Whether posting to MOODLE or to a WordPress blog, writing for the web needs to be formatted differently than for traditional academic writing. Certain simple changes seem required for on-screen readability. For example, paragraphs should be separated by white space. In fact, there should be more white space all around. Dense, single-spaced text is almost impossible to read online. Adding active links, photos, videos, and other media also affect structure and design of the page and its content. There is a shift to nonlinearity online.

I wonder if any of my fellow students have studied the differences in online writing or have noticed elements that they find helpful in reading online posts for our classes. One thing that bugs me is the failure to have links open to a new page, which makes navigation more cumbersome.

In contrast to web usability expert Jakob Nielson, Judy Gregory asserts that the differences between writing for print and writing for the web have been overblown. Her article, “Writing for the Web Versus Writing for Print: Are They Really So Different?” from the journal Applied Theory is available here:

Web v Print Writing