Module 13 - E-Mail Messages, Web Writing, and Technology
simple and conversational in tone and use headings, bulleted lists, and only
necessary jargon. A good strategy is to draft information in a word
processor and edit and proofread the draft carefully. Where possible,
writers should work with web page designers to plan and test their designs
and anticipate if there are too many hyperlinks—jumps to other pages—on
Teaching Tip: Many students have access to high-speed
Internet connections, but others rely on slower modem hookups. If students with
faster connections feel that design isn’t all that important because pages load so
quickly, have students with slower connections share any problems they’ve had with
poorly designed pages.
In-Class Exercise: Have the students individually or in small groups share with the
class the best and worst web pages they’ve ever visited. Which design features worked
and which didn’t? Have the students write lists of good and bad features on the board.
Afterward, identify which features showed up most often in these lists. How did they
compare to the concepts discussed in Module 13?
As PP 13-19 illustrates, John Morkes and Jakob Nielsen advocate
creating “scannable text” to make pages accessible.
Highlight key words.
Use meaningful, not clever, subheadings.
Include bulleted lists.
Use one idea per paragraph.
Write in the “inverted pyramid” style of organization, with the main idea up front.
Use half the word count of a printed page.
Avoid “marketese,” or language that is extremely subjective and boastful.
As with any technology, the web is evolving, so writers should expect rules to develop and
Can I use blogging on the job? LO 13-7
Yes, so long as you are professional.
Creating web logs, or blogging, is an increasingly popular way of
communicating on the web. It’s so popular, some businesses are turning
to blogging to aid in recruiting employees, and CEOs are posting their
own blogs in an effort to speak directly to customers and associates.
As PP 13-20 through PP 13-22 suggest, the most important issue to
consider when blogging on the job is how to keep the blog professional.
Writers should avoid posting material that could be too personal or offer unflattering opinions
about the people in their lives or the companies they work for. If the company owns or pays for
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