Writing for the Web: Writing to be read

Users don't read a web page; they scan it for headings, hyperlinks, bold keywords and links.

Reading on screen is not comfortable (25% slower than on paper): make it efficient with headings, images or graphics and a bit of white space.

Internet is interactive: use a conversational style (warm and friendly), use 'we' and 'you'.

Make your text scannable

Convert your text for the web

Keep it short and simple

Please follow the University guidelines on how to write and format documents.

Focus on the action

Although academic writing is often passive, use a minimum of passive sentences (aim for a maximum of 30% passive sentences).

Avoid negative expressions: positive wording sounds better.

Focus on your reader

The text should be closer to what the reader wants to know than to what the writer wants to say.

Create effective links

Editing & Proof Reading

Polish the content of your web pages before you publish them. Check the spelling, grammar, punctuation and consistency.

In order, polish the pages, paragraphs, sentences and words.

You can find more recommendations on the University Writing for the Web page.

Keep your content up to date

Set an expiration date on web pages at the time you write them, with a suggested date 6 to 12 months in the future. Once a page has 'expired', review and update its content (including embedded links); alternatively, remove or archive the page.

Good online content that is concise, authentic and useful is your best Search Engine Optimization, even when algorithms change!


The NeWT content management system takes care of the technical aspects of accessibility on your behalf. However, you still need to be aware of the content specific accessibility issues mentioned earlier in this document.

More information on Accessibility Statement is listed on the University website.