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Writing web pages in the inverted pyramid style

What is the 'inverted pyramid' style?

Using the 'inverted pyramid' or 'front loading' style of writing means putting your most important information at the beginning of your web page. Journalists use this because it has immediate impact and it is an effective way of giving the facts to your readers.

How to structure your web page

You should organise your page so that it starts with a summary of the most important information and then provides the detail and any background information.

Example:

  1. State your most important facts or conclusions.
    Read your page and identify the most important facts, those that are essential to what you are writing about. For example, if you were writing a page about a new school crossing, the important facts would be where the crossing is, what type of crossing it is and when it going to be operational. You should start the page with those facts.
  2. Expand on these facts or conclusions.
    In the above example, you could expand on the facts by explaining why the crossing was put in place and the improvements that it will bring.
  3. Give any background or related facts.
    Lastly, provide any background information that is relevant so, for the above example, how much it has cost, if it is part of a larger scheme of work, if there has been a consultation about the scheme and the results, facts about road safety and so on.

Why we use the 'inverted pyramid' style

People tend to read less on the web than they would on paper so it is important to try and get their attention as soon as they start reading your page. Starting your page with the most important information helps to get your message across straight away and explain clearly what the rest of the page is about.

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