Instructions for Web Articles

Project Goal: To write great, informative, compelling content about sleep AND have people find it on the Internet.

  • The former requires you to both do your research on your topic and really not be afraid to let your writer’s voice shine through. You are writing for an informative site, yes, but that does not mean your article has to be textbook and dry! Feel free to spice it up, Sleep and Dreams style!!
  • The latter, having people find your writing through Google and other search engines, is a nuanced process, but you can help your cause by following a few simple guidelines,

In order to maximize the reach and exposure of the website, pages on the EYSD site are built with something called keyword optimization in mind. As such, each page should be targeted toward a specific keyword phrase that encompasses your topic (e.g. “What is narcolepsy?”, or “effects of sleep deprivation”, or “how lucid dreaming works”), to make it is as easy as possible to find for surfers on the Internet who search for that particular keyword phrase at a search engine.

Headline – Include your keyword phrase in a compelling headline. Remember, you’re writing for the web—make a headline that will catch the eye. Examples using the keyword “sleep debt”:

    • Boring headline example: The effects of sleep debt.
    • Exciting headline example: How much productivity are you losing because of your sleep debt?

Body

  • Include your keyword phrase within the first 1-2 sentences if possible. This is not 100% necessary, but if it meshes nicely with the intro you are giving it is good practice to include your keyword here.
  • Include frequent line breaks. Few things make web surfers want to exit a web page faster than clumps of long paragraphs.
  • Include your keyword at least a couple other times throughout your article. But do keep it feeling natural.
  • Don’t be afraid to really put your own writer’s voice into it, and have fun!

Quoting the Sleep Book

  • If you find a useful fitting passage in the Stanford Sleep Book you want to incorporate, feel free to quote it. To get an idea of how this will look on the website, go to the home page (http://www.end-your-sleep-deprivation.com) and scroll down. To accomplish this look in your article, preface the quote with the line “Dr. D’s Sleep Book Says…”

A Few More Notes To Consider

  • Write specifically toward your topic and limit your general coverage, since that’s probably covered elsewhere on the site. For example, if writing about “lucid dreaming techniques” get straight into the techniques without first explaining what lucid dreaming is, the basics, etc.
  • If your topic corresponds to the topic of a lecture later in the quarter, consider waiting to hear that lecture before writing, in order to have more possible connections for the subject brought to your attention. If the lecture is not before the due date, consider contacting the lecturer and see if they can point you in the right direction with resources to consider.