Ask A Librarian

Lansing Community College Library Services

Writing for the Web: Organizing Content

Learn how to create content for the Library website.

Ordering

Think about the best way to organize items on a page. Alphabetical order only works if someone is looking for a known item and they use the same language as you do.

Put the most important items first.

Use numbered lists if appropriate.

Divide web content by:

  • Time or sequence
  • Format of material, e.g. ebooks
  • Task
  • People
  • Type of information
  • Questions people ask

The Inverted Pyramid

Writing in inverted pyramid style helps readers recognize your key points quickly. 

Internal Structure

Help people see quickly if they need information on a page using the strategies below.

What Comes First

  • Begin with the conclusion – use the “Inverted Pyramid” approach.
  • Place the most important information first or a summary giving a sense of page content.

Break Up Ideas

  • Use one idea per paragraph.
  • Break information into paragraphs, rather than one large chunk of text.
  • On the web, a one sentence paragraph is okay.
  • Make the topic sentence of each paragraph descriptive of the rest of the paragraph. Keywords first – place keywords first in headings and subheadings, and links.

Use Lists and Tables

  • Lists and tables might be better than paragraphs.
  • Transform long paragraphs into concise bulleted or numbered lists when possible to facilitate scanning, for example: Borrowing

Effective Headings

Headings help readers navigate web pages and find the information they need.

What Good Headings Do

  • Get the reader interested
  • Give readers an overview of the content
  • Help readers scan the page and find what they want
  • Make content appear less dense
  • Help the writer organize material

Characteristics of Good Headings

  • Short and direct
  • Use keywords
  • Use powerful language