Plain Words – the Documentation and Training People
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Training Course Outline: Writing for the Web Course
The Web presents a number of challenges to writers, not least of all ensuring that visitors can find the information they are looking for and that it’s easy to read.
This web writing course has been designed for people who want to write effective web-based documentation, either from scratch or based on existing material in a paper format.
By attending a web writing training course, you will avoid many of the most common errors made in web copy and ensure that your website is an effective ambassador for your organisation.
What you will learn on this writing for the web course
By the end of the course, you will know how to:
- Apply the B.A.S.D.E.L.L. writing model to work in the most effective manner
- Design and develop effective content for different types of reader
- Communicate complex information and minimise queries
- Structure information effectively for online access
- Make the most of social media
- Organise content into modular units that will improve the way your organisation captures, shares and manages knowledge
- Build navigation structures that relate to people’s needs for information
- Avoid “flat” information – where every piece of content has equal importance and is therefore difficult to search
- Sequence content – sequencing needs to be relevant but flexible allowing visitors to surf but not get lost
- Create reusable information – content must address the needs of all visitors regardless of how they access it
What our customers say
“Great trainer! Great style, very enjoyable & informative.”
PB, Slough Borough Council
“Thought the trainer was excellent. So were the exercises.”
“Concise, effective & fun.”
“I now feel able to write for the web with more confidence. It will also help with other report writing in plain English.”
JP, London Borough of Sutton
“A thoroughly enjoyable course that built confidence in a team of writers previously handling the web with fear and trepidation.”
PB, TBWA Manchester
How we deliver the writing for the web course
It is available as a one or two-day private tutor-led course at your premises.
- A one-day intensive course. It concentrates on showing you, step-by-step, the process of writing web based content. Exercises are used to illustrate various points throughout the day.
- A two-day workshop. Delegates practise web writing skills, learning through group discussion, exercises and working on real examples of documents you bring to the workshop.
Private courses at your premises
We adopt a flexible approach so that even our standard courses are tailored to your needs. Our trainers are all professional writers as well as experienced trainers. They use their judgment on the day to adjust the content and pace of the course so that delegates get the training that is right for them. This is done by:
- Discussing your requirements with you before the course
- Assessing the pre-course questionnaires
- Discussing with the delegates at the start of the course their objectives and outcomes
- Checking throughout the day that objectives are being met.
We can also further adapt the course by:
Writing for the Web Course Contents
1. A framework for success
- Using the B.A.S.D.E.L.L. business writing model to ensure you work efficiently and don’t overlook anything
2. The writing skills you need for web copy
- Plain Words’ best practice principles
- How and why web writing must be different
- How to edit text to make it lean
- Hints and tips for formatting, headings and key content
- Online or offline information? How to decide and how to present each
- Removing paper-centric elements – how to turn paper documents into Web information
- Four factors to consider for converting text
3. Devising a strategy for your website
- Setting an objective – why do we need an objective? How to determine what it is and how it affects our writing style and tone of voice
- Questions to ask when setting up websites: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?
- The order in which material should be presented
- The importance of getting feedback from your readers
- Making your website accessible to those with disabilities – Who do you need to consider, what standards are there and how do we meet them?
- Using social media effectively – eight lessons for writers
When you book we send you a questionnaire which we ask you to return to us before you attend the course. This enables our Trainers to assess your needs in advance.
4. Understanding how people read online
- Understanding the techniques people use to ‘read’ websites
- How to make your text scannable
- It takes two to communicate – why you need to understand your reader
- Two versions of the same story – how to say the same thing in different ways to suit different audiences
- Tips for integrating graphics and media with text
- Readability (language, writing styles, etc) – inclusive writing, appropriate writing, conversational writing, polished writing
- Checklist of things to avoid
5. Structuring your information
- Creating a journey for your readers – What is it? Why bother? How to do it
- How to use mind mapping and storyboarding to structure information
- Linking information – chunking, labelling, breadcrumbs
- Design considerations and how to refine your navigation process
6. Designing your content
- Link paths – vertical, diagonal, lateral
- Different kinds of links and ten guidelines to make them effective
- Accessing Web information – related link paths, related link destinations, guidelines for effective links, creating advance organisers
- Making your site accessible – eleven features you can use
- Tips on search engine optimisation and page ranking
- Dos and Don’ts for screen appearance– fonts, colour, background, separators, tables and charts
- Eight guidelines for globalisation
7. Editing and proofreading
- A top-down approach to polishing the words and punctuation
- A word on effective transitions
- Eight point checklist to ensure your content has maximum impact
- How to avoid commonly-confused words and common punctuation and spelling errors
For details of timetabled courses, see the schedule.
To reserve your places you can book on-line, book a private course or call us on +44 (0)1235 60 30 22.
Plain Words Ltd
The Documentation &
tel +44 (0)1235 60 30 22
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