This week’s exercises have you looking at examples of online news writing. In one of the exercises, you’re asked, among other things, whether the stories are broken into “chunks.”
What’s a “chunk” you ask? Chunking is an approach to organizing and writing information online to make it more accessible and readable. This approach recognizes that online readers often do not read things in chronological order. Instead, they tend to click around on web sites, targeting whatever looks most relevant and/or interesting.
That’s why online writers try to break stories into stand-along segments, or chunks, that will make sense even if you read them “out of order” or don’t read all of them.
Here are some additional sources of information on chunking and online writing:
- The Art of Chunking: An Online Writing Essential, an excellent primer on “chunking” (why and how) by Kivi Leroux Miller, a nonprofit marketing and communications consultant based in North Carolina. Be sure to check out the examples under “Which Page Has Better Chunking?”
- Web Teaching: Writing for the Web, a Dartmouth College article on web writing that’s primarily targeted to teachers, but offers some good guidelines on chunking.
- Adapting Print to the Web, a blog post on Writing for the Web that discusses and illustrates chunking.