[MUST READ!] Writing a good tutorial

Lord Saru

Heart and Hands
Feb 21, 2010
From the blue

When making a tutorial​
Lord Roco

Graphics is another modern day hobby (amongst many others) and it has helped people to expose the prowess of their imagination online. It is quite natural for all administrators to ensure that their website/forum/blog receives the best of the available graphic works. And some of you, more generous than the others, would be even willing to write a tutorial. However, to keep the quality of tutorials uniform across the section, a comprehensive guide is important. In this guide, I am going to give you a quick look-through about writing a good tutorial.

Aim: Mention what your aim is going to be. Its not easy reading through an entire tutorial only to find out that the piece of work illustrated is not what you are looking for. Its okay if you dont know the standard terms because most of us dont know them too and there is nothing wrong in using images if you want to clearly convey what you are about to do.

Materials required: So often, when you are doing a piece of graphics, you would want to download a lot of brushes, a few render images and other resources. It would be a blessing to the readers if you can mention this at the beginning (preferably along with links on where to download/purchase them) so that they feel 'all ready' to start learning.

The D-I-Y Steps: It takes a lot of effort to make a comprehensive tutorial, but that should also be accompanied with good results. People would understand your tutorial much better when you use less text and more images. This also has the added advantage of eliminating any 'gaps' that the reader comes across due to technical issues like a change in software version, the name of a tool etc. It will also help a reader to compare with the results you, as the author, obtained and the one which the learner has obtained.

If you are unable to come up with images, then be as detailed as you can in your explanation. Usually, a combination of both (a detailed explanation along with an image) makes a tutorial ideal for learning purposes.

Terms: Always understand that readers going through your tutorials are either amateur, intermediate or advanced level users. An ideal tutorial will teach people belonging all the three groups. Use terms like 'blue button on the extreme top left' or 'small left pointing arrow near the navigation menu on the top' for beginners. For the intermediate group, you can start to explain what each command performs in depth and what additional use can you put each tools into. Since advance group are well above the fundamentals, its always good to teach them on what 'extra finishing' you can give to come up with a more fine piece of work.

As always (and I dont think that it requires a special mention either) - use decent spelling and grammar. It helps people to understand the concept/idea you are trying to convey a lot more.

Credits: Professionalism lies in claiming what you have done and in crediting what others have come up with. In your tutorial, if you have used a resource that belongs to someone else, always credit them. It takes a lot of hard work and you need to value their efforts just like how you like your efforts to be valued and appreciated.

Please do note that this is not necessary for you to post your tutorials in the FP Graphics Tutorial section. This thread is only intended for educational purposes so it can act as a 'point of start' for those who are about to start writing tutorials or for those who want to improve their tutorial writing skills significantly.

Thankyou for reading and all the best!