by Julie Bourassa, CFICE Volunteer

A man sits at his apple laptop in front of a white board covered in start-up key words such as "community".Writing blog posts and articles can be daunting – especially if you’re used to writing academically!

But CFICE does a lot of interesting and important work, and we want to share this information. To help with this effort, CFICE members are encouraged to write and contribute content for CFICE’s website.

Here are 5 tips to guide you when writing for the web.

1. Know your audience.

This is the most important thing to keep in mind while writing – who’s reading?

CFICE’s website and newsletter reach a wide network of academics, students, and community partners.

While the audience is varied in its fields of interest and levels of engagement, it has one thing in common – interest in community-campus partnerships.

2. Grab them early.

This is the Internet. There’s a ton of content out there – and we’re all eager to move on to the next bit of information.

Try to come up with a punchy title that grabs a reader’s attention. Be sure to follow with a strong leading statement.

As much as possible, try to cover the 5Ws of your topic in your first sentence or two.

A profile shot of a woman browsing something on a tablet.3. Keep it Short

In the age of video clips and listicles very few people will spend more than a few minutes reading an article.

Writing small paragraphs with short sentences will appear less dense to the reader, and will keep them reading.

Make it a true challenge and try to stay between 250-500 words – I promise, it can be done. (This is only 449 words.)

4. Keep it simple

As previously mentioned, CFICE’s audience is varied.

To ensure everyone can understand you, avoid using too much jargon. It is important to be accurate when representing research, but it can be done using plain language.

How would you explain your research to a friend or parent? This is how you should be writing about your research.

5. Let go of academic rigor

You’ll never be able to capture all of the nuances of your research in a short, accessible article. It’s okay – this is not the point of blog posts.

The objective of these articles is to give a snapshot of the projects and research done by CFICE’s partners – to share our findings with the public.

Once the reader is interested in the topic, they will desire more information. Take advantage of this by including links to your paper or further resources.

Profile shot of two women working together at a computer.With these 5 tips, you’ll be well on your way to sharing your work with colleagues and interested members of the public.

Remember, blog posts and articles are whole other beasts compared to journal articles and grant applications – but they’re just as important to sharing the knowledge gained through CFICE’s research.