Inverted-pyramid writing style at a glance

Site Genre: Pattern Group d

magnify imageFigure D7.1 A concise yet descriptive headline, an engaging blurb, and simple, clear writing make the first paragraphs on the CNET News.com site a prime example of the inverted-pyramid writing style.


Whether you write text to accommodate MULTIPLE WAYS TO NAVIGATE (B1), for HIERARCHICAL ORGANIZATION (B3), as BROWSABLE CONTENT (B2), or for better SITE ACCESSIBILITY (B9), there is no escaping the written word on the Web. This pattern forms the core for all site writing.



People move about quickly on the Web, skimming for information or keywords. If a site’s writing is not quick and easy to grasp, it is usually not read.

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magnify image Figure D7.5 For inverted pyramids, start with a good title, continue with a few blurbs, and follow up with supporting information.

Start with a concise but descriptive headline, and continue with the most important points. Use less text than you would for print, in a simple writing style that uses bullets and numbered lists to call out information. Place embedded links in your text to help visitors find more information about a related topic. Experiment with different writing styles for entertainment purposes.

Other Patterns to Consider

Articulate in HEADLINES AND BLURBS (D3) why each page is important, unique, and valuable to visitors. Write DISTINCTIVE HTML TITLES (D9) and integrate them with WRITING FOR SEARCH ENGINES (D6) to improve search engine results. Use FAMILIAR LANGUAGE (K11) that your target visitors will understand. Provide DESCRIPTIVE, LONGER LINK NAMES (K9) for other articles to reference. Place the most important information ABOVE THE FOLD (I2) so that readers can quickly determine whether this is a page they want. Because theyre easy to spot, EMBEDDED LINKS (K7) make text easier to skim.



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