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Writing for the Web

Course Code: CMNS 3501
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Communications
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course develops an understanding of how websites are planned, written, and produced. Beginning with an analysis of objectives and audience, students will produce a client-based website using industry-standard software programs. The focus of the course is on content development. Students will also be introduced to key trends, issues, and developments (ethical, cultural, technological, and economic) in the field.

Course Content

1.  Introduction to Designing and Writing Websites

Students will

  • learn what makes a good website and a bad website
  • analyze the writer’s role in the collaborative-team approach
  • complete a cognitive analysis of how users move through information
  • examine the ethical issues of writing for the Web (for example, copyright, surveillance, freedom of speech)
  • learn basic storyboarding skills for websites
  • practise minimalist writing
  • study screen design
  • learn how to construct an audience analysis for a website
  • analyze end-user information needs
  • use project-management  skills for websites
  • use basic html and image manipulation using a suitable software program
  • learn how to manage, convert, and transfer files for websites

2. Basic Website Production

Students will

  • learn a webpage software program
  • create and maintain a blog
  • write, design, and produce a personal website
  • develop a concept for a client-based website (for example, product or event promotion, informational, services)
  • understand the various roles within a website development team
  • plan for content development/acquisition
  • plan and implement the structure of the website
  • plan a promotional strategy for the site (including social media)
  • test and debug the website
  • document the style and conventions used in the website
  • identify strategies for ensuring the website content remains up-to-date

Methods of Instruction

This course will use a combination of teaching methods, including lecture, demonstration, group discussion, analysis of samples, and in-class and home exercises and projects. The emphasis will be on learning by analysis reinforced with hands-on practice wherever possible. Students will be required to prepare, write, and produce all, or portions of, a client-based website during the course. Students will be required to work collaboratively on selected assignments.

Means of Assessment

Students are expected to be self-motivated and to demonstrate professionalism, which includes active participation, good attendance, punctuality, effective collaboration, ability to meet deadlines, presentation skills, and accurate self-evaluation.

Evaluation will be based on this general format:

Short assignments (4 to 6) 60%
Website project 30%
Professionalism/participation (as defined above)    10%

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course will

  1. learn effective communication strategies for developing a client-based website
  2. understand and know when and how to use appropriate writing and formatting conventions
  3. learn how to use industry-standard software to produce a website
  4. understand the writer’s role in the team approach to technical communication projects
  5. be familiar with key trends, issues, and developments in the field of technical communication
  6. understand the impact of technological change on the role and responsibilities of the professional communicator working in this area

course prerequisites

Acceptance into the Post-Degree Diploma in Professional Communication

or a minimum of 45 credit hours including a university-transfer course in English, Communications, or Creative Writing with a grade of B or higher

or permission of the Professional Communication program coordinator



curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.