How to Write a Tutorial

By See all their Tutorials
Recently, Tom's Hardware introduced a new feature called Tutorials that allow users to create recurring solutions for answering frequently occurring questions. Any user can create a tutorial and provide a link to it for speedily answering questions on the forum. Any Tutorial written by any user can also be used to answer a question posed by a user.

This guide will take you through the simple steps of creating a new Tutorial and some of the benefits of using the system.

To create a Tutorial is incredibly easy, and there are three ways:

• You can create a new Tutorial from the Tutorials section of the forum.

• You can click the "Write a Tutorial" link in the upper right-hand corner of the New Thread page.

• You can create a new Tutorial from any existing post by clicking "Convert post to Tutorial".

Answering a user with a Tutorial is super-easy:

• At the bottom of the Quick Reply and Post Reply boxes, you'll find a list of Tutorials associated with the tags that are associated with the thread you are responding to. Selecting one of these automatically embeds a link and small description of the Tutorial in your response.

• Alternatively, you can do it the hard way, by using the bbcode, you can embed a Tutorial in your response.


Now, here's the cool thing about Tutorials and the reason it's a great idea to write one. When you respond to a user in a Question thread with a Tutorial, that response can be set as a Best Answer (and frequently is). Not only do you get the Best Answer credit towards a badge, but the author of the Tutorial gets a Best Answer counted towards a badge as well. So the author of a Tutorial that has had his or her Tutorial used in 56 Best Answers gets full credit for 56 Best Answers. You can track the number of times a Tutorial has been used in a Best Answer by the "solved threads" green flag at the top of the Tutorial itself.

Speed and credit. One of the biggest peeves of our veteran users has been newbies asking questions which have already been answered a million times. Now, all you need to do to respond is select the appropriate Tutorial from the drop-down list. You can literally answer a new question within seconds, and provide a response worthy of a Best Answer.

By creating a new Tutorial that answers these types of frequently asked questions with a recurring solution, you can accrue a sizable number of Best Answers in one fell swoop with a well-formatted and decently-worded Tutorial.

Best Practices:
• Write clear, concise steps with bullet points, using short paragraphs to make it easier for the reader. Don't hesitate to break the tutorial down into different sections.

• Upload images to illustrate your tutorial. A picture is often worth a thousand words. We like Imgur, but you might use any number of image hosting services.

• Use your tutorial in your answers. If you write a tutorial, chances are it answers a lot of the same questions. Don't hesitate to visit your past answers and include a link to your Tutorial there for reference.

• Check if your tutorial exists, by reviewing the Tutorials section first.

• Create tutorials out of Best Answers by clicking "Convert post to Tutorial" link on Best Answers. This loads the tutorial creation form. Be sure to give credit to the original author.

Hopefully this helps to introduce the Tutorials system a bit better, and I encourage everyone to take advantage of the feature. There will probably be stiff competition for the top tutorials under certain tags, but we're confident that the foremost will rise to the top.

If you have any questions about the system, please don't hesitate to ask!

Joe Pishgar
Community Manager, Tom's Hardware