One rule I learned ear­ly on from my teach­ers is to nev­er use con­trac­tions in writ­ing. This was drilled into me dur­ing uni­ver­si­ty as I wrote book reports and research papers. In fact, most for­mal writ­ing abhors con­trac­tions.

But there’s one place that loves con­trac­tions: web writ­ing.

The thing about peo­ple who read on the web — whether a blog about movies or the con­tent on your company’s web­site — is they’re in a hur­ry. They want to read quick­ly, and when you write for the web, keep that in mind.

Using con­trac­tions makes your writ­ing feel more com­fort­able, more engag­ing. Few peo­ple ever talk with­out con­trac­tions; com­mon con­ver­sa­tion Eng­lish is rid­dled with con­trac­tions. As a result, con­trac­tions make your con­tent feel famil­iar, so read­ers digest it more eas­i­ly.

So, if you’re writ­ing any­thing des­tined for the web, embrace the con­trac­tion. Don’t be afraid to use it. Your read­ers might just thank you for it.

About Kim Siever

I am a copy­writer and copy­ed­i­tor. I blog on writ­ing tips most­ly, but I some­times throw in my thoughts about run­ning a small busi­ness.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter at @hotpepper.

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