How to write a good tutorial

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In this tutorial, I am going to walk you through writing your first tutorial, and then offer some advice on what makes a good tutorial!

So you have an idea?

The first thing you need when wanting to write a tutorial is having an idea. The idea should be something you know about, and feel you can confidently offer good advice about.

The topics that work best are specific. For example, a tutorial on "How to use all the features in Construct 2" is obviously far too broad, but a tutorial on say "The basics of using the image editor" would be a great tutorial to write. It's a niche you have picked and can write about in detail.

It's also worth checking that there is not already an exact duplicate of the tutorial you want to write. If you find an exact duplicate it will serve everyone a lot better if you offer suggestions for improvement to the original author, or if you have enough rep you can make edits to other tutorials! Remember, tutorials are community articles, and as such are meant to be gradually improved and kept up to date naturally by the community.

Got an idea? Good, let's get going!

Organising your ideas

Organising your ideas can be a great way to start. Maybe ask yourself the questions:

- What do I want to teach people about?

- What are the main things I want to write about?

- What is the best order I can write about these things?

- Are there any good analogies or ways of describing it that make it seem really simple?

It's good to have focus, a specific thing you want to teach people about, presented in a clear and ordered fashion.

Getting Started

To write a tutorial, click on the submit tutorial link at the top of the tutorials page:

You will then need to fill out the basic parts of the form:

Title

The title is pretty self explanatory, although it is worth making sure it is well chosen. Does it directly address the purpose of the tutorial in a straightforward way? The title is a great starting point for giving your tutorial focus. Keep referring back to it - have you strayed too far?

Body

This is the bread and butter of your tutorial!

The editor should be reasonably self explanatory. Click each of the icons at the top to see what they do, or refer below:

There are some keyboard shortcuts as well, try Ctrl+B for bold, Ctrl+I for italic, etc. If you want to turn some text into a link, select it and then press the hyperlink button.

Use the tags H1 and H2 to to add sub-sections to you tutorial. They will appear on the navigation menu to the left.

The new tag insert pagebreak can be used to separate your tutorial into pages.

Description

On some search pages, the description is displayed alongside the title to give more details about what your tutorial is about, for example:

Go into more detail than the title. Make it descriptive and relevant. You don't need to use it as a tool to entice people, use it to simply describe in more detail what your tutorial is about.

Tags

Tags are words that describe the tutorial. These are useful for people searching for tutorials, and help describe it in additional ways. All tutorials must have the Tutorial tag, then add some other tags! For example, this tutorial I am going to have the following tags:

When entering a tag, type it in and press space to finish it. If your tag is two words, then join them with a hyphen, for example "Graphics-Cards".

If you want to create new tags, go ahead! Just type them in. Everything will automatically index itself around your newly created tags, and we have tools that allow us to merge and edit tags to help keep things organised.

You can have a maximum of five tags. We don't want too many, otherwise tags start to become less useful.

Spelling and Grammar

We understand that a lot of people are not native speakers of English. This is fine, we still want you to submit tutorials! If your spelling and grammar isn't perfect, don't be put off. As long as you make an effort to write it to the best of your ability with good quality content, that is what matters. We are more than happy to edit tutorials to correct these sorts of errors.

Don't worry!

Seriously, don't worry about writing tutorials. If you want to write one, write one! We want to create a friendly creative and helpful community. If you have any questions about writing a tutorial, shoot any of the admins a private message and we will be happy to offer advice. Or perhaps ask people in the tutorials forum if they would like to have a tutorial about an idea you have?

Stuck for ideas?

If you have an idea, or want to write a tutorial but are stuck for ideas, check out the forum thread for tutorial requests.

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