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Writing for the Web

Writing content that is accessible, optimized for search, and otherwise informative and easy to read.

W&M Libraries Writing & Style Guide

This guide is a starting point for creating LibGuides, library website pages, and other content included in W&M Libraries' websites. It is a collection of best practices and guidelines to organize and present content on a webpage so that it is engaging and informative for our patrons, as well as accessible to all. 

The university also has an in-depth writing & style guide that is an excellent reference tool. Some of it is specific to formatting for W&M's content management system, Cascade, but the vast majority is applicable to any website.

The web evolves constantly, and so too its best practices! Please share other resources for writing and organizing content, and feel free to ask questions about the guidelines. This guide is a living document that will change as we revamp the Libraries website.


This guide covers the following concepts:

  1. Basic style guidelines
    Our websites generally use AP Style. Consult these basics for tips on punctuation and formatting. 
  2. Organizing and structuring your content
    Before diving into a writing project, take a step back and think about how to present your content. Even a single webpage can benefit from a thoughtful analysis of how to structure your content so that visitors can easily find what they're looking for.
  3. Accessibility & Searchability
    Creating content that is accessible to all goes hand-in-hand with writing that is optimized for search. By following some simple rules, you can make sure your content reaches the largest audience.
  4. Color & Typography
    Learn what colors and fonts are consistent with the William & Mary brand. 


Further Reading