Writing for the Web

I.     Course Prefix/Number: EGL 211

       Course Name: Writing for the Web

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

WWW131 and one previous, college-level writing course with a grade of C or higher. (Recommended: EGL 101, EGL 111, EGL 212, or equivalent).

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course explores specialized writing techniques and skills necessary to produce effective communications for digital formats. Focus is on online hypertext documents for internet and intranet systems. Experience using word processing software and World Wide Web necessary. Content includes organizing and writing company Web pages, product and service descriptions; and on-line training materials, easily navigated by various audiences. Instruction in HTML coding not part of course.
    Note: This is not a course in HTML coding.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Writing for the Web is designed to give student the necessary tools to competently write and present descriptive, explanatory, and instructional information for internet and intranet systems.
Specifically, students will demonstrate their ability to:
1.    Identify purposes and types of online documents
2.    Identify audience types and analyze information needs.
3.    Apply appropriate language, tone, and presentation modes for intended audiences and purposes
4.    Write technical material for nontechnical audiences.
5.    Classify information according to logical principles.
6.    Write labels and headings that accurately convey content
7.    Write contextual clues and advance organizers
8.    Apply appropriate navigational tools to establish reading paths
9.    Write usable instructions for online tutorials.
10.    Write clear, concise descriptions of organizations, products, policies, and procedures.
11.    Effectively integrate graphics and text.
12.    Apply fundamental page design principles to online documents.
13.    Understand ethical use of  Internet and  Intranet documents and systems.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

Web Pages - Overview of Principles and Strategies
          Purposes and types of online writing
          Roles of web designers, developers, and writers
          Differences between onscreen and print documents
          Readability and usability
Planning a Web Page
            Audience analysis
            Purpose identification
            Information mapping: chunking and  layering
 Describing Products and Services
             Components of descriptions
             Spatial organization / Subheadings
             Advance organizers and contextual clues
             Integration of  illustrations and text
Writing Concept Definitions and Explanations
            Formal and informal definitions
            Language precision --denotative and connotative meaning
Writing Instructions and Procedures
           Differences between instructions and process analysis
           Chunking  and layering stages and steps
           Imperative verbs : active vs passive
           Illustrations, exploded views, and flow charts- use and integration with text
Trends in Online Writing
Sentence Structure and Grammar:  Addressed within units as needed.
            Subordination and coordination
            Conciseness strategies

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lectures, discussions, writing exercises, and review of  internet sites will be used to introduce and clarify principles and strategies  of writing for the web.  Computers will be employed for research and writing.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

•    Completing and submitting acceptable versions of all written assignments
•    Participation in computer lab activities
•    Positive contributions to collaborative writing activities.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

•    The Internet Writer's Handbook, Martha C. Sammons, Allyn and Bacon, 1999
•    Handbook of Technical Writing, Brusaw, Alred, and Oliu, St. Martin's Press, 1998.
•    Instructor-generated materials.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Instructor assessment of written assignments; peer and instructor assessment of contributions to collaborative projects.

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.