Good Writing

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When writing for any type of media, whether it be traditional print or online, there is generally a basic standard the writer must adhere to if the for attracting readers. In web based digital media, “good writing” typically has a higher standard than traditional print. Though the standard varies, the most important thing to keep in mind is to keep readers interested from the moment a potential reader clicks on the page.

General Advice

Be Brief

Readers of the web read 25% slower than when reading a newspaper, so they will not be attracted by a long works on the web. If information is not retrieved quickly, it’s only a click of the back button and pressing the next search result in Google to find exactly what they want.

Be concise

Writers shouldn't try to show how intelligent they are by using inventive sentence structure or waste words on long introduction. If a writer doesn't get to the point, they risk losing a potential reader.

Be Precise

Say what you mean and mean what you say. "Use the precise word that your meaning requires, not one that is close or, worse, one that sounds close." [1]

Be Direct

Writing for digital media isn’t poetry. No one wants to interpret ambiguous web writing. Allow readers to form their own opinion, but don;t be suspenseful about it.

Be Consistent

Consistency applies to mechanics and style. Pick a verb tense and stick to it. Make sure sentence are parallel. Use the oxford comma or don't use it. This gives the writer credibility and helps the reader to distinguish the style of the writer.

Stylistic Advice


Just like a person answers the phone and they recognize the sound of someone’s voice, readers can recognize way a writer writes. Voice usually depends on word choice, sentence structure, etc. A writer's voice can mean the difference between sounding like a twelve-year-old girl and a strict fifty-year-old English Teacher. Voice also conveys authority and expertise.


Being imaginative does not mean to be like Chaucer, who didn’t like spelling a word the same way twice. It also doesn’t mean to open the thesaurus and find big fancy words for simple words. What it does mean is to approach the topic from a different angle. For instance, a blogger wants to talk about their favorite movies. Well, there are plenty of movies that do that but a different approach would be to take favorite movies and compare it to something the reader wouldn’t expect; For example, The Lion King and “Rappuccini’s Daughter.”


Who is the writer talking to? Just like people have different ways to talk to their parents, friends, or professors, writing has that same distinction depending on the identification. Writing about Jane Eyre for thirteen-year-olds who just read the book and a group of English majors in college, who probably read the book at least twice, is going to give two completely different articles.


Revising[4] is one of the most important part of writing. During this stage the author can consider cutting baggage that makes the writing weaker or consider adding content that makes the writing stronger.

Revision Tips

  • Read it Aloud. Be aware of awkward sentences, typos, etc.
  • Kill your Darlings! Anything that might be salvageable, save in another word document.
  • Check for clichés
  • Adverbs and adjectives are the enemy! Cut them out
  • Avoid redundancy!
  • Don't use passive tense! That means no helping verbs.
  • Be aware of Plagiarism! Ignorance is not an excuse![5]

Other Points to Consider


  1. Carroll, Brian. "On Writing Well." Writing for Digital Media. New York, NY: Routledge, 2010. 8. Print.
  2. Wildhaber, Julie. "Understanding Voice and Tone in Writing." Grammar Girl. July 1 2010. Web. 05 Dec. 2012.[1]
  3. Hale, Steven. "Choosing and Writing for an Audience." Web. 05 Dec. 2012.[2]
  4. "College of Arts and Sciences." Revising Drafts. UNC, College of Arts and Sciences. Web. 05 Dec. 2012. [3]
  5. "What Is Plagiarism?" Plagiarism. Web. 5 Dec. 2012 [4]

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