Business Writing Skills II - A Web Writing Primer

Written by Linda Elizabeth Alexander

Whatever you would write on paper, cut it in half. The web was designed for quick reading. Studies show that people do not read long blocks of text while surfingrepparttar web; reading fromrepparttar 129467 screen is often slower than reading on paper. Therefore, be as brief and torepparttar 129468 point as you can be, or risk losing your readers' attention.

Write for scanning. Since web surfers often skim web copy, avoid using long blocks of text. Use lots of white space, bulleted and numbered lists, and short paragraphs (1 or 2 sentence paragraphs are not out ofrepparttar 129469 question).

Also, begin with a short conclusion. This way,repparttar 129470 reader will know right away if your topic is one s/he is interested in.

Keep your copy simple. No need for elevated language onrepparttar 129471 web. Once, I read that you should pretend you're writing a TV commercial: Keep your copy short and succinct.

Write conversationally. Think of your readers as individual people rather than as a faceless "audience." Reading your piece out loud easily tests this. Or, have a friend read it to you. If it doesn't flow smoothly, it is time to rework your copy.

Use nested headings. In addition to using short paragraphs, break up your copy into two or three levels of headlines and sub heads. This way,repparttar 129472 reader can more easily scan to a topic she is interested in.

Use emphasis and hypertext. If using long text where appropriate (say, in an in- depth article or report), it helps to break up your text into several pages connected by links.

The beauty ofrepparttar 129473 web is that your interested readers will follow you torepparttar 129474 detailed information if they want; otherwise, they can scanrepparttar 129475 general information that is nicely laid out onrepparttar 129476 first page of your article.

Generating Innovative Ideas for Writing

Written by Linda Elizabeth Alexander

There is nothing scarier than staring at a blank piece of paper with a deadline quickly approaching. Whether you're writing a column, article, or essay,repparttar following ten techniques will help you findrepparttar 129465 topic or angle you are looking for. 1.Read

You can read anything ? a newspaper, book, or milk carton. Jumping into an environment that already has lots of ideas in it may lead to new ideas.

2.Surfrepparttar 129466 Web

Start on your favorite site, and follow random links for a few minutes until you come to something strange to you. Reading about something new, unconventional, or out of your comfort zone will get your brain moving.

3.Seek Help From Coworkers

Two heads are better than one. And three heads are better than two. Ask some coworkers if you can bounce ideas off them. As you speak, have them respond with their own ideas. Soon, you will have several working topics to write about.

4.Exercise to Stimulate Your Brain

Sitting in front of your computer in your boring corporate office will drive you nuts. Go for a walk or torepparttar 129467 gym and get moving! The oxygen and adrenaline in your system will stimulate brain and body will inspire you to write.

5.Go Somewhere New

Again, sitting betweenrepparttar 129468 familiar four walls of your office is probably what dried up your ideas inrepparttar 129469 first place. Go to a park, a museum,repparttar 129470 mall, orrepparttar 129471 gym. Being in a different environment will stimulate new ideas.

6.Listen to Music

I don't often recommend listening to music while you're trying to concentrate. However, immersing yourself in sound will allow you to free associate. Let your mind wander off. It may wander intorepparttar 129472 garden of writing ideas.


This is Doug Hall's (author of Jump Start Your Brain) term for an exercise you may have heard of. Put your main idea inrepparttar 129473 middle of a blank sheet of paper. Think of three or four possible topics and branch them offrepparttar 129474 main idea. Allow each "branch" ofrepparttar 129475 "tree" to grow its own branches with related ideas. Soon, you'll have a messy page filled with lots of useful thoughts.

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