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Structure and Style

Tutorial Structure tutorials should have a consistent structure, to create a stable learning environment which makes it easy to follow.

Our tutorials should be procedural, which walk the reader through accomplishing a task or understanding a complex concept step-by-step. The tutorial should be divided in different parts, also mirrored in the file structure. The structure for a procedural tutorial should orientate itself on the following structure:

File intro.mdx

  • Title (Level 1 heading)
    • When you write your title, think about what the reader will accomplish by following your tutorial. Try to include the goal of the tutorial in the title, not just the tool(s) the reader will use to accomplish that goal. Ideally, titles will be under 60 characters long.
    • A typical title for a procedural tutorial follows this format: How To {Accomplish a Task} with {Software}.
    • Title Capitalization
  • Introduction (Text below the title)
    • What is the tutorial about (software, components, concepts)
    • Why should the reader read the tutorial
    • What will the reader do / create
    • What new skills will the reader have after the tutorial
  • Time of completion (Level 2 heading)
    • How long does it normally take to finish the tutorial including the time for reading and coding
  • What you'll learn (Level 2 heading)
    • List of concepts the reader will learn
  • Prerequisites (Level 2 heading)
    • In the form of a checklist, the requirements / knowledge to complete the tutorial
    • If possible links to learning those requirements
  • Author (Level 2 heading - optional)
    • If you want to add a paragraph about yourself, your story, your developer path, your current position or research - this is the place. You can also add links to your profile(s).

File: 1-first-step.mdx


You can choose any file name you like. You can also prefix every filename with a number in order to keep things organized. This very file you are reading is e.g. named 1-structure-and-style.mdx. Have a look in the repo to see how file naming can be handled.

  • Step 1 / Subtopic 1 — Doing the First Thing or explaining the first thing (Level 2 heading)

File: 2-another-step.mdx

  • Step 2 / Subtopic 2 — Doing the Next Thing or explaining the next thing (Level 2 heading)

File: 3-conclusion.mdx

  • Conclusion (Level 2 heading)
    • What was learned
  • further study (Level 2 heading)
    • What can the reader do next, where can they deepen their aquired knowledge

Tutorial Style

The style for articles reflects our purpose in publishing them: to provide quality learning information for developers inside and outside the Polkadot and Kusama ecosystem. We aim tu ensure our tutorials are:

  • Comprehensive and written for the level you will define in Metadata
  • Technically detailed and correct
  • Practical, useful, and self-contained
  • Friendly but formal
  • No discrimination against the following, but not limited to: age, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, level of experience, nationality, religion, political affiliation, sexual orientation, socioeconomics, technology choices
  • Favor second person ("You will build ...") over first person ("I think")

These principles guide authors to create articles, tutorials, and other learning materials that help people solve their problems and grow as developers.

We encourage and help our authors to submit clear and detailed as possible articles without making too much assumptions about the reader’s or writer's background knowledge.

Every command or code a reader needs for the final result of a tutorial should explicitly been included (or be the solution of a quiz). Any needed background information to complete the background tutorial should be noted (in Prerequisites) and in the best case also Links should be given to learn these prerequisites. The goal is to have tutorials that teach the concepts of something, not to deliver copy and paste code.

We avoid words like "simple,” "straightforward,” “easy,” “simply,” “obviously,” and “just,” as these words make assumptions about the reader’s knowledge. While authors use these words to encourage and motivate readers to push through challenging topics, they often have the opposite effect; a reader who hears that something is “easy” may be frustrated when they encounter an issue. Instead, we encourage our readers by providing the explanations they need to be successful. Technically detailed and correct

(DigitalOcean Technical Contribution Guidelines)


Images in your tutorial

Most likely you will like to add images to your tutorial. It is best to put them in a subfolder of your main tutorial repository. The name of the folder should be /assets. When you copied the tutorial template, you will already have that folder.

Now you can add images by adding the markdown.

![Alt Text](./assets/<your-filename.png>)

Please remember to use alt text for your images.

Code and Code Blocks in your Tutorial

  • provide more details than just code
  • do not provide large code blocks in the tutorial, if there is need for larger code blocks, use gists, or link to a github repo that can be cloned
  • every code example should be followed by an explanation of what it does and why it works that way - help readers understand what they do and learn
  • every code example should be tested by the author at the time of writing
  • see Codeblocks in the Component Cheatsheet to see how to include filenames, highlights and formatting.

Interactive Elements in your Tutorial

Interactive elements like quizzes and tasks can help to make a tutorial more fun and help in understanding learned concepts. A reader can self asses if they understood the concepts.


Javascript code only works in .mdx files not in .md files, so make sure to name your tutorial file accordingly.


Why should I insert quizzes in my tutorial?

The above quiz component is generated by the following code parts. You put both of them in your .mdx file.

First, import the required component and set it up.

import Quiz from "/src/components/quiz";

export const question = {
question: "Why should I insert quizzes in my tutorial?",
answers: [
"It's fun",
"You can provide feedback on a learned concept in the `explanation` field",
"It might encourage a reader to read more closely in order to get the quiz correct",
"You just shouldn't",
correctAnswerIdx: [0, 2],
msgCorrect: "Correct answer. Good job.",
msgIncorrect: "Incorrect answer. Please try again.",
"Some extra explanation that will appear when the user answered the questioin correctly.",

Then use the quiz component anywhere in your tutorial.

<Quiz quizItem={question} />


Tasks are interactive elements, that ask the user to check a box. When a user wants to proceed to the next part of the tutorial and not all mandatory tasks on the page are checked, the next button will be disabled and instead take them to the first unfinished task they need to do before proceeding.


use the code below

import Task from '/src/components/task';
<Task>I have completed this task</Task>

Tasks are mandatory by default, if you want to create a task that is optional, use the following code

<Task mandatory={false}>I have completed this task</Task>
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