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Writing for the web

Following the guidance in this section will make your content easy to find and easy to read.

People do not read web content the same way that they read offline. They skim, they skip forwards and backwards, they scan content before commiting to reading more.

Good web writing is different from good offline writing. It is a skill that we can learn and get better at.

This guide is a way for us to support you in creating better content.

The basics of writing for the web

Be clear

Write in plain English. Write in short sentences. Avoid specialist words if you can and explain them if you cannot. Do not assume your reader knows what you are talking about.

Keep it brief

Brevity builds confidence. Being faced with lots of information can be confusing, intimidating and create uncertainty. Users often do not need a lot of contextual information.

Get to the point

We frequently refer to visitors to our site as 'users'. They are using our site to achieve something. Help them achieve their goals by giving them the information they need quickly.

Create content that widens participation

Do not make assumptions about your audience. Have empathy for your readers and do not use language which excludes or others.

Make life easier for yourself

More content means more content to maintain. If the information you need exists somewhere else, link to it. Even if the link is to an external website.