WCMS (Cascade) Documentation

WCMS (Cascade) Documentation


Copy and Writing Style

University Communication notes following the Associated Press Stylebook.

Quick Keys

Use the following commands:

  • Heading 2: ctrl+2
  • Heading 3: crtl+3
  • Paragraph: ctrl+7

Text Format Examples

Choose text formatting from the list that is found under the "Formats" dropdown menu in the Body Copy editor menu bar.

Text formatting dropdown menu

Examples with Applied Formats:

Heading 1

Heading 2

Heading 3

Heading 4

Heading 5
Heading 6

Headings are used to depict:

  • Organization. How to find key information fast with details that follow. In appropriate cases, they also may be alphabetized.
  • Hierarchy. Much like an outline, they can show related sections and divisions.
  • Direction. They can create a progressive path through a site’s pages.
  • Logical movement. They may direct a viewer from one idea to the next

Tools such as buttons or left and/or right-hand column effects can be used to draw the user's attention to special information.

Tips on Writing Body Copy

Online users scan to find what they want. Only 25 percent read the content.

  1. Keep it brief.
    1. Short sentences. One element per sentence.
    2. Short paragraphs. One to two short sentences. One idea per paragraph.
    3. Few paragraphs. No lengthy introductions or conclusions needed.
    4. In some cases, it means incomplete sentences, short lists or visuals instead of words.
  2. Readability is key.
    1. Some will view on a desktop screen and some on a cellphone or tablet screen.
    2. Responsive design allows for the development of a single template to accommodate those differences.
  3. Tools that help online audiences:
    1. Bullets and numbered lists. (7 items or fewer; 10 items maximum)
    2. Most important information first.
    3. Information presented concisely. Limit complex sentences, unnecessary adjectives and adverbs.
    4. Use active voice.
    5. Use conversational tones. Present and future tense, when possible.
    6. Details in short bursts presented in a logical order.
    7. Brevity in language/sentence structure.
    8. No need to repeat for emphasis.
    9. No semicolons or excessive punctuation.
    10. No more than one comma per sentence except lists.
      1. Keep series simple.
        1. "… lights, cameras and batteries" vs. "setting the lights on the right densities, positioning the camera for the right angle and asking the actors to begin their dialogue for the third act."
        2. Make complex series into a couple of sentences.
  4. Write with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind in order to be found on the internet.
    1. Make a list of key phrases and keywords.
    2. Write content with those keywords or phrases in labels, titles, subheads and introductory paragraphs to attract viewers who scan.
    3. Don’t overdo. Too many key words and phrases in a short span is a red flag for search engines.

Hyperlinks

  1. Hyperlink rather than underlining text.
    1. An underlined word is assumed to be a hyperlink, not material underlined for impact.
    2. Keep hyperlinks short. Do not use "Click here". Choose an appropriate word or a short phrase to create the hyperlink.
    3. A hyperlinked name indicates an email can be sent. Hyperlink "Contact Bob Johnson" rather than write: "Send email to …" or "Email: ...".
    4. Avoid using "Phone" before a phone number. A connection may be made directly from the link.