Interestingly, although you will be asked to write a description, in the real world, no writer ever does. This is because description is not a purpose but a tool to help achieve a purpose. For example, description is a key part of writing that entertains such as story-telling and poems; but it is also an important part of explanatory and persuasive writing.
Conclusion Introduction Adding alternative text for images is the first principle of web accessibility.
It is also one of the most difficult to properly implement. The web is replete with images that have missing, incorrect, or poor alternative text. Like many things in web accessibility, determining appropriate, equivalent, alternative text is often a matter of personal interpretation.
Through descriptive writing article use of examples, this article will present our experienced interpretation of appropriate use of alternative text. Descriptive writing article Also see our article on images for additional information about image accessibility. Alternative Text Basics Alternative text provides a textual alternative to non-text content in web pages.
We will be discussing alternative text for images only, though the principles can be applied to media, applets, or other non-text web content.
Alternative text serves several functions: It is read by screen readers in place of images allowing the content and function of the image to be accessible to those with visual or certain cognitive disabilities. It is displayed in place of the image in browsers if the image file is not loaded or when the user has chosen not to view images.
It provides a semantic meaning and description to images which can be read by search engines or be used to later determine the content of the image from page context alone.
The key principle is that computers and screen readers cannot analyze an image and determine what the image presents. Alternative text can be presented in two ways: Within the alt attribute of the img element. Within the context or surroundings of the image itself.
This means that the alt attribute sometimes called the alt tag, though technically this is incorrect is not the only mechanism for providing the content and function of the image.
This information can also be provided in text adjacent to the image or within the page containing the image. Important The term alternative text, as used in this article, refers to the text equivalent for an image, regardless of where that text resides.
It does not refer solely to the alt attribute of the image tag. Alt attribute will be used when referring to the attribute itself, which often will, but does not exclusively, contain the alternative text. Every image must have an alt attribute. Images without an alt attribute are likely inaccessible.
In some cases, images may be given an empty or null alt attribute e. Context is Everything When determining appropriate alternative text for images, context is everything. The alternative text for one image may be vastly different based upon the context and surroundings of the image itself.
Take, for instance, the following image of George Washington: The alternative text for this image might change immensely based upon context, as demonstrated below. Note To best present these principles of alternative text, most images within this article have been given alternative text of "example image".
However, the content of the images is typically presented within page context. What would be appropriate alternative text for the image in Example 1? In most cases, an image will only have a function if it is contained within a link or is an image map hotspot or a button.
Determining if the image presents content and what that content is can be much more difficult. If the content that the image conveys is presented within text in the surrounding context of the image, then an empty alt attribute may suffice.
In the example above, the content being presented by the image is to inform the user that this is George Washington. The image has no function because it is not a link and is not clickable. Let's look at some important rules regarding the alt attribute.
Important The alt attribute should typically: Be accurate and equivalent in presenting the same content and function of the image.
This means the correct content if there is content and function if there is a function of the image should be presented as succinctly as is appropriate. Typically no more than a few words are necessary, though rarely a short sentence or two may be appropriate.3 Now look through your two lists and circle the words and phrases that you think are the most interesting, original and vivid — the ones you are most likely to use in your description.
Don’t worry about how many you circle or how many you leave out. It’s up to you. 4 Using these words and images, write a description of one of these islands — you decide which one. Often when we feel something is missing from a piece of writing, the key lies in examining the tone.
Here’s how to revise your work so that it resonates. The primary purpose of descriptive writing is to describe a person, place or thing in such a way that a picture is formed in the reader's mind.
Capturing an event through descriptive writing involves paying close attention to the details by using all of your five senses.
Teaching students to write more descriptively will improve their writing by making it more interesting and. How to Write a Descriptive Essay. In this Article: Article Summary Brainstorming Ideas for the Essay Writing the Essay Polishing the Essay Community Q&A A descriptive essay should create a vivid picture of the topic in the reader’s mind.
You may need to write a descriptive essay for a class assignment or decide to write one as a fun writing challenge. One of the most popular forms of essays, it is important to grasp how to write one. Look at our samples of descriptive essays to understand how to write them on your own.
At school, I loved maths/science and hated English. My writing was bad. I felt stupid because all the other kids used long words. Then a few years ago, a good friend of mine, who is a confidence coach, simply told me I was much better understood by others because I used plain and simple words.
none of these pompous long words.