How to write a good tutorial
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Old 05-01-2014   #1
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We encourage all our Photo Camel members to share their knowledge with others. That is why we have this Tutorials section. However, there are a few pointers you need to keep in mind as you assemble your tutorial. Please keep these in mind as it will help give your tutorials some longevity.

First, some hard rules;
  • Embed your images rather than link to them from an outside source - Embedding an image places that image on the Photo Camel server, making the image accessible all the time. If your image is hosted off site it is susceptible to changes such as changing hosting service, deleting or updating linked images, link changes within the hosting service and so on. There is nothing more frustrating to someone than reading a tutorial with broken link icons instead of the original images. There is a great Posting Images Tutorial by Mr. Pickles that explains how to upload images to Photo Camel.
  • Avoid links to external sources as links tend to change or become obsolete over time - Similarly, links to external sources such as instructional videos or tutorials, products or photographers can change over time. Try to keep longevity in mind when posting in the Tutorials section.

Second, some not so hard rules;
  • Do not assume the reader knows what you know - Remember that Photo Camel appeals to photographers of all abilities. Many come to this section specifically to increase their knowledge. What you find as common knowledge may be foreign to a beginner. Take the time to explain all the parts of your tutorial. If your tutorial is meant for more advanced photographers then state that at the beginning. Include a prerequisites disclaimer before going into the heart of the tutorial
  • Break up the tutorial into easy to follow steps - Write your tutorial in blocks of text rather than one continuous expanse. Not only is it easier on the brain it is also easier on the eyes. Keep the paragraphs logical so each paragraph explains a single concept or structure before introducing the next.
  • Keep your steps clear and concise - Everyone appreciates step-by-step processes. It allows for a clear understanding of your process. It also makes it easier to identify potential problems or pitfalls one could run into.
  • Use bold headings to separate parts or steps in your tutorial - Long or complex tutorials should be broken into sections with each section clearly identified with a bold heading. This allows a quick perusal of the tutorial and if a reader is somewhat familiar with a section they can make the decision to either read or skip that section. Specially when referring back to a tutorial they have flagged for future use.

Thank you in advance for sharing.

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Old 05-01-2014   #2
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Default Re: How to write a good tutorial

Frogstar is a star when it comes to this. He did this very thing to help me yesterday. This concept you have put in black and white, along with the nicest of people, is what keeps me here. Hopefully, one day I will be able to post a tutorial.
Maybe if I start a recipe section...............
Thanks
Suz
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Old 05-05-2014   #3
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Default Re: How to write a good tutorial

A tutorial filled with spelling mistakes and grammar mistakes immediately gives others the impression that the tutorial isn't a good one. Be sure to spell and grammar check any tutorial you write.

Programs like Microsoft Word have these spelling and grammar checking options but you should be sure to save the file in the rtf format, not the DOC format since the latter will place special formatting characters in the file that may confuse the web site editing software. If you save the file in the rtf format you can simply copy and paste it to the web site editing window without the DOC special formatting characters showing up.

A good way of seeing if you have your tutorial written well is is to print out a copy then stand up and read it out loud as though you were presenting it to an audience. You will "hear" grammar mistakes and word flow problems that you won't see by just silently reading your tutorial. I always did this multiple times as I prepared and edited conference presentations. As a teacher I always found ways to improve my presentations each time I taught a course.

Having someone knowledgeable review your tutorial and offer editing suggestions before posting it is a good idea. I asked Bobby Deal and Ed Shapiro to review my tutorial on small home studio equipment before posting it. I asked Michael Reichmann, author of the original Expose To The Right articles, to review my article on how to use the camera's Highlight Alert to make ETTR easier before posting it.
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Old 05-05-2014   #4
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Default Re: How to write a good tutorial

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailor Blue View Post
A tutorial filled with spelling mistakes and grammar mistakes immediately gives others the impression that the tutorial isn't a good one. Be sure to spell and grammar check any tutorial you write...
One slight hiccup to this is that the Photo Camel is a world wide community with members from many countries whose coloquialism can present problems. Since English is the common language here on the Camel, care should be taken to keep the language proper in order to cross continents easily.

Thanks for the tips, Don.
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Old 05-06-2014   #5
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Default Re: How to write a good tutorial

Thanks for the very helpful, clear and detailed guidelines Duck.


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