works by wrapping elements, such as titles, headings, paragraphs, lists, tables, addresses, and citations, in defining tags. Even small lapses can erode the ethos of a site: broken links, missing graphics, outdated content, and misspelled words all damage the overall trustworthiness of a site. Pages with a suspiciously high keyword rate will lose search engine ranking, and pages that use hidden word repetition tricks may be banned from mainstream search engines. For example, when a web author defines a block of text as the page title, web browser software can display the page title in the browser title bar, in the browser history, and as a bookmark. But online prose does not have to be stripped down to a few headlines and bullet points to be effective: readers will engage directly with longer written materials that are relevant, accessible, and interesting. Sentences that use active voice place the actor before the action, and are easier to comprehend than sentences that use passive voice. Take, for example, the heading of this section. Use second person("you") when speaking to or about th… This is our company style guide. Bear in mind that hyperlinks aren’t just a convenience for the user; they also add semantic meaning to the page. The first step is to make sure your information is relevant to your users. IBM's style guide is just as thorough as you'd expect for a company that's built a reputation for embracing a culture led by design thinking. Below, we've listed the style reference and dictionary used by our evaluators and editors. When headings are used as hyperlinks, they are signposts marking the path from one content chunk to the next. If you must send your reader away, make sure the material around the link makes it clear that the user will be leaving your web site and entering another site by following the link. Web page titles are designated in the HTML document section with the element. Use “you,” “I,” and “we” to make the information inviting and personal, and to further reinforce the conversational nature of the discourse. Links should be used sparingly and never as a substitute for real content. This topical focus helps the reader evaluate the page content quickly and has many advantages for search engine visibility, where a clear and quickly identifiable content theme is important to search ranking. Since that time, plain language has been written into law in the United States, where federal agencies are obligated to ensure that they follow plain language best practices for presenting information that is simple and easy to understand. Many style guides focus on presentational and interaction styles rather than editorial style, which is a shortcoming, since content is a huge part of user experience. Such features are more usable when links and headings begin with keywords than when every link or heading begins with “The.”. The well presented online guide covers everything from typography to app icons and how the branding can be used in motion. To do this, you must anticipate what questions people will have at various points as they work through your site content and features. Geography is a factor, too: - There are multiple OSUs out there, … No indent. All the major search engines know that even in well-written and edited text, keywords and phrases will make up only 5–8 percent of the number of words on the average page of text. Homepage to The Chicago Manual of Style Online. You don’t want to be a bore, droning on and on about things that are deeply meaningful to your organization but that are immaterial to your web site users, who have questions and needs they have come to you to resolve. Uniform connectedness defines groups of related information, frequently using “common regions,” in which elements are grouped within a bounding box or uniform background. M. Forster People read differently on the web, and a new writing genre designed to accommodate the reading habits … A style guide or manual of style is a set of standards for the writing, formatting and design of documents. The added structure of heading and list markup aids in search engine optimization and online searches for content, because the additional markup provides explicit semantic emphasis, heading keywords, and context cues that listed items are strongly related to one another. Use the architecture of your site to create paths that map to your users’ logical paths, making it easy to move from one chunk to the next in getting all questions and needs answered. However, more organizations are posting style guides on public-facing web sites. (e.g., “Content Chasm” first use; thereafter, Content Chasm throughout). The Chicago Manual of Style Online is the venerable, time-tested guide to style, usage, and grammar in an accessible online format. The Microsoft Writing Style Guide replaces the Microsoft Manual of Style, a respected source of editorial guidance for the tech community for more than 20 years. A cheatsheet for tagging can be found here. The answer starts with a strong editorial style guide. Provide a description of the linked site along with the link so that users understand the relevance of the linked material. Place the important facts near the top of the first paragraph, where users can find them quickly. The following guidelines support both the skimming and reading behaviors of online readers. Here we summarize best practices for web writing, drawing on several sources, including Ginny Redish’s Letting Go of the Words, Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, and the Federal Plain Language Guidelines. The page title also becomes the bookmark text, and many web browsers truncate long page titles (more than sixty-five characters, including spaces) in a way that makes them less legible. Notes on Remember that in the restricted world of a laptop, tablet, or smartphone screen, a paragraph can easily fill the screen with a visually monotonous block of text. It can be tempting to create the most comprehensive style guide of all time. Broken links shake the user’s confidence in the validity and timeliness of content. Information designed using this model begins with a lead that summarizes the information, followed by the body, where the information presented in the lead is elaborated on and substantiated, in descending order of importance. However, links that appear within body text should be underlined to set them off from the surrounding text. Most blogs look for short paragraphs, so while you’re on the subjec… 03. Make sure the text you present is of immediate value. developerWorks articles: 1. Whenever possible, integrate related visual or text materials into your site so that users do not have the sense that you have dumped them outside your site’s framework. ... We use this style guide not only as a daily reference for ourselves or when working with externals, but also as a playground for new features and content blocks of the Frontify Style Guide editor. The title is the first thing users see and the first thing screen reader users hear. Editorial tips In addition to the personality traits and tone of voice as well as the writing on brand section, here are some general editorial guidelines to help you write content that showcases your story while remaining on brand. Even the <cite> tag surrounds a phrase and declares its relatedness as a book, magazine, or article title. The content on your web site is most often an answer—to a question, to a need. 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