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Queen's University

Web Standards and Accessibility Guide

Punctuation and Grammar

Recommendation: All documents that are to be placed on any University web site should be spell-checked and proofread for punctuation and grammar, as well as for accuracy in the information.

Each Queen's department or group is responsible for establishing its own system of proofing and approving pages for posting on the web.

For obvious reasons, all text posted on Queen's web pages must be free of errors. Consider also, though, that while a person reading a page can generally infer what is meant when a word is misspelled, a screen reader cannot make that leap to understand the meaning of the word from its context. Also, a person using a screen reader may use the reader's search functionality to find the specific section of a page that they are looking for, and so words that are spelled incorrectly will not then be found.

Punctuation and grammar are also important to the way that screen readers process the information that is presented to them. While screen-reading software may be set to ignore punctuation, it can also be set with a different verbosity level to emphasize and highlight punctuation.

Finally, grammatically complex sentences can slow any reader down. It is important to consider the cognitive load that any user experiences when using the web.

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