Course Name
Certificate in Web Content Creation (Master Classes)

Contact Hours: 60

Course Description
The certificate program consists of three Master Classes:

(1) Writing Web Content

(2) Architecting Web Content

(3) Creating Popular Web Content

These three Master Classes prepare you to be a professional web writer or editor, working in a world of intense interactivity, fast feedback, complex content management, and constantly changing business models.

First you’ll learn how to adapt your writing for the web, developing a truly electronic style.

Then you’ll learn how to think structurally when approaching new content, exploring information architecture from the point of view of a creator. You’ll see how to produce text that fits snugly into a content management system.

Then you’ll write web content in half a dozen major genres, to put to work what you have learned, and to develop a portfolio of web samples for your job hunt, or career change.

These are Master Classes, like those in music. I’m an expert on web writing and editing, and I assume you are willing to put in the hard work to become a pro.

You’ll do a lot of writing in these workshops, and I will give you detailed feedback. You will stretch your writing muscles, exercise your mind with challenging ideas, and express yourself in a new way. You’re going to become a maestro of web content.

By the end of the first workshop, Writing Web Content, you’ll be able to
  • Trim text for Web delivery.
  • Make your page easy to scan.
  • Create linktext that accurately predicts what the users will get if they click.
  • Decide where to add links, and how to write them.
  • Create paragraphs that work as discrete elements in an object-oriented world.
  • Eliminate confusing material that makes visitors scratch their heads in confusion.
  • Write headings that work well in menus.
  • Organize menus so they make sense to your users.

By the end of the second workshop, Architecting Web Content, you`ll be able to:

  • Articulate the case for information architecture.
  • Organize multiple menus to address many users with many goals.
  • Organize individual menus so they match your users` conceptual models.
  • Enable precise searches.
  • Customize content for distinct groups, and personalize content for individuals.
  • Structure reference material and conceptual information for rapid use.
  • Build processes and procedures that enable action.
  • Define a standard set of patterns for your content.
  • Lead your team in developing an architecture for your informative objects.

By the time you complete the third workshop, Creating Popular Web Content, you`ll be able to do at least six of the following:

  • Write marketing copy that persuade your customers to act
  • Organize and write news releases that journalists will really use
  • Create answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  • Create embedded assistance and help for your web site
  • Create news articles for Web publication
  • Write a successful e-mail newsletter
  • Craft your own Web blog
  • Produce Webzine articles that provoke discussion
  • Convert your resume for delivery by e-mail and the Web
  • Create a web portfolio of samples of your work

Your progress will be assessed by:
  • Instructor evaluation of written work, following the detailed guidelines given in each module

  • Final Web Project evaluation 



  1. Analyze why it is important to change your perspective when you are writing text that is destined for the computer screen as opposed to the printed page.
  2. Investigate special considerations that must be borne in mind when you are writing text for the computer screen.
  3. Investigate methods you can use to make your text more readable.


  1. Examine how to create meaningful titles, headlines, and subheads.
  2. Learn how to make sure that certain parts of your writing capture the attention of the readers.

  1. Learn how to maximize the effectiveness of website links.
  2. Examine how to write in such a way that your Web pages will be found and professionally respected. 

  1. Examine how to design each paragraph around one central idea.
  2. Learn how to put the idea of the paragraph first.
  3. Learn how to use the correct logic in your writing.
  4. Investigate some general rules for writing.


  1. Examine how to write more effectively by avoiding nominalizations, noun trains, and confusing clauses.
  2. Analyze how to avoid ambiguous phrases.
  3. Realize the importance of making agent-action relationships clear.
  4. Learn how to avoid placing unnecessary cognitive burdens on readers.
  5. Investigate how to write positively.
  6. Examine why it is important to reduce scrolling.
  7. Investigate how to let users print or save the entire document at once.


  1. Analyze how you can write effective headings and menus with meaningful structures.
  2. Investigate how you can help users to see where they are located in your website and how you can make success. obvious when users arrive at their desired destination.


  1. Learn what is meant by "Information Architecture" through the completion of a research project.
  2. Investigate some Frequently Asked Questions regarding Web writing and editing.
  3. Complete a quiz to see if you have what it takes to be a Web writer or editor.
  4. Learn some problems that are inherent in Web publishing.
  5. Explore the benefits of an object-oriented approach to content.
  6. Analyze how to use markup languages in Web page design.

  1. Learn how to prepare for your Web site and plan out its design.
  2. Gain an understanding of the types of tools that are available for Web design.
  3. Learn what the main types of pages are in a Web site and gain an understanding of overall important design considerations.
  4. Learn how headlines, tables, and lists can be used in web design.
  5. Analyze optimal Web page size and hyperlink considerations.
  6. Investigate important Web design elements and tools such as banners, buttons, email links, hit counters, DTHML, and CSS.
  7. Study important Web page background features.
  8. Learn how to work with text, content, and colors on Web sites.

  1. Learn how to know your audience and create an audience profile.
  2. Examine how to conduct market research.
  3. Analyze the steps that can be taken to organize and categorize your content.

  1. Learn how to write for the web and keep your content current.
  2. Investigate how to archive your content and web records.
  3. Analyze how to manage specific types of web sites.

  1. Learn what usability principles and techniques are and why they are important.
  2. Investigate specific usability requirements.
  3. Analyze how to implement usability principles and techniques.
  4. Examine why "About Us" and "Contact Us" pages are important and what they should include.
  5. Learn why your Web site should be made accessible to as many users as possible and investigate how this is achieved. 
  1. Learn how to evaluate your Web site and use Web metrics.
  2. Investigate publishing guidelines.
  3. Examine important marketing strategies. 

  1. Learn why Web genres matter.
  2. Understand the structure, tone, and persona of Web Genres.
  3. Learn how to adapt genre to a forum.
  4. Appreciate how Web genres are pushed to the limit.

  1. Learn how to provide customer assistance.
  2. Learn about the various genres of assistance.
  3. Understand how to embed assistance-labels, tips, and cues.
  4. Investigate how to provide answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
  5. Examine how to create HELP systems. 
  1. Investigate why it is important to have a privacy policy.
  2. Learn how to write an effective privacy policy that people will understand.
  3. Examine how to provide meaningful contacts in your e-mails.
  4. Analyze how to set up guidelines for responses.
  5. Learn how to write effective e-mails to customers.

  1. Investigate how to persuade niche markets, individuals, and the press.
  2. Learn how to write effective Web marketing copy.
  3. Examine how to create powerful news releases.
  4. Analyze how to set up a Web press center.

  1. Learn how to create provocative webzine articles.
  2. Learn how to pitch your work to a webzine editor.
  3. Investigate how to create effective newsletters.
  4. Analyze how to create your own Weblogs.
  1. Learn how to create an effective Web resume.
  2. Learn how to create an effective e-mail resume.