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Web Content Editing

Web Content Editing Tips

Omni Content Management System (CMS)

What-You-See-is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) Editor

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Best Practices
  • Follow BCC's in-house copywriting guidelines.
  • Always use "Headings" in a hierarchical order.
  • Use the "Paste as text" feature in the WYSIWYG editor so that font types, color, bold and other formatting created by word processors and desktop publishing software is removed.
  • Apply bold and italics sparingly.
  • Avoid using uppercase, unless it is an acronym.
  • Define acronyms in the first use.
  • Do not center align text.

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Web Accessibility

Text Links
  • Use language that briefly defines where a link will take the user ("Visit our College catalog for details"), or what action a link performs ("Download our PDF").
  • Make sure link text makes sense, even out of context.
  • Make links open in the same window.
  • Make every text link in a page unique.
Image Embeds
  • Insert brief, meaningful "alternative" text attributes to describe photographs.
  • If possible, avoid images that contain text.
  • Write out graph and chart outcomes.
Video Embeds
  • Videos must have closed captions (subtitles).
  • Videos must not contain blinking or strobing elements.

BCC In-House Copywriting Guidelines

Below is an outline of some of the tips for writing on behalf of the College:

When writing for the College, the first thing to know is that the Marketing and Communications department follows the AP Guidelines for writing, since it produces over 100 press releases a year and crafts more than 20 Spotlights a year.

Some quick hints about AP style to keep in mind:

  • There is no Oxford comma.
  • Write out any numbers below nine — and then use numerals for any number 10 and above.
  • As a general rule, avoid alphabet soup.
  • For higher education, use associate degree, not associate's degree
  • Do not use st, nd, rd, or th with dates, and use Arabic figures. (Example: April 3, not April 3rd.) Always capitalize months. Spell out the month unless it is used with a date. When used with a date, abbreviate only the following months: Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec.
    • Commas are not necessary if only a year and month are given, but commas should be used to set off a year if the date, month and year are given.
    • Use the letter s but not an apostrophe after the figures when expressing decades or centuries. Do, however, use an apostrophe before figures expressing a decade if numerals are left out. (Example: 1960s, not 1960's. Or: '60s.)
  • Commas and periods go inside quotation marks.
  • Use "and" instead of ampersands unless an ampersand is an official part of an organization's name.
  • Seasons are always lowercase unless used in a formal name like Winter Olympics.
  • For times, use figures, but spell out noon and midnight. Use a colon to separate hours from minutes, but do not use :00. Examples: 1 p.m., 3:30 a.m. Note the space between "3:30" and "a.m."
  • If mention of degrees is necessary to establish someone's credentials, the preferred form is to avoid an abbreviation and use instead a phrase such as: Fatima Kader, who has a doctorate in psychology.
    • Use an apostrophe and no initial capitals for general degrees (e.g., bachelor's degree, master's degree), but use initial caps and no apostrophe in specific degrees (Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science).
    • Also: an associate degree (no possessive).
    • Use such abbreviations as B.A., M.A., LL.D. and Ph.D. only when the need to identify many individuals by degree on first reference would make the preferred form cumbersome. Use these abbreviations only after a full name — never after just a last name. Do not use Dr. and Ph.D. — use one or the other.

College specific nuances:

  • When referring to BCC, capitalize the C in College, e.g., "the College has a plan to…" as opposed to "the college has a plan to …"
  • If listing statistics or dates — break this information out into bullets or use tables.
  • When using quotes, the rule should be to start each quote as a new paragraph unless you are breaking up a longer quote with the author of the quote in the middle.
  • When referring to the College, treat it as an institution as opposed to using the collective "we."
  • Less is always more — try to be concise when writing.
  • Capitalize titles in most instances; do not capitalize informal titles like professor unless using the full, official title, e.g. "Associate Professor of Biology."
  • Imagine you are writing for a fifth grader — avoid complex terms and academic speak unless the audience demands it (see: NECHE reporting, etc.)