By Michael Brezin*
Golfbizwiki Writers and Editors Guide
A little worried about writing a good article? Don't be! Think it might take too long to write an article? Think again! See these tips
Writing an Article
These instructions are intended to help you write or edit an article in the format we consider a best practice at Golfbizwiki.
How in-depth should an article be? That’s a judgment call on your part. Our intent is to present the best, most current information available – the acquired wisdom of the golf business community. There are no set requirements regarding article length.
Our main goal is that the article be relevant to the issues facing today’s golf facility operators and present the barebones, practical solutions. As a general guide to length for most article types, you may consider a scenario something like this: a concerned, reasonably intelligent golf facility employee (owner, pro, club manager, F&B manager, superintendent, etc.) calls you on the phone asking for your advice on a particular problem. You happen to be quite qualified in the problem area. After a brief conversation on the basics of the facility and the problem, you give your advice in a 10-15 minute conversation. Along with your advice, you provide some information sources the person may want to access for a better understanding of the problem/solution. Now, take what you said and convert it to writing.
We’re looking for articles that are certainly descriptive, may be technical, and may include a how-to level of detail. However, we’re closer to a good journal article or how-to directions than a training program. For extensive, in-depth learning, we encourage you to refer the reader to available high quality training programs or books.
Given the learning focus of the articles, we ask that you write in a way that is somewhat more structured than typical articles. If your first attempt isn’t perfect, don't worry. The beauty of a wiki is that all things are fixable, by you or by others. Just do your best and have fun.
Before you start:
- Choose a topic carefully—one that is not already covered at GolfBizWiki. How to Search for an Article to make sure.
- Be prepared to narrow your topic. One of the beauties of the wiki is that a user can jump from one topic to another easily. Therefore, it’s best to write short, focused articles that satisfy readers searching for specific information. It’s easy to write a number of related articles and link them, so keep that in mind. For example, rather than writing an article on running a golf shop, you may write a number of articles on golf shop operations, merchandising, and inventory control. You may decide to break down the topics even further. For example, writing merchandising articles on setting financial goals, developing a purchase plan and buying strategy, pricing philosophy, and selling.
- Gather together the information and, if you are so inclined, the photos or other media that you want to include in your article.
- Research facts and techniques from other books, periodicals, or websites. You are encouraged to use facts that you learned elsewhere so long as you credit those sources and don't plagiarize. Write everything in your own words or send us explicit permission from the author to import copyrighted content legally.
- If you want to write about a commercial topic and link back to your site, please read how to do this properly without getting deleted as spam.
While You're Writing
Read How To Create An Article
for the specific directions for planning and writing your article.
- Write a clear title. The best titles use the fewest, most descriptive words possible. They contain the key words that someone would put into the search box to find articles on the topic. Use functional rather than “catchy” titles.
- Be evenhanded. GolfBizWiki articles are not blogs or forums and should not be used as a soapbox. While arguing a particular point of view is OK, it is even better if an article addresses both sides of an argument or issue.
- Use a clear and reasonable sequence of topics within your article. Use subheadings to mark the beginning of a new topic. You may sequence according to things like:
- Key Points (use a few words that summarize the topic you’ll be writing about)
- Steps (if the article is about a procedure or process, let the steps do the sequencing)
- Time (e.g., past to current, etc.)
- Include learning aids, as possible. Help the reader learn and remember the content. Use techniques like:
- Pictures or other media (pictures/videos are especially helpful for “demonstrating” steps or pointing out important details, although more general but content-related pictures can also be useful.
- Use a casual, but reasonably structured writing style.
- Use short sentences, where possible. Strive to be clear, concise, and accurate.
- Use action verbs –verbs for which the reader can visualize something happening – find, arrange, pull, mow, etc. rather than static verbs like: is, are, provide, etc.
- Make use of bulleted lists to make reading of a sequence of items easy.
- Avoid first person references. Do not use "I" or “we” or “us” because it makes your article sound specific to a particular organization or situation and you want the content to appeal to the greatest number of people.
- Add highlights and other presentational devices. You can do a number of things to add emphasis, such as bold, italics, or underlining.
- As with newspaper articles, short paragraphs are usually best.
- Check your spelling, grammar and punctuation when you have finished. You are about to publish your work for the world to see!
- Use links to keep your article focused.
- There are three optional sections to use at the end of an article. These are:
- Summary. If your article is rather long and/or involved, it is useful to add a summary to re-focus the user on the key points and/or major implications of the article.
- Sources and Citations. This optional section lists the reference sources – websites, articles, books, etc. – for the article. If appropriate, include links to articles or websites on the Internet as the reader can easily link to them. Readers feel more confident of the accuracy of an article when it includes sources and citations they can check.
- Related GolfBizWikis. Add links from your article to other related articles in Golfwiki. See details Here .
- If you edit, document! If you make edits to an article rather than writing it, please use the edit summary box, located right above the "Save" button to explain your edit. This helps editors know what was done, and is an important part of the edit history.
Our goal is for each GolfBizWiki article to be the most accurate and helpful presentation on the topic available anywhere. Articles usually don't start at our target high quality level, but do rise there over time. By making any contribution here, you will be helping that process take place.
While it should go without saying, please be sure that all your contributions to GolfBizWiki are entirely your own, or that you have permission from the copyright holder to post them on GolfBizWiki.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact a HelpTeamMember or email us.
Now that you know how to write a GolfBizWiki article, please feel free to start writing
- 11 Mar 2008
Originally posted by MichaelBrezin
on 11 Mar 2008.
All contributors: LynnwoodBrown
, MikeTest ,
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