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Write an A+ Tutorial

 

photo by Ant Smith

Some of my readers already know that I am actually a teacher by training, an English teacher to be exact.  I spent five (yes, five) years in college researching educational strategies, reading novels, plays, textbooks and journals, and writing SOOOOOOO many papers.  I also created hundreds of lesson plans.

Lesson plans are the written guidelines teachers use to plan and direct each lesson of the day.  They can be a pain in the kiester to write, but they are an excellent way to focus a lesson and organize information.

Lesson plans are ALSO a great way to focus and organize a craft tutorial.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying every blogger should fill out an extensive lesson plan form each time she posts a tutorial, but knowing and practicing the main parts of a lesson plan can  be incredibly helpful.

In these two articles, I hope to show you how to write an A+ tutorial using the elements of a typical lesson plan as a guide.

photo by Ant Smith

WHAT ARE THE PARTS OF A LESSON PLAN?

INTRODUCTION:

Don’t just jump right into the step-by-step of your tutorial.  Create some interest in your project by telling a story about how you came up with the project idea or why you wanted to share the tutorial with your readers.  In lesson plan jargon this is called building background knowledge.  Make your readers want to learn how to do the project before you start shouting directions at them.

Finish your introduction with one sentence that clearly states what the tutorial is about.  This sentence is called a statement objective.  For example, my statement objective for this series was: “In these two articles, I hope to show you how to write an A+ tutorial using the elements of a typical lesson plan as a guide.”

OBJECTIVE:

This part of the lesson plan is just for you; you don’t include it in your written tutorial.  You need to ask yourself before you begin writing the tutorial what you want your readers to be able to do after they have read your post.

Do you want them to:

  • Learn an new technique?
  • Be able to completely replicate your project themselves?
  • Have a new attitude about trying new things?
  • Try a new craft material?

It’s important to know what you want your readers to be able to do, so that you can look back at your written tutorial and say, “Yes, a reader would be able to make their own Melted Crayon Art after reading this tutorial” or “If I had never heard of Dimensional Magic before, I sure would want to try it after reading this!”

MATERIALS:

A list of materials is crucial for a creative tutorial.  If you want your readers to be able to replicate a technique, a project, or a quick and dirty trick, you MUST tell them what materials they need to accomplish that.

 PROCEDURE:

The procedure is the meat and potatoes of your tutorial.  Because the procedure is so important, it is going to get a post of its own in part two.

Check back for the second part of this Write an A+ Tutorial series!

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