Writing Tips

Last modified by Life Pedia on 2022/04/06 13:12

In the first phase (starting jan 31 2022) task is to populate some sections of the whole tree with info gathered from the internet, personal experience, interviews etc. This is knowing that the writers are not going to be experts on the topics, and to understand and collate info from a laymans perspective. The task will have two parts, researching the topic and presenting it. This doc will be a guide / 'best practices' / checklist for both researching and presenting. Note that presentation in the succeeding phases will likely differ a lot and will be a big challenge on its own. This is just for the first phase. 

Research 

  • Start with writing whatever you know, feel, think about the topic 
  • Next is brainstorming avenues for gathering info.. Google search terms, common sources like reddit subs, quora, wiki, stack exchange,; people to talk to,  
  • Simultaneously keep an eye on things we are interested in presenting – common challenges pitfalls, help sources etc .. anything that can help the stakeholders in that topic 
  • If there are opposing views / controversy, separate facts from opinions . It is not easy to approach such topics and will need to think more about general tips, but broadly, aim for objectivity, consider each argument / side at strongest, avoid common fallacies, point out fallacies etc.  
  • You can choose your target demographic (India/US etc, M/F, Old/young etc) Be sure to tag the writeup with this information 
  • Document everything in a  writer's meta page (internal not published) for that topic, to document whatever you can about your experience working on the topic, things to remember for future/for others. Non exhaustive list of things to document  

    • Sources used, google search terms 
    • Raw data if interviewing – Questions asked, answers 
    • Personal experience working on the topic 
    • Ideas for future researchers to expand.. Things TODO (for example if you didn’t have time to create an infographic but think this would help present the info better, document it in as much detail as possible) 
    • Points of failure (very important) -- things you tried but didn’t succeed (ideas, search terms, paywalls, lack of sources etc) anything that was unsuccessful 
    • Points of decision/compromise -- when faced with a decision (eg narrowing content to a specific demographic) document that decision and why it was taken (for eg: more info is currently available for US based english speaking males, so writing for that demographic right now). 
    • Related Work (whether other compilations similar in spirit to what we are attempting has been done for that topic),  

Presentation 

  • "At a glance"/ Quick summary/Takeaways, Intro/backgroun, What are common challenges people face, common opportunities / info people miss, what people typically know (common knowledge) what they dont  know (uncommon but essential knowledge), further reading and related topics in lifepedia, further reading elsewhere, future outlook 
  • Have links to sources for each piece of info presented (like wikipedia) 
  • Aim for simplicity of style and language  
  • Bullet points instead of lengthy text wherever possible
  • Examples Examples Examples! Nothing illustrates an idea better than giving example ranging from contrived scenarios to actual historical events as applicable. Different examples will be better suited for different demographics of users, so it will be useful to tag your examples with info that indicates which demographic of users it will be relevant for.
  • Use viusal aids, charts, graphs, infographics etc. Powerpoint is usually powerful enough for most purposes. "draw.io" website for creating flowcharts. 

TODO:

  • Tips on choosing a topic (that's not too broad and not too narrow)
  • Tips on overcoming writers' block
  • List of potential topics to start writing on
    

Related Pages

See other pages relevant to the current one. Coming soon!

Disclaimers and Notices

1) By using this website, you agree to all the Terms of Use and Policies
2) Information is provided as-is, without any warranties, guarantees or liabilities express or implied.
3) Information does not constitute medical, legal, financial or any other type of professional advice. Always seek professional help and/or contact emergency services.
4) Do not plagiarize and/or violate copyright(s) and license(s)
5) Follow community rules
6) We generated parts of the content on LifePedia with ChatGPT, OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model. Upon generating draft language, the author reviewed, edited, and revised the language to their own liking and takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.
7) Lifepedia is a weekend project (like a personal blog) and has no legal or financial existence currently. It is a good-faith effort to make useful knowledge and wisdom publicly accessible. 

lifepedia
XWiki 15.5.4
contact@xwiki.com