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Online study - so what's involved?

Writing online

Write concisely

  • If you adapt a paper copy document - cut it by 50%. People scan and use link words on the web.

  • Use paragraphs and keep your sentences short.


Use a readable design

  • Choose an easy to read font - sans serif is usually easier to read than serif .

  • Choose colours that are easy to read - headings should be darkish.

  • Don't use too many colours, keep to black or dark blue for main text.

  • Use short lines and remember paragraphs!

  • Use lower case rather than UPPER CASE WHICH IS HARD TO READ ONLINE.

  • Avoid using Initial Capitals. They Look Very Old Fashioned.

  • Only underline hyperlinks.


Write to be scanned

  • Align left - it helps the eye to scan.

  • Make your headings useful - ask questions, lead in...

  • Use the inverted pyramid structure

    • Big idea at the top

    • Least important at the bottom

Reference: McAlpine, R (1999). Web Word Wizardry. Wellington: Corporate Communications.

Using emoticons

Emoticons can be used to convey the non-verbal tone, expression or intent of a comment. The text editor has a smile image on the toolbar that allows you to insert an emoticon into your forum posts or other places where the text editor appears. In chat sessions you can use the keyboard characters to convey the same emoticons - see table below.

Note: when using keyboard characters there should not be any spaces between characters.

smile smile : -)
big grin big grin : -D
wink wink ; -)
mixed mixed : -/
thoughtful thoughtful V -.
tongueout tongueout : -P
cool cool B -)
approve approve ^ -)
wide eyes wide eyes 8 -)
surprise surprise 8 -o
sad sad : -(
shy shy 8 -.
blush blush : -I
kiss kiss : -X
clown clown : o)
black eye black eye P -|
angry angry 8 -[
dead dead xx -P
sleepy sleepy | -.
evil evil } -]