Archive for the 'rules' Category

Tip of the Day: Write to your audience for a stronger text

Posted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D. on September 6th, 2011

If you write to your audience your text/media will be more successful, effective, efficient, and usable. Audience is the most important of the three parts of the rhetorical situation. If you do not fully consider and write or design for the audience, it doesn’t matter your purpose, context, or anything else. You were unsuccessful. If […]

Audience, purpose, and context are three key considerations any of communication. You must think about who you are writing to, why you are writing, and what the situation is (yours and theirs). If you consider these three things, your communication will be clearer and more effective. To find out more check out Screen Space 21: […]

The average reading level of adults in the US is 8th grade. So, if you are writing to the “average” American, you need to keep your texts at an 8th grade reading level. This means: Go for short and simples sentences Use shorter words Avoid jargon Use language your audience will understand Write in active […]

Back in the good ‘ol days of typewriters, writers used a tab indent to show where a new paragraph begins. Back in the good ‘ol days of the early web (think 1993), browsers were setup to render paragraphs with a line of white space after. More recently (say 2007), Microsoft decided that both were a […]

Use the correct, more readable, and preferred “curly” quotes in your writing. Due to first the advent of typewriters and later our good friend ASCII, the normal “curly” quotation marks of printing were turned into ambidextrous "straight" quotes. This saved two keys on typewriters (as only one is needed for the ‘single quote’ and one […]

Avoid ALL CAPS; they decrease readability and legibility, take up 35% more space, and are interpreted online as yelling. All caps slow reading down by about 13% (the studies vary) and the longer a person reads them, the slower they read (see Mile Tinker’s study). Most of us read by looking at the shapes of […]

Carnal Constructions in Online Dating Communities Collette Caton, Syracuse University Intro video, but had to stop since the noise was playing next door. Talked about why graduate students would use the site. Romance, Religion, and the Writing of Identity in Online Dating T J Geiger, Syracuse University Flattens faith along with other identity categories. OkCupid’s […]

Choosing a Readable Screen Typeface

Posted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D. on March 22nd, 2010

Do you have problems selecting good typefaces for your digital media? Here are a few tips I posted a while ago (see Interested in New Microsoft Typefaces? In Screen Readability?). Since they were part of another post, I thought it may be helpful to post them seperately. When choosing your typefaces for screen use and […]

FTC Testimonial Rules for Bloggers & “Word of Mouth” Marketers

Posted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D. on October 12th, 2009

If you blog, podcast, or otherwise provide endorsements or testimonials of free products you received for this word of mouth marketing, you could be sued $11,00 for not disclosing this connection. According to a 10/05 Press Release by the Federal Trade Commission, the rules for bloggers and others who use “word of mouth” marketing have […]