Bobst Library: Writing for the Web



Useful Tips | Displaying Content |Credibility Tips |Examples | Sources

Useful Tips:

-Put most important information at the top of page (users don't scroll)

-Use straightforward, useful headings

-Convey only one point per paragraph:

-Word count: 50% less than print

-Use consistent organizational wording throughout pages.

Displaying Content:


  • Chunk Content
  • Use short paragraphs; 1 or 2 sentences.
  • Use phrases- Example
  • Cut wordy text; long paragraphs-Example [scroll down to Measuring the Effect of Improved Web Writing
  • Use lists (ordered, unordered)
  • Use links for supplemental information.
  • Use pop-up boxes for supplemental information
  • Highlight keywords- Example


  • Use CAPS and italics: they are hard to read
  • Center text; it is harder to read <

    Credibility Tips:

  • Back up your claims/ points
  • Use non-subjective language
  • Indicate when page was written / last updated
  • Indate for what organization it was written / produced [Web pages are often seen out of context]
  • Add contact information and author information


    Bobst Library laptop computing page: before and after Writing for the Web rules applied.

    Bobst Proxy server information: before and after Writing for the Web rules applied.


    Writing for Web MIT Libraries Guidelines. Online at:

    Writing for the Web:A Primer for Librarians. Written by: Eric H. schnell. Online at:

    Jakob Nielson. How Users Read on the Web. Online at:

    Sun Microsystems. Online at:

    John Morkes and Jakob Nielson. Applying Writing Guidelines to Web Pages. Online at:

    NYPL Online Style Guide:
    Online at:

    NYPL Web Coordinator talk at NYU about standards. Online at:

  • Author: Nadaleen Tempelman-Kluit
    Date of Last Update: 07/04 Bobst Library Home | Usability Testing at Bobst