Writing for Multimedia

Updated June 2024

What is multimedia?

A multimedia project combines different forms of content and can include videos, podcasts, animations, graphics, text, images and more.

How do we write for multimedia?

Writing for multimedia is different from writing for lectures or academic papers. When we write for academic peers, journals or students, we can use technical terms, present a lot of information, and construct complex sentences. Our target audience already has a basic knowledge of the topic and can read our texts multiple times in order to understand all the nuances.

When we write for multimedia, and in the context of a broader readership, our writing has to be pitched differently. We have to think like a learner – a learner who is perhaps new to a topic. We have to ask ourselves how we need to address learners so that they understand what we’re saying. And we have to condense our topic into short, bite-sized segments.

Write like you speak

We are also ‘writing for speaking’ rather than ‘writing for reading’. In many cases, we will be reading our written text out loud (for example, in front of a camera). This changes the way we write: we need to think about how we would say something rather than how we would write it. This often means writing slightly more informal sentences (rather than formal and academic ones), using everyday words, and giving practical examples to illustrate abstract concepts.

Think of podcasts and radio and the way that hosts use language. They’re painting pictures in our mind’s eye and making a topic come alive through conversation. They’re addressing a broad audience who may not have prior knowledge of the topic.

What this course does

In under one hour, this course gives you tips on how to write for multimedia and what to think about when you’re preparing your scripts and slides.


University of Basel


New Media Center Team