Writing consistently gives a website predicability. Users know where to look for different types of information, and understand what different types of text, links or buttons do without having to think about it.
While the Top Ten Tips are broad strokes for creating better webpages, employing these style guidelines can ensure we're all writing in a similar style and tone. This section goes over the details like ideal title and paragraph lengths, grammar and punctuation, text formatting, and voice or tone.
Word leaves behind all sorts of funky code that makes your text look different from the rest of the website. Writing in Word (or any other editor) is a great practice though - just be careful when you paste your finished text.
In both LibGuides and the Libraries website, you will need to remove the formatting:
Headings and page titles should be short and descriptive so that they’re easy to scan. Aim for 6 words or less.
The page title is always a Heading 1 (H1). Each page should only have one H1.
Start your headings with H2. Use H3s and H4s for subsections. Headings should follow a logical order - never follow an H2 with an H4, or start your headings with an H3.
Use active voice as much as possible. Active voice is clear and less ambiguous, though there are instances where passive voice is fine to use. Example of switching from passive to active voice:
Passive: If there are any questions, I can be reached at the number below.
Active : If you have any questions, call me at the number below.
Use imperative verbs when writing instructions or directions. These are also clearer and easier to scan since readers will see the verb (action) first. Example:
Passive: Books may be returned to the front desk or the book drop.
Active: Return books to the front desk or the book drop.