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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
How-To: Write a Tutorial


Overview:
This community thrives on information, and writing tutorials is one of the best ways to provide that information. Tutorials show other people how a certain procedure is performed, and it enables and empowers them to save money by working on their own car, or simply put their enthusiast enthusiasm to work. Some of us were born with a wrench in our hands, while others see things like a valve cover replacement as a daunting task. Tutorials are provided to walk people through procedures for completing automotive tasks so they can feel comfortable and confident. That's how enthusiasts become gearheads.

This tutorial is designed to teach you how to write a tutorial. I've spent a great deal of time writing tutorials for the CruzeTalk community for any problem that comes up so I can help people save money when they work on their own vehicle and help them understand how this engine works. Knowledge is power, and this is certainly no exception. It is my hope that my tutorials encourage others to contribute as well.


Tools Required:
- Patience
- A digital camera (phone camera works too)
- A willingness to help others
- A computer (I don't recommend trying to write tutorials from a mobile phone)


Part Required:
N/A


Procedure:
Observe the layout of this tutorial. We have an title in bold that matches the title of this thread. It starts with "How-To:" and is clear and short. When writing a tutorial, split the tutorial into distinct sections. I like to place all of the tutorial sections in bold to make everything easy to read.

- Overview: This explains what the tutorial will cover and why someone might want to perform the procedure on their vehicle. Make your overview thorough but brief. If you find yourself writing an essay, it may be appropriate to create a new thread on that topic that you can link to in the tutorial thread.
- Tools Required: This is a critical component in a tutorial. This allows whoever is going to attempt the procedure on their car to be fully prepared, assuming everything goes to plan. Be sure to include the little things like any extensions you need and specific socket or bit sizes.
- Part Required: When replacing a component such as a valve cover or turbo oil feed line, it is very helpful to provide the part number you purchased so someone can be prepared. Be sure to list every part that needs to be replaced and its associated part number.
- Procedure: This is the meat of your tutorial and goes step by step explaining what to do.

During the procedure, document every step. Since a tutorial is often written on a procedure that you are performing for the first time, be sure to allocate additional time. Take pictures of every component and its location, every wire you need to unplug, and so forth. Since you are taking pictures while performing the procedure, allocate some time to make sure that you get the necessary pictures. It is very easy to get too caught up with getting the job done quickly at the expense of being thorough with your documentation of the procedure. Be aware of what time it is and the fact that your photo quality will degrade at night.

Torque specs. Torque specs. Torque specs. Every bolt that needs to be turned has to have a torque spec. If you're going to do something, do it right. Don't half-ass a tutorial and say "oh just tighten it till it's good and tight." For someone who hasn't worked on a car, "good and tight" could turn a 30 minute job into a 3-hour job. If you write a tutorial, document the torque spec you need to use for every bolt that needs to be tightened. If the torque spec is in inch-pounds, I don't expect you to have the tool to measure that adequately, so just note that it should be "hand snug, but not tight."

If you have some automotive experience, be sure to note particular areas of concern. Don't assume everyone's stupid, but be mindful of the fact that not everyone has the mechanical experience and aptitude that you do. Take note of areas where people need to be especially cautious and areas where something could go wrong if someone isn't careful. Aside from the obligatory "don't drop that bolt down the engine bay," stress that certain parts should be approached carefully. For example, the oil line feed replacement involves tightening a bolt on the engine block. Over-tightening this bolt and breaking it in the block will lead to a colossal headache, so I stressed that a torque wrench must be used with the correct torque spec. Making note of these areas of concern will give your reader more confidence that they can tackle this project on their own.

When uploading photos, I strongly recommend uploading them to the CruzeTalk forum instead of hosting them elsewhere, so they don't get lost. Please resize them to no greater than 1920 width. I cannot count how many times I've seen a tutorial on another forum where someone took the time to post pictures, then deleted the pictures off their hosting site and we ended up with explanations but no pictures. If possible, take the time to upload the pictures to this site using the attachment option and insert them into the thread. That way, they will always stick with the forum and won't get lost.

Lastly, be sure you're creating your thread in the correct section.

Any questions?
 

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Excellent - thread stuck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I'm the guy who would try to write a write up but my spelling & grammar skills suck. But this is handy if I ever try again thanks.
I don't mean to offend but I would not mind re-wording your tutorial if you want to make one. If you get the nuts and bolts (pictures, required parts/tools, torque specs, etc), I'll put it together and make it presentable.
 

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I had visions of what the phone auto correct would do to a tutorial when I read this in your post.

(I don't recommend trying to write tutorials from a mobile phone).
 

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I don't mean to offend but I would not mind re-wording your tutorial if you want to make one. If you get the nuts and bolts (pictures, required parts/tools, torque specs, etc), I'll put it together and make it presentable.
Not offend at all LOL:eek:ccasion14: I know not good at spelling & grammar but I'm good at mechanics & light welding. I also suck at bodywork & putting interior back w/o breaking something . I'm a good painter thou. Thanks & I would take you up on that offer. But you were warned my grammar really sucks as you can tell.:sigh:
 

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Nomenclature

"Take that thing that does that stuff off to get to the thingamagig under the bumber."

:question:
Whaaaaaaaat?

I haven't really observed it here, but on one forum I used to post on, the write ups were full of indeterminate or just wrong part names. It made what might have been a decent write up somewhat confusing.

I don't expect the proper GM nomenclature. Generic or descriptive terms are fine.
 

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I had visions of what the phone auto correct would do to a tutorial when I read this in your post.

(I don't recommend trying to write tutorials from a mobile phone).
:rotate:
 

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"Take that thing that does that stuff off to get to the thingamagig under the bumber."
You're giving me ideas for next April. A procedure on replacing the muffler bearings and greasing the relative bearings.
 

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You're giving me ideas for next April. A procedure on replacing the muffler bearings and greasing the relative bearings.
Forget the muffler bearings, I still want to know where the fill port is for my bottle of blinker fluid. :)
 

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I think I am going to do a write up on replacing our muffler bearing , and maintenancing our injector fans and claim to increase 40 hp and get an extra 12 mpg... see how many people go for it. Or we can always use it as a reference for commenting on a stupid comment. Maybe even refer dumb questions to read the write up...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I think I am going to do a write up on replacing our muffler bearing , and maintenancing our injector fans and claim to increase 40 hp and get an extra 12 mpg... see how many people go for it. Or we can always use it as a reference for commenting on a stupid comment. Maybe even refer dumb questions to read the write up...
Just be sure to include torque specs and part numbers. ;)
 
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