Writing for the Web

Tips for Writing the Text

Keep the target groups in mind

Every target group has different information needs. Information has to be presented in forms tailored to the target groups, which means that texts have to be adapted linguistically and visually. Before writing a text for the web, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I want to achieve?
    Increasing the number of students enrolled in the "Geophysics" program of KIT
  • Whom do I have to address to reach this goal?
    School graduates, pupils who chose physics as a major
  • What can make my target group act as desired?
    A higher awareness of KIT’s "Geophysics" program and a positive image will lead to more enrollments
  • How do I reach my target group?
    By an attractive web appearance, information is made available with low thresholds, this information covers registration, duration of the study program, studies plan, description of good studies conditions, equipment, student-faculty ratio, etc.
  • How do I address my target group? What writing style do I use?
    Understandable and clearly structured information

Text Structure

Web texts are not read line by line, but scanned vertically by the users. As regards the text structure, this means that essential information has to be provided at the beginning. The text must be concise, information must be provided quickly and specifically. 

Text Style

A good web text is short and informative. Texts on websites are publicly accessible and read by many different groups. Researchers, pupils, or the interested grandparents of students – all of them are to understand the texts.

Syntax: Write as simply as possible

Texts on websites can be accessed by anybody and are read by many different groups. Researchers, pupils, or the interested grandparents of students – all of them are to understand the text.

  • Make one key statement per sentence.
  • Use simple and easy-to-understand sentences.
  • Avoid technical terms and abbreviations or explain them.
  • Avoid internal terms that are only used by KIT.
  • When writing German texts, avoid anglicisms.

Lengths of sentences and words: Write short and concise texts

Short, simple sentences are easier to understand. The reader is to quickly grasp the message.

  • Use short rather than long words.
  • Formulate active rather than passive sentences
  • Use more verbs than nouns.
  • Avoid empty phrases.
  • Remove filler and double words.
  • Avoid nominalizations.

Structure the contents

Well-structured contents do not only make it easier for the user to read the text, but also influence the ranking of search engines (see Section. „Suchmaschinenoptimierung).

  • Format headlines (H1 to H6)
  • Divide the text into paragraphs
  • List your information (lists)
  • Refer to appropriate internal sources (e.g. other KIT websites)
  • Refer to appropriate external sources
  • Exchange links with cooperation partners

Use graphical elements

Users can capture graphical elements more quickly than texts. Contents are presented more attractively when using images, videos or information graphics.

  • Figures, illustrations
  • Pictograms/icons
  • Videos
  • Information graphics

NOTE: In OpenText you can access a pool of about 150 images and photos and use them for your web appearance. Own photos can also be used.

NOTE: ASERV-Grafik will be pleased to support you in producing graphical representations, diagrams, or drawings for your websites. Contact grafik∂aserv.kit.edu.


For a uniform appearance, use the following notations:

Telephone number

  • +49 721 608-21168
  • Area code without 0
  • Extension number is separated by a hyphen


  • When names are mentioned for the first time, always give the first name and the family name.
    Prof. Max Mustermann instead of Prof. Mustermann
  • Only use the highest title in texts.
  • • Academic degrees, such as B.A., M.Sc., or Dipl.-Ing., should not be used in the running text.


  • Numbers in the text are to be spelled out up to “twelve”.
  • In case of several related numbers in the text, write both numbers in figures.


  • Wednesday, September 18, 2019
  • Spell out the day and month.


  • 15 Uhr, 15.30 Uhr // 15 hrs, 15.30 hrs
  • 9.30 Uhr // 9.30 hrs, no 0 in front of the 9
  • In case of times, separate the hours from the minutes by a dot.

Email Addresses

Gender-compliant Language

Your language sends a clear signal. The KIT attaches high priority to considering all genders in an appropriate way. As a modern education institution, KIT has to consciously use language in a way that all persons feel integrated.

Further information on gender-compliant language can be found in the Leitfaden „Sprache setzt Signale“ of the Equal Opportunities Office.

English Texts

At KIT, American English is used in principle.

For more information on American spelling, frequently occurring terms, and general rules, Germans in particular are recommended to click the website „Schreibweise und Zeichensetzung“ of the Translation Services.

English translations of KIT-relevant terms, positions, institutes, and units can be found in the online glossary of the Translation Services.