Writing for the Web

I.     Course Prefix/Number: EGL 211

       Course Name: Writing for the Web

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Successful completion of one college-level English course.

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.

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.