Writing for the Web using plain English – 10 March and 23 March

January 4, 2016

This course is only open to charity and voluntary sector participants. This is a condition of the funders.


PEN Plain English Writing for the Web Training

Thurs 10 March 9.30am-4.00pm

Wed 23 March: 9.30am-4.00pm

Venue: Cluid, 63-66 Amiens Street, Dublin 1

Who is this course for?

This course is for content writers, editors or reviewers who write and manage content but who are new to plain English or would like a refresher. Trainees are likely to have to write text about their organisation and or a particular news topic or issue. The course would also be useful to other staff members who want to sharpen their writing techniques.

Description of course:

This course will use a mix of presentation, relevant examples, discussion and exercises to introduce participants to the benefits and techniques of plain English when writing or reviewing web content. The training aims to be informal with regular opportunities for questions and answers. We will use examples of content from participants’ own websites.

By the end of this training, participants should be able to:

  • understand how people ‘read’ on the web;
  • identify what makes web material difficult to read and understand;
  • write sharper copy for their website using web writing resources based on plain English;
  • identify and use keywords to maximise search engine results and placing;
  • have a greater appreciation of the importance of clear navigation; and
  • appreciate accessibility and legal issues when writing for the web.

Course outline:

9.15 Tea and coffee

9.30 Welcome, introductions and expectations

9.40 What’s different about writing for the web? Does plain English help?

9.50 Who are you writing for? What they want from your site?

10.10 An integrated web writing strategy – what’s this? Does it fit with webpage content, newsletters, Facebook, and so on?

10.40 The science of web usability (UX)

  • Usability and what we know about how people read on the Web and what they want

11.15 Navigation is a content – and an accessibility issue

  • Breaking up long or complicated text using clear headings or sub-headings, appropriate paragraphs, meaningful links, keywords

11.45 The value of storytelling

12.30 Lunch

1.15 How to write clearly

  • Being personal and direct
  • Being concise
  • Being positive
  • Using everyday words
  • Making verbs obvious and strong
  • Font, format and alignment
  • Style matters

3.15 Defamation and copyright

3.35 Questions, answers and… next steps

4.00 Evaluation and close.

Note: This course is focused on writing in plain English. It is not about building a website. Timings are indicative.

To register for the course on 10 March click here

To register for the course on 23 March click here

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