Writing for the Web

Keep it simple, interesting, and brief. These are three key points on writing for the web, as delivered by Carleton’s own Doug Bratland last Thursday.

This talk was particularly applicable to our blog, as we are obviously writing for the web here. In this post I am trying to apply some of the key points from the talk, such as:

  1. Use lists to highlight key points
  2. Employ bolding to make posts scannable 
  3. Keep writing clear and engaging
  4. Remember your audience

As students at Carleton, it is particularly difficult to transition out of academic writing into writing for the web. Looking back at some of my previous posts, I can see that I sometimes struggled to keep my posts concise and focused.

Writing for the web is particularly important for digital humanities. Oftentimes DH projects occupy a fine line presenting complex scholarship online and making that scholarship accessible and interesting for the web. This is one of the greatest challenges but also one of the most exciting areas of DH work.

Carleton Undergraduate Journal of Humanistic Studies

I have been part of an initiative on campus to set up an online research journal for the humanities and our website just recently went live! We are soliciting papers that present original, polished research. This is a fabulous opportunity for students at Carleton to get their work published, as well as to engage with and practice the peer review process. I recently spoke at the Language and Teaching Center lunch about our project and I thought I would share some of my presentation here.

We chose an online journal format because we want to ensure ease of access to our journal and we are also excited to eventually collaborate with other undergraduate institutions. We are currently working on the formatting and production of a standardized PDF template in LaTex. We are hoping to have high-quality, uniform PDFs that can be downloaded from the web site. But we also want to retain the online reading experience and keep full text of the articles online. Some of the biggest challenges I foresee in this project are dealing with citations and footnotes, particularly as we are accepting papers from a wide variety of disciplines.

Right now our team consists of six editorial board members. We are in the process of accepting submissions and are excited to produce our first issue. Our goal is to get out of the first issue by midterms Spring term.