How to write a guideline: a proposal for a manuscript template that supports the creation of trustworthy guidelines.

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Robby Nieuwlaat, Wojtek Wiercioch, Jan L. Brozek, Nancy Santesso, Robert Kunkle, Pablo Alonso-Coello, David R. Anderson, Shannon M. Bates, Philipp Dahm, Alfonso Iorio, Wendy Lim, Gary H. Lyman, Saskia Middeldorp, Paul Monagle, Reem A. Mustafa, Ignacio Neumann, Thomas L. Ortel, Bram Rochwerg, Sara K. Vesely, Daniel M. Witt, Adam Cuker, Holger J. Schünemann; How to write a guideline: a proposal for a manuscript template that supports the creation of trustworthy guidelines. Blood Adv 2021; 5 (22): 4721–4726. doi:

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The proposed guideline manuscript template is the first detailed template for transparent and complete reporting of guidelines.

Consistent application of the template may simplify preparing an evidence-based guideline manuscript and facilitate its use.

Visual Abstract


Trustworthy health guidelines should provide recommendations, document the development process, and highlight implementation information. Our objective was to develop a guideline manuscript template to help authors write a complete and useful report. The McMaster Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation Centre collaborated with the American Society of Hematology (ASH) to develop guidelines for the management of venous thromboembolism. A template for reporting the guidelines was developed based on prior approaches and refined using input from other key stakeholders. The proposed guideline manuscript template includes: (1) title for guideline identification, (2) abstract, including a summary of key recommendations, (3) overview of all recommendations (executive summary), and (4) the main text, providing sufficient detail about the entire process, including objectives, background, and methodological decisions from panel selection and conflict-of-interest management to criteria for updating, as well as supporting information, such as links to online (interactive) tables. The template further allows for tailoring to the specific topic, using examples. Initial experience with the ASH guideline manuscript template was positive, and challenges included drafting descriptions of recommendations involving multiple management pathways, tailoring the template for a specific guideline, and choosing key recommendations to highlight. Feedback from a larger group of guideline authors and users will be needed to evaluate its usefulness and refine. The proposed guideline manuscript template is the first detailed template for transparent and complete reporting of guidelines. Consistent application of the template may simplify the preparation of an evidence-based guideline manuscript and facilitate its use.

The development of evidence-based guidelines involves a structured process of content prioritization, evidence synthesis, making informed judgments, writing reports for end users, and disseminating the guidelines. This can be time consuming, but tools to standardize and facilitate each step of the process are increasingly available. 1   Despite this, there is still important variation in guideline reporting that can be confusing for end users. 2   Although checklists for adequately reporting guidelines are available, providing practical writing tools has the potential to enhance completeness and transparency for guideline authors, as well as understanding by end users. 1,3,4  

Practical guidance for guideline development is available through the checklist created by the Guidelines International Network (GIN) and McMaster University 4   and implemented in GRADEpro software ( ). Item 15 of this checklist addresses “Reporting and peer review” and provides pointers for guideline formatting, authorship, and peer review. In addition, tools like the AGREE II instrument describe in detail items that need to be reported to be able to adequately assess and use a guideline. 3   Since publication of the GIN-McMaster checklist, other sources for guidance on guideline reporting have been issued. Among them, the RIGHT (Reporting Items for practice Guidelines in HealThcare) Working Group provided a tool containing essential items, and the CheckUp panel provided a checklist for reporting updates of guidelines partly based on AGREE II. 1,5   Although checklists can enhance standardization and quality of reporting, they still require guideline authors to translate individual components into an actual narrative manuscript that meets the requirements for publication in peer-reviewed journals. Also, when preparing a manuscript for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, there is a need to observe space constraints, adopt a writing style, and meet reader expectations that are not covered in existing guidance. Therefore, practical guidance for what a guideline should contain is lacking. A guideline manuscript template, grounded in an optimal development and reporting checklist, can make the task of guideline authors more efficient, ensure high-quality standardized guideline reports, and optimize transparency and understanding by end users. At present, no such practical template exists for guideline authors.

The McMaster GRADE Center collaborated with the American Society of Hematology (ASH) to develop 10 guidelines on various topics related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE). The aim of this article is to describe the development of the guideline manuscript template for the ASH guidelines project, which may function as a practical tool for guideline developers beyond ASH.

The checklist created by the GIN and McMaster GRADE Center provides guidance toward developing trustworthy guidelines at each step of the process and forms the backbone for guidance in the GRADE Handbook. 4,6   The GRADE approach includes items that relate to aspects of question formulation, evidence assessment, and formulating recommendations and are integrated in the GIN-McMaster checklist. 4   GRADEpro software ( ) was designed to facilitate and standardize the development process as much as possible, and this software is continually improved. Deliverables generated using this software include GRADE evidence profiles, evidence-to-decision (EtD) tables, and guideline implementation and dissemination tools. There is also a section intended to help facilitate writing the guideline manuscript, which currently provides recommended document section headings only.

Ten ASH VTE guideline panels addressed topics that included 20 to 30 recommendations per guideline. The guideline panel chairs and vice-chairs proposed to adopt a manuscript template for summarizing panel recommendations for dissemination in peer-reviewed journals. The approach for developing this template was determined by ASH in collaboration with a methodology working group composed of McMaster GRADE group members and guideline panelists.

The first ASH guideline template was drafted by H.J.S. and J.B. based on unpublished guideline templates used for various organizations, including the World Allergy Organization (WAO), World Health Organization, government guideline groups, and the existing template sections in GRADEpro. 7–17   The draft was then iteratively refined using input from the ASH VTE Guidelines Methodology Working Group, ASH staff, scientific journal editors, patients, and guideline panel chairs and vice-chairs. Further comments from the ASH Guideline Oversight Subcommittee and ASH staff were incorporated, after which the draft was discussed with guideline panel chairs and vice-chairs. Repeated edits were incorporated as needed based on discussion between the ASH VTE Guidelines Methodology Working Group and those involved in guideline development.

The guideline manuscript template was considered final once all relevant parties provided feedback and the ASH VTE Guidelines Methodology Working Group considered it ready for use. Important changes relevant for all guidelines were allowed after guideline panel chairs and vice chairs started using the template.

Development of the manuscript template took 7 months, from May to November of 2016. The final template was available at the end of November of 2016, well before guideline chairs started writing the guideline manuscripts. The template was used to report 15 already published and 2 upcoming ASH guidelines. 18-32   Guideline manuscript authors tailored parts to their guideline’s specific requirements, for example the treatment of pediatric VTE and also sickle cell disease guidelines simplified or combined sections on Benefits and Harms and Burden when very limited evidence was available. Substantial changes to the template would have been allowed but were not requested after it was brought into use.

Manuscript template

The Title clearly identifies the manuscript as a guideline and includes the year of publication. Author Information meets journal-specific criteria.

The Abstract focuses on the guideline’s objective, target audience, general development methods, number of recommendations, and selected key recommendations.

The Summary of Recommendations functions as an executive summary, which includes an introduction for the topic at hand, interpretation of strong and conditional recommendations, and all guideline recommendations, including important justifications.

The Main Text provides the guideline’s specific objectives, description of the health problem, methodology regarding panel composition and coordination, guideline funding and conflict-of-interest management, formulation of questions, evidence review, including assessment of the certainty, recommendation development, document review process, and guidance for using the guidelines. For each recommendation, the summary of evidence, benefits, harms, other EtD judgements, and main conclusion and research needs are reported; online supplements and direct links to evidence profiles (EPs) and EtDs can be used for more complete or different presentations of evidence and judgments. Further, guideline recommendations are compared with what other guidelines have recommended to clarify potential differences. Limitations of the guideline-development process are reported, and a plan for guideline adaptation and updating is provided, as well as advice for future research.

Meeting checklist requirements

The proposed manuscript template meets all criteria for reporting, as specified in the GIN-McMaster, RIGHT, and AGREE II checklists, as well as the Institute of Medicine standards. 1,3,4,33   Table 1 summarizes where each checklist domain has been covered in the manuscript template.

Guideline manuscript template conformation to reporting checklists

Supplement 1; —, not addressed.

Important features

Throughout the template, placeholders are provided to tailor the manuscript to the relevant guideline topic while maintaining standardized reporting. These include key aspects, such as Summary of Findings tables, standard wording of recommendations, and EtD frameworks that are accessible through links in the Database of GRADE EtDs and Guidelines ( and help others to decide whether to adopt, adapt, or develop recommendations de novo using the “adolopment” framework. 34   This framework is especially helpful for guideline development organizations with limited resources and who may decide to focus on contextualizing existing recommendations rather than going through a full development process. These links also provide access to relevant online supplemental materials. Further, the template includes examples of how to summarize key considerations that led to the recommendation and allows for comparison of the recommendations with other guidelines on the same topic. A section for future research needs for each specific recommendation highlights evidence gaps identified by guideline panels.

Guideline author experience

ASH guideline panel chairs and vice-chairs generally found the template very helpful. Because they were given the opportunity to provide input during the template-creation process, few major issues came up when they started to use the template. Some reported challenges included focusing on key drivers for recommendations and avoiding repetition and redundancies, clear wording for recommendations comparing multiple management pathways, deciding how to tailor their specific guideline, and deciding which key recommendations and considerations to focus on in the Abstract. A reported advantage was that the template’s standardized layout facilitated multiple authors to work on the same guideline manuscript. Finally, guidance for including advice on future research for each specific recommendation was much appreciated by ASH guideline panels, because this helps to further develop the evidence base and check whether progress has been made in subsequent guideline iterations.

We have reported the approach used to develop a guideline manuscript template for widespread use, based on the GIN-McMaster checklist, input from a multidisciplinary team of guideline developers and users, and extensive previous experience in guideline development and reporting. This practical tool will assist guideline authors by facilitating and standardizing manuscripts while enhancing transparency and will help guideline users by providing a consistent format and wording. The headers of the different sections of the template manuscript are integrated into GRADEpro software, which provides the backbone for a detailed manuscript and makes GRADEpro a complete tool for every step of the guideline development process. By making these tools freely available, we aim to accelerate standardized guideline reporting. The template has been used for 15 published ASH guidelines involving >200 authors, 18-32   and it will be used for additional ASH guidelines, as well as other ongoing guidelines under development by the McMaster GRADE Centre. For specific examples of guidelines that used the template, please visit the Web site “ASH Clinical Practice Guidelines on Venous Thromboembolism” ( ).

The manuscript template was designed for reporting a full guideline with transparent description of all considerations and judgments for the entire process. Although not used by ASH to date, small informative recommendation units can be published for specific topics, without waiting for a full manuscript to be ready, to speed up the implementation of up-to-date guidance and development of tools in practice and facilitate referencing specific recommendations. Specific sections of the manuscript template could still be used for such small informative recommendation unit publications. 35,36   Although the template was developed with the intent to be comprehensive, some guideline authors may decide to include additional information to facilitate the use of recommendations in practice.

In our experience, using this template produced long, but detailed, documents, which may be a concern given the typical word limit of journals. However, we preferred to have a comprehensive document that explicitly reported the key aspects that influenced recommendations. Online-only journals may be more flexible with regard to the word limit; if that is not an option, placing sections online only may be a good compromise. In this regard, it may be a good idea to have discussions with editors in advance about the best way to publish the guideline using this template.

Another concern may be the repetitiveness of the information presented for each recommendation. However, practitioners not may typically read an entire guideline in one go. More likely, specific recommendations are used to resolve specific clinical questions. This makes each recommendation a stand-alone product that should include all of the necessary information. However, the minor downside of this is that for those who actually read the whole manuscript, including authors and journal editors, it may seem repetitive. Another challenge in this regard is the publication of updated recommendations in a living guideline process. More recent experience from our group suggests that initial publication of all details, possibly with a separate methodology publication, can allow us to focus on the most essential information regarding changes while referring to previous publications for methodology and findings that did not change.

We acknowledge that there are several limitations to the development process of the guideline manuscript template. First, the template is primarily based on the GIN-McMaster checklist; other guideline developers may use a different approach, although this is a minor limitation because this checklist is the most complete tool that is used worldwide to develop guidelines, and it conforms to most criteria of guideline reporting checklists, such as RIGHT and AGREE II. Second, we aimed to use an iterative process with input from a multidisciplinary group of guideline developers and users, primarily involved in the development of ASH guidelines. Other guideline developers may have different preferences, and other health disciplines may have different needs for clear and complete reporting. Third, we primarily report our experience with using the template for multiple guidelines with 1 organization (ASH), but as the template is used more often and by other organizations we aim to improve it further. Fourth, formal feedback from final users of the guideline or readers of the journal has not yet been systematically collected. Fifth, the impact on widespread use of a similar template on plagiarism software commonly adopted by several journals at the review stage needs to be assessed, and simple linguistic variation of the common part may be suggested when using the template. We acknowledge that the document needs further iterative refinement, and while keeping the overall format a suite of alternative options may be developed (eg, to allow for standardized wording when very limited evidence was available).

In conclusion, the guideline manuscript template that we developed is a free to use detailed tool for standardized, complete, and transparent reporting of the guideline-development process and recommendations. Consistent application of the template, which is encouraged, may facilitate writing of guideline manuscripts and enhance end-users’ ability to understand, select, and implement recommendations.

Contribution: R.N., W.W., and H.J.S. designed the reported manuscript template, analyzed the manuscript template for agreement with reporting requirements, and wrote this article; J.L.B., N.S., and R.K. designed the manuscript template and critically reviewed this article; P.D., I.N., P.A.-C., A.I., S.K.V., B.R., R.A.M., D.R.A., T.L.O., D.M.W., G.H.L., S.M., P.M., S.M.B., W.L., and A.C. helped to refine the manuscript template, provided user experience data, and critically reviewed this article.

Conflict-of-interest disclosure: R.K. is employed by ASH, which funded and disseminated the guidelines discussed in this article. The remaining authors declare no competing financial interests.

Correspondence: Robby Nieuwlaat, Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact, McMaster University, HSC-2C, 1280 Main St West, Hamilton, ON L8N 3Z5, Canada; e-mail: [email protected] .

Author notes

Data sharing requests should be sent to Robby Nieuwlaat (e-mail: [email protected] ).

The full-text version of this article contains a data supplement.

Supplemental data

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Developing NICE guidelines: the manual

Process and methods [PMG20] Published: 31 October 2014 Last updated: 18 January 2022

9 Writing the guideline

Process and methods

9.1 interpreting the evidence to make recommendations, 9.2 wording the recommendations, 9.3 supporting shared decision-making, 9.4 formulating research recommendations, 9.5 references and further reading.

During development of the guideline, the developer and committee will write:

the recommendations

recommendations for research

the rationale for the recommendations, and their likely impact on practice

the context for the guideline – such as the need for the guideline, or the reason for updating an existing guideline

summaries of evidence supporting shared decision-making, if there are preference-sensitive decision points in the guideline

information about changes to published recommendations (if the guideline is an update)

structured summaries of the committee's discussions

summaries of the evidence – with details of analysis and any modelling

the methods used for guideline development – highlighting the reasons for options taken, and any deviations from the methods and processes described in this manual.

For publication, the recommendations, recommendations for research, rationale for the recommendations and likely impact, context, and any summaries of evidence supporting shared decision-making are presented in a 'web version'. The committee's discussion and evidence are presented as PDFs in separate evidence reviews , along with the methods used during guideline development. Exactly how we organise and present the information is likely to change in future.

Assessment and interpretation of the evidence to inform guideline recommendations is at the heart of the work of the committee. Recommendations are developed using a range of scientific evidence (see the section on evidence used to inform recommendations in the chapter on developing review questions and planning the evidence review ) and other evidence – such as expert testimony (see the appendix on call for evidence and expert witnesses , views of stakeholders , people using services and practitioners , and the committee's discussions and debate (see the chapter on decision-making committees ). Sometimes recommendations are made because of a legal duty or the consequences of not following a course of action are extremely serious. If there is a legal duty, the recommendation should refer to supporting documents and should build on the law or statutory guidance rather than simply repeating it.

The committee must use its judgement to decide what the evidence means in the context of the guideline referral and decide what recommendations can be made to practitioners, commissioners of services and others. The strength and quality of the evidence is assessed for both internal and external validity , but also requires interpretation. Evidence also needs to be assessed in light of any conceptual framework .

As soon as the committee has discussed the evidence, they should start drafting recommendations. They should decide what action to recommend and keep in mind which sectors (including which practitioners or commissioners within those sectors) should act on the recommendations. The record of the committee's discussion should explain clearly how they moved from the evidence to each recommendation, and document how any issues influenced their decision-making. In line with the GRADE principles on 'evidence to decisions', summaries of the discussions should describe the relative value placed on outcomes, benefits and harms, resource use, and the overall quality of the evidence, as well as other considerations (see Alonso-Coello et al. 2016 , Schünemann et al. 2016 ).

Findings from several evidence reviews may be integrated into a single summary of the committee's discussions if they relate to the same recommendation or group of recommendations.

For each group of recommendations, the committee should briefly explain their rationale for making the recommendations and record their views on any likely impact of the recommendations on practice or services.

Quality of the evidence

The committee is presented with GRADE tables, GRADE-CERQual tables or (if GRADE or GRADE-CERQual is not used) evidence statements. These describe the number, type and quality of the studies for each review question and provide an overall rating of confidence (high, moderate, low or very low) in estimates of effect for each outcome (or each review finding, for qualitative reviews). The committee should agree that the reviews are a fair summary of the evidence and should discuss any uncertainty, including the precision of estimates, clinical decision thresholds, and the presence, likely magnitude and direction of potential biases.

GRADE tables, GRADE-CERQual tables and the summary of the committee's discussion should include the committee's view of the directness (or applicability ) of the evidence to people affected by the guideline and the setting.

Trade‑off between benefits and harms of an intervention

A key stage in moving from evidence to recommendations is weighing up the magnitude and importance of the benefits and harms of an intervention, and the potential for unintended consequences. This may be done qualitatively (for example, 'the evidence of a reduction in medicines errors in care homes outweighed a small increase in staff workload and resources') or quantitatively using a decision model .

The committee should assess the extent to which the available evidence is about efficacy (the extent to which an intervention produces a beneficial result under controlled experimental conditions), effectiveness (the extent to which a specific intervention, when used under 'real world' circumstances, does what it is intended to do) or both. Often the distinction between the 2 is not clear; this may be of particular importance in reports of complex interventions, because these are often evaluated only in pragmatic studies.

If several possible interventions are being considered, it is useful to include details of the committee's discussion of the relative position of interventions within a pathway of care or service model.

The committee should also assess whether, when recommending an intervention, they are able to recommend stopping other interventions because they have been superseded by the new one.

The committee should also assess the extent to which the recommendations may impact on health inequalities . This needs to be made clear, regardless of whether the recommendation is aimed at the whole population, specific subgroups or a combination of both.

Trade‑off between economic considerations and resource use

As noted in the section on using economic evidence to formulate guideline recommendations in the chapter on incorporating economic evaluation , the committee should discuss cost effectiveness at the same time as effectiveness when formulating recommendations.

The guideline should include an explanation of how the implications of costs, resource use and economic considerations were taken into account in determining the cost effectiveness of an intervention. This may be informal, or may be more formal and include economic modelling (see the chapter on incorporating economic evaluation ).

If several possible interventions are being considered, it is useful to include the committee's discussion of the relative position of an intervention in a care pathway or service model, based on cost effectiveness.

Use of indirect evidence

Sometimes when there is no evidence directly relevant to a specific population or setting, indirect evidence from other populations or settings may be considered. For example, a review of systems for managing medicines in care homes for people with dementia may identify good practice that is relevant in other care home settings. The use of indirect evidence must be considered carefully by the committee, with explicit consideration of the features of the condition or interventions that allow extrapolation to a different context or population. This also applies when extrapolating findings from evidence in different care settings (for example, between primary and secondary care). The committee should consider and document any similarities in case mix, staffing, facilities and processes, and any limitations.

Availability of evidence to support implementation (including evidence from practice)

The committee should also judge to what extent it will be feasible to put the recommendations into practice. They can use expert evidence or testimony (see the appendix on call for evidence and expert witnesses ), the experience of committee members or results from other approaches (see the chapter on the validation process for draft guidelines, and dealing with stakeholder comments and the appendix on approaches to additional consultation and commissioned primary research ) if these have been used. They may also be able to draw on qualitative studies or other forms of evidence relating to organisational and political processes where appropriate.

The committee should consider the extent of change in practice that will be needed to implement a recommendation, staff training needs, policy levers and funding streams, and the possible need for carefully controlled implementation with, for example, training programmes. This should be documented in the guideline and in any resources to support implementation.

Size of effect and potential impact on population health

The committee should consider whether it is possible to anticipate effect sizes at the population level, if this is appropriate for the topic. If this is the case, it is important to consider effect sizes along the whole causal chain, not just at the endpoints.

Wider basis for making recommendations

The committee should take into account a range of issues (including any ethical issues, the NICE principles , equity considerations and inequalities in outcomes) and policy imperatives, as well as equality legislation (see the introduction chapter ) to ensure that the guideline recommendations are ethical, practical and specific. There are no hard-and-fast rules or mechanisms for doing this: the committee should make conscious and explicit use of its members' skills and expertise. All evidence needs interpretation: evidence alone cannot determine the content of a recommendation. The development of evidence-based recommendations involves inductive or deductive reasoning:

inductive because it involves using what is known (the evidence) while accepting that there is uncertainty about what is reasonably expected to happen as a consequence of implementing a recommendation

deductive when it is drawn from theory or methodological principles that are generally held to be true so that any logical conclusion will be true.

NICE's principles on social value judgements explicitly acknowledge that non-scientific values are brought to bear, and all of NICE's advisory committees are encouraged to take account of (and to make explicit) the value judgements they make. The committee may also draw on the principles outlined in the report on ethical issues in public health by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics when making its judgements.

Conceptual framework or logic model

When the committee is developing its recommendations, it should consider any conceptual frameworks or logic models that have been used to inform the guideline because these may help to identify any practical issues involved with a recommendation that will change practice.

Equality considerations

The guideline should also document how the committee's responsibilities under equality legislation and NICE's equality scheme have been discharged in reaching the recommendations (see the section on key principles for developing guidelines in the introduction chapter ), and how the recommendations address areas highlighted in the equality impact assessment. The committee needs to consider whether:

the evidence review has addressed areas identified in the scope as needing specific attention with regard to equality issues

criteria for access to an intervention might be discriminatory (for example, through membership of a particular group, or by using an assessment tool that might discriminate unlawfully)

any groups of people might find it impossible or unreasonably difficult to receive or access an intervention

recommendations can be formulated to advance equality (for example, by making access more likely for certain groups, or by tailoring the intervention to specific groups).

Insufficient evidence

If evidence of efficacy or effectiveness for an intervention is either lacking or too low quality, or too uncertain for firm conclusions to be reached, the committee has several options. It may:

make a 'consider' recommendation based on the limited evidence (see the section on wording the recommendations )

decide not to make a recommendation, and make a recommendation for research (see the section on formulating research recommendations )

decide not to make a recommendation or a recommendation for research (they should include a rationale for this decision in the guideline)

recommend that the intervention is used only in the context of research

make a 'do not offer' recommendation for the intervention.

The principles for wording recommendations described in the section on wording the recommendations should be used, reflecting the strength of the evidence.

'Do not offer' recommendations

Reasons for the committee to make a 'do not offer' recommendation include:

The intervention has no reasonable prospect of providing cost-effective benefits to people using services.

Stopping the intervention is not likely to cause harm for people currently receiving it.

The potential harms outweigh the potential benefits.

Good-quality clinical evidence shows a lack of efficacy or effectiveness.

There is a lack of evidence of efficacy or effectiveness for an intervention, or the quality of the evidence is too low or too uncertain.

The intervention has a safety issue or warning from the MHRA.

'Only in research' recommendations

Reasons for the committee to make an 'only in research' recommendation include:

The necessary research can realistically be set up or is already planned, or people using services are already being recruited for a study.

The intervention should have a reasonable prospect of providing cost-effective benefits to people using services.

There is a real prospect that the research will inform future NICE guidelines.

Strength of recommendations

The concept of the 'strength' of a recommendation (Guyatt et al. 2003) is key to translating evidence into recommendations. This takes into account the quality of the evidence but is conceptually different.

Some recommendations are 'strong' in that the committee believes that the vast majority of practitioners or commissioners and people using services would choose a particular intervention if they considered the evidence in the same way as the committee. This is generally the case if the benefits clearly outweigh the harms for most people and the intervention is likely to be cost effective. Similarly, if the committee believes that the vast majority of practitioners or commissioners and people using services would not choose a particular intervention if they considered the evidence in the same way as the committee, a 'do not offer' recommendation can be made. This is generally the case if the harms clearly outweigh the benefits for most people, or the intervention is not likely to be cost effective.

However, there is often a closer balance between benefits and harms, and some people would not choose an intervention whereas others would. This may happen, for example, if some people are particularly likely to benefit and others are not, or people have different preferences and values. In these circumstances, the recommendation is generally weaker, although it may be possible to make stronger recommendations for specific groups of people. The committee should also discuss making negative recommendations in such situations if they believe most people are particularly likely to experience no benefit or experience harm, but that there may be a benefit for some. Be as specific as possible about the circumstances (for example, 'Do not offer…, unless…') or population.

NICE reflects the strength of the recommendation in the wording (see the section on wording the recommendations ). NICE uses 'offer' (or words such as 'measure', 'advise', or 'refer') to reflect a strong recommendation, usually where there is clear evidence of benefit. NICE uses 'consider' to reflect a recommendation for which the evidence of benefit is less certain.

There might be little evidence of differences in effectiveness or cost effectiveness between interventions. In this case, all effective or cost-effective interventions may be recommended as options. However, interventions that are not considered cost effective should not usually be offered. This is because that course of action has been judged to be an inefficient use of limited resources, with the population as a whole gaining fewer benefits than from alternative (cost-effective) courses of action. In some cases though, considerations about equity may also affect the decision whether to recommend the intervention (see the section on approaches to original economic evaluation in the chapter on incorporating economic evaluation ).

The committee's justifications for the strength of the recommendation should be summarised in the rationale and fully explained in the committee discussion of the relevant evidence review.

In most cases the committee reaches decisions through a process of informal consensus, but sometimes formal voting procedures are used. The proceedings should be recorded and a clear statement made about the factors considered and the methods used to achieve consensus. This ensures that the process is as transparent as possible. A structured summary of the generic and specific issues considered and the key deliberations should be included in the guideline.

Principles of person-centred care

All NICE guidelines advocate the principles of person-centred care: people using services and the wider public should be informed of their options and be involved in decisions about their care.

There are 5 guidelines specifically on the experience of people using services: NICE guideline on patient experience in adult NHS services , service user experience in adult mental health , people's experience in adult social care services , shared decision making , and babies, children and young people's experience of healthcare . These include general recommendations on the principles of person-centred care, such as communication and providing information, which should not be restated in topic-specific guidelines. Recommendations from these guidelines can be cross-referred to when needed.

Recommendations on person-centred care can be included in topic-specific guidelines if there is evidence of specific need for the topic.

This section gives the principles of writing recommendations. For more on NICE style, see the NICE style guide and writing for NICE .

Focus on the action and what readers need to know

Recommendations should be clear about what needs to be done, without the reader having to read the committee's discussion of the evidence . When writing recommendations, keep in mind a reader asking, 'What does this mean for me?'

Include only one action per recommendation or bullet point, and use direct instructions wherever possible because these are easier to follow. Recommendations often start with a verb such as 'offer' (or 'do not'), 'consider', 'measure', 'advise', 'discuss', 'ask about'.

Exceptions to this principle include:

Recommendations that specify who should take action, or cover service organisation. For example, 'A multidisciplinary team should provide care'.

Recommendations that use 'must' or 'must not' (because of a legal duty or a very serious consequence of not following the recommendation).

Recommendations to take different actions in different circumstances or for different populations. For example, it is often clearer to start with details of the population covered by the recommendation.

Think carefully about how much detail to include. Recommendations should be specific about interventions. But this needs to be balanced against the need to be clear and concise. Including a lot of detail can reduce the impact and make it harder for users to identify the most important actions.

Generally, avoid making recommendations about basic good practice unless there is evidence of poor practice or variation in practice.

Be clear about who should be offered an intervention, but don't spell this out in every recommendation if it is obvious from the context. Similarly, readers need to know which sections of the guideline they need to act on. Clear subheadings can help here, for example, by spelling out the setting where the recommendations apply (for example, 'first treatment', 'in primary care' or 'in care homes').

The content and measurability of any related NICE quality standard will be affected by the clarity and precision of recommendation wording. If possible, be clear when interventions should take place, and include the reasoning in the rationale sections of the guideline and discussion sections of the evidence reviews.

Reflect the strength of the recommendation

The 'strength' of a recommendation (see the section on interpreting the evidence to make recommendations ) should be reflected in the consistent wording of recommendations within and across guidelines.

In recommendations on activities or interventions that should (or should not) be offered, use directive language such as 'offer' (or 'do not offer'), 'advise', or 'ask about'. In keeping with the principles of shared decision-making, people may choose whether or not to accept what they are offered or advised.

If there is a closer balance between benefits and harms (activities or interventions that could be used), use 'consider'.

If there is a legal duty to apply a recommendation, or the consequences of not following a recommendation are extremely serious, the recommendation should use 'must' or 'must not' and be worded in the passive voice.

Recommendations for activities or interventions that must or must not be used

Ultra rapid detoxification under general anaesthesia or heavy sedation (where the airway needs to be supported) must not be used. This is because of the risk of serious adverse events, including death.

Patient group directions must be authorised only by an appropriate authorising body in line with legislation.

Recommendations for activities or interventions that should or should not be offered

Offer a trial of supervised pelvic floor muscle training of at least 3 months' duration as a first treatment to women with stress or mixed urinary incontinence.

Record the person's blood pressure every 6 months.

Do not offer lamotrigine to treat mania.

Do not offer tigecycline to treat diabetic foot infections, unless other antibiotics are unsuitable.

Recommendations for activities or interventions that could be offered

Consider pelvic MRI to assess the extent of deep endometriosis involving the bowel, bladder or ureter.

Consider referring people to other behavioural support services within the local health and care network (for example, to voluntary or community services) for interventions that are not available in the pharmacy.

Use 'person-centred', precise, concise, clear English

Person-centred language.

Use language that is person centred, and acknowledges the experience of people who are directly affected by the recommendations (and family members, carers or advocates), and their role in decision-making. Generally use verbs such as 'offer' and 'discuss' in recommendations, rather than 'prescribe' or 'give'. Use 'people' or 'people with [condition]' (or 'people using services') rather than 'individuals', 'service users', 'cases' or 'subjects'. For more information see the section of the NICE style guide on talking about people .

Clarity and consistency

Using clear, consistent wording is an important part of NICE's approach to presenting guidelines and other products, and is in line with style .

Follow the principles of effective writing as described in writing for NICE and NICE's approach to consistency in language and terms across guidelines and other products. More information is available in the NICE style guide .

Use bullet lists and tables if they help to make recommendations easier to follow. Make sure there is a clear link back to the evidence and the committee's discussion for all information in a table.

Recommendations on medicines, including off‑label use of licensed medicines and unlicensed medicines

Do not give dosages routinely.

Readers are expected to refer to a medicine's summary of product characteristics (SPC) for details of dosages for licensed indications. Include dosage information only if there is evidence that a particular medicine is often prescribed at the wrong dosage, or there is clear evidence about the effectiveness of different dose levels. Information about dosage can be found in the BNF or BNF for Children as well as the SPC. SPCs can be found in the Electronic Medicines Compendium . Information on therapeutic monitoring and contraindications should only be included in recommendations if this information is not in the BNF or BNF for Children , or if the information in these sources need updating.

Dosage information for off‑label use of a licensed medicine will usually not be included in the SPC (see the section on off‑label use of licensed medicines). If off‑label use is being recommended, check whether there is any relevant dosage information in the BNF or BNF for Children for the particular population or indication it is being recommended for. If there is none, NICE staff with responsibility for quality assurance will liaise with the BNF.

Off‑label use of licensed medicines

Using a UK licensed medicine outside the terms of its marketing authorisation is classed as off‑label use.

Recommendations are usually about the uses of medicines for which the regulatory authority has granted a marketing authorisation, either in the UK or under the European Centralised Decision Reliance Procedure (until January 2023). These uses are often referred to as the licensed indications. However, there are clinical situations in which the off‑label use of a medicine may be judged by the prescriber to be in the best clinical interests of the person. For example, off‑label use may be recommended if the clinical need cannot be met by a licensed product and there is sufficient evidence and/or experience of using the medicine to demonstrate its safety and efficacy to support this.

Off‑label prescribing is particularly common in pregnant women and in children and young people because these groups have often been excluded from clinical trials during medicine development. When prescribing a medicine off label, the prescriber should follow relevant professional guidance (for example, the General Medical Council's Good practice in prescribing medicines – guidance for doctors ) and make a clinical judgement, taking full responsibility for the decision. For more information, see the MHRA's guidance on prescribers' responsibilities for off-label or unlicensed use of medicines .

The guideline developer and committee should check recommended uses of a medicine against the licensed indications listed in the SPC. If there is uncertainty the developer should liaise with the NICE medicines adviser responsible for quality assurance. If the medicine does not have a UK marketing authorisation for the use being recommended (off‑label use), add relevant information to the recommendation to ensure this is clear, for example 'In June 2018, this was an off-label use of donepezil and rivastigmine. See NICE's information on prescribing medicines .

Unlicensed medicines

A medicine that does not have a UK marketing authorisation for any indication is classed as an unlicensed medicine.

If a UK licensed medicine can meet the person's clinical need (even if it is used off-label), it should be used instead of an unlicensed product. An unlicensed medicine should not be used if a product available and licensed within the UK could be used to meet the person's clinical need.

Unlicensed medicines will not usually be included in NICE guidelines. The guideline developer may include an unlicensed medicine in exceptional circumstances, for example in complex conditions when there are no other treatment options. This should be agreed with the NICE medicines adviser responsible for quality assurance, and documented in the rationale.

If use of an unlicensed medicine is recommended, add relevant information to the recommendation to ensure this is clear, for example:

'In January 2012, felbamate was not licensed for use in the UK. See  NICE's information on prescribing medicines .'

Recommendations on medical devices, including off‑label use

Using a CE‑ or UKCA-marked device outside its instructions for use is classed as off‑label use.

Recommendations are usually about the use of devices within the terms of the instructions for their use. However, there are clinical situations in which the off‑label use of a device may be judged by the prescriber and patient to be in the best interests of the patient. For example, off‑label use may be recommended when using a device outside the time period specified in the instructions for use.

There is MHRA guidance on the off-label use of medical devices . The guideline developer and committee should check the instructions for use of a device and if the device is being recommended for off‑label use, include this information in the recommendation:

At the time of publication (Month year), not all devices with a CE or UKCA mark for [intended purpose] are intended by the manufacturer for use as recommended here. The healthcare professional should follow relevant professional guidance, taking full responsibility for the decision. Informed consent should be obtained and documented. MHRA's advice remains to use CE‑ or UKCA marked devices for their intended purpose where possible. See the MHRA guidance on off-label use of a medical device for more information.

Identify preference-sensitive decision points

Guidelines should include information to support shared decision-making between people and their health or social care practitioners (see the recommendations on supporting people to make decisions about their care in the NICE guideline on patient experience in adult NHS services , service user experience in adult mental health , people's experience in adult social care services , shared decision making , and babies, children and young people's experience of healthcare ). The committee should identify any recommendations where someone's values and preferences are likely to be particularly important in their decision about the best course of action for them.

When identifying these recommendations committees should take account of people's autonomy and right to make individual decisions. They should, however, ensure that their recommendations represent an effective use of health and social care resources and so would not disadvantage other people using the services (see section 4.3 of NICE's principles ).

These 'preference-sensitive decision points' occur when the committee recommends 2 or more options for investigation, treatment or care that deliver similar outcomes but:

they have different types of harms and benefits which people may value differently or

the likelihood of the harms or benefits may differ or

the practicalities of the options are different (for example, the choice is between medicine and surgery, or the requirements for monitoring differ) or

some people may consider the overall risks of harms for any of the options outweigh the overall benefits compared with no treatment.

Alternatively, a preference-sensitive decision point may occur if the choice between an investigation, treatment or care option and 'no treatment' is finely balanced.

When to identify preference-sensitive decision points

In some cases, preference-sensitive decision points might be apparent at the scoping stage of a guideline. In other cases, the committee will identify them when reviewing the evidence. This is the same evidence used to make the recommendations, and no additional evidence searches or syntheses are needed.

For updates, the committee only needs to identify decision points in the areas of the guideline being updated.

Summarise information to support decisions

When a preference-sensitive decision point is identified, the committee should create a summary of the evidence that will appear in the guideline. This is to make it easy for professionals and practitioners to compare the options and discuss them with the person.

This summary should set out information about the options clearly and simply. It should usually include the option of no treatment or investigation. This could include brief information, for each option, about:

efficacy or effectiveness : how well something is likely to work for particular outcomes or circumstances and for particular subgroups of people

safety : the risk of short- or long-term harms, and any contraindications

practical factors relevant to people using services : people's experience of treatment or care – for example, ease of use (route of administration for medicines), monitoring requirements, side effects, or impact on quality of life

quality and certainty of the evidence : an overall judgement about the quality of the underlying evidence for each option.

In some cases, NICE will develop additional decision aids (see the chapter on resources to support putting the guideline into practice and the NICE decision aid process guide ).

The committee is likely to identify areas in which there are uncertainties or in which robust evidence is lacking. The NICE research recommendations process and methods guide details the approach to be used to identify key uncertainties and associated recommendations for research.

For guidelines where there could be many hundreds of uncertainties, it will not be possible to document every uncertainty in detail. Similarly, although committees could write research recommendations for dealing with each uncertainty, this is not likely to be feasible. The committee should select up to 5 key recommendations for research that are likely to inform future decision-making (based on a systematic assessment of gaps in the current evidence base). Methods such as value of information analyses can be useful in this process. They can also make other recommendations for research. These will be listed in the guideline after the key recommendations for research but will be of lower priority. The committee should justify why they have made or not made a research recommendation when there was uncertainty or a lack of evidence and document this justification in the discussion section of the relevant evidence review. Further information about how research recommendations should be derived and written can be found in the NICE research recommendations process and methods guide .

Alonso-Coello P, Oxman AD, Moberg J et al. for the GRADE working group (2016) GRADE Evidence to Decision (EtD) frameworks: a systematic and transparent approach to making well informed healthcare choices. 2: Clinical practice guidelines . BMJ 353: i2089

Claxton K, Sculpher MJ (2006) Using value of information analysis to prioritise health research: some lessons from recent UK experience. Pharmacoeconomics 24: 1055–68

Glasziou P, Del Mar C, Salisbury J (2003) Evidence-based medicine workbook. London: British Medical Journal Books

Guyatt GH, Oxman AD, Vist GE et al. for the GRADE working group (2008) GRADE: an emerging consensus on rating quality of evidence and strength of recommendations . BMJ 336: 924 (see also the GRADE website )

Joint Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health/Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group Standing Committee on Medicines (2013) The use of unlicensed medicines or licensed medicines for unlicensed applications in paediatric practice

Kelly MP, Moore TA (2012) The judgement process in evidence-based medicine and health technology assessment . Social Theory and Health 10:1–19

Michie S, Johnston M (2004) Changing clinical behaviour by making guidelines specific . British Medical Journal 328: 343–5

Nuffield Council on Bioethics (2007) Public health: ethical issues . London: Nuffield Council on Bioethics

Sackett DL, Straus SE, Richardson WS (2000) Evidence-based medicine: how to practice and teach EBM. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone

Schünemann HJ, Mustafa R, Brozek J et al. for the GRADE working group (2016) GRADE Guidelines: 16. GRADE evidence to decision frameworks for tests in clinical practice and public health . Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 76: 89–98

Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (2015) SIGN 50. A guideline developer's handbook, revised edition . Edinburgh: Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network

Tannahill A (2008) Beyond evidence – to ethics: a decision making framework for health promotion, public health and health improvement . Health Promotion International 23: 380–90

Weightman A, Ellis S, Cullum A et al. (2005) Grading evidence and recommendations for public health interventions: developing and piloting a framework. London: Health Development Agency

5 Writing “Rules” That Are Really Guidelines

Brittney Ross

If you go in search of rules about writing, you’ll find plenty. Some rules you come across will be quite specific, like whether or not to use a comma with a conjunction , and others will be broad, like Strunk and White’s brief but vague directive to “omit needless words.” But when it comes to great writing, not all rules are created equal. In fact, some rules are really more like guidelines. Here are five pieces of good writing advice that you can and should ignore once in a while.

Use the active voice

If you’ve done even a moment’s research on how to write well, you’ve learned that you should use the active voice instead of the passive voice . It’s solid advice, if you treat it as a guideline. In general, the active voice is more direct and concise. It’s the best choice for most sentences. But there are some things that the passive voice can do better.

For example, sometimes it just isn’t important or helpful to specify who performed the action you’re talking about. Here’s an example where the passive voice is the better choice: This house was built in 1960 . Rewriting the sentence in the active voice would not only require you to dig up information you may not have, it would also bog down the sentence with an unnecessary detail. A development company built this house in 1960. Does it really matter who built the house? Probably not, unless someone has specifically asked for that information. 

Avoid adverbs

Adverbs get a bad rap because it’s so easy for writers to rely on them to pad out a sentence full of bland verbs. “Don’t write ran quickly ,” goes the classic advice. “Write sprinted instead.” It’s true that sprinted is more precise and interesting than ran quickly .  

But in some cases, a well-chosen adverb is the clearest, most concise way to add detail and dimension to a description. Visualize this scene: I started to ask a question, but she motioned for silence. Now picture this one: I started to ask a question, but she frantically motioned for silence. Different, right? A blanket ban on adverbs removes an important tool from a writer’s toolkit. 

Avoid exclamation points

F. Scott Fitzgerald said that using an exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke. Maybe that’s true in some situations. After all, when you need to make an important point in an essay or you’re trying to add excitement to your novel, you can’t just rely on punctuation marks.

But now that most of our remote communication takes the form of texts, emails, and instant messages, exclamation points have emerged as an important tool for conveying tone . If you want to risk sounding sarcastic, go ahead and write Congratulations on your new job. How wonderful. 

Don’t write in sentence fragments

If you were taught that a sentence fragment is a grammatical error, you’re not alone. But the truth is, sentence fragments are an important technique for creating voice and tone in your writing. 

Not convinced? There are a few of them sprinkled throughout this article. There’s one in this very paragraph, in fact! They help lend a casual, friendly tone to a piece of writing. The trick is to avoid going overboard. Too many fragments will make your writing choppy and confusing. And of course, sentence fragments that show up in the wrong context—say, a term paper or a formal business document—can come across as sloppy or too informal. 

A paragraph needs at least three sentences

There are a lot of variations of this “rule” floating around out there. In school, many of us learned that a paragraph requires a topic sentence, several supporting sentences, and a concluding sentence. When you’re first learning to organize your thoughts on paper, this formal structure gives you a tried-and-true template to follow. But as your writing skills grow, staying chained to this rule will limit your ability to write effectively.

Particularly when you’re writing online, short paragraphs of just one or two sentences are often the best way to help your reader absorb your point quickly.

Remember, to be a good writer, you need to learn the rules of writing. But to be a great writer, you also need to learn when to break those rules. The most important thing to remember is that writing is about communicating. When a rule gets in the way of what you need to say, sometimes the best decision is to toss that rule out the window—temporarily, at least!

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How to Create a Comprehensive How to Guide [+Examples]

Caroline Forsey

Published: December 21, 2022

The irony doesn't escape me that I'm currently writing a how-to guide on … how-to guides.

Marketer writes a how-to guide to attract website visitors

Fortunately, I've had my fair share of experiences writing how-to guides for HubSpot over the years — some of my favorites include How to Give a Persuasive Presentation , How to Develop a Content Strategy: A Start-to-Finish Guide , and How to Write a Request for Proposal .

Download Now: 150+ Content Creation Templates [Free Kit]

Here, we'll explore the right structure to use when making a how-to guide and how to write a comprehensive how-to guide. We'll also take a look at some impressive examples of how-to guides for inspiration. Let's dive in.

You can keep reading or click one of the links below to jump to the section you’re looking for:

What is a how-to guide?

How to make a how-to guide, how to write a how-to guide, publishing a how-to guide, tips for effective how-to guides, how-to guide examples.

A how-to guide gives step-by-step instructions on a process from start to finish. How-to guides can also offer best practices, show examples of ideal outcomes, or offer trends and insights on guide topics.

Why Creating a How-to Guide Is Important

How-to guides make it simple for people to learn new skills and understand how things work. They're also helpful when getting to know a new tool, app, or device.

Today people have more access to information than ever before. That can have a big impact on businesses. Customers want self-service options that are easy to use and understand. A well-crafted how-to guide can:

How-to guides are also valuable opportunities to reach new audiences with useful, high-quality content. For both B2B and B2C businesses, how-to guides are often necessary for a healthy lead generation strategy.

For instance, consider how many people search "How to …" on Google each day:

How to guide query, Google search

These search queries demonstrate one of the primary reasons people turn to the internet: to learn how to do something.

If your business can reach those consumers with informative, relevant answers to their questions, those users will begin to see your brand as an authority on the topic.

Down the road, those same readers you first attracted with a how-to guide could become customers and loyal brand advocates who spread the word about your products or services.

It's clear that how-to guides make it easy to meet high expectations while sharing valuable information. But it's not easy to make a great how-to.

How to make a how to guide instructions infographic

1. Understand your target audience.

It's easy to write instructions for a person who's familiar with a process. This is because they only need to be reminded of what they already know.

But most people who seek out how-to guides are beginners. This means that when you're writing a how-to guide you should be an expert in the topic. At the same time, you should also be able to see the topic from a beginner's perspective.

Most how-to guides choose a starting point, and this means you'll have to make an educated guess about where to start.

For example, if you're writing instructions on how to use a specific app, you probably wouldn't make your first step turning on the computer. Instead, you would begin from the most logical place your average user should start.

But until you know your target audience , it will be difficult to decide on that first step. Your target audience is a group of your ideal users. They will have similar habits and ideas that connect them. And the better you get to know this audience , the easier it will be to make a how-to guide that they'll love.

For this step, start with online community forums like Quora or feedback from your community to figure out the top concerns or challenges your target audience might have. That information will help you figure out what content to include in your guide.

For instance, if you're writing "How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy," for instance, you could follow these steps:

This research will give you the information you need to create a how-to guide that addresses relevant concerns about your topic. The video below is an example of a how-to guide for content marketing that addresses specific audience pain points:

2. Research your topic thoroughly.

Your first step in how to make a how-to guide is making sure your guide is comprehensive.

Even if you know a topic incredibly well, research isn't a step you should skip. In fact, knowing a topic well can make it more difficult to write a how-to guide on the topic, as you might make assumptions about what to cover.

So, follow this full list of steps for your research.

For instance, let's say you're writing a blog post, " How to Make an Omelette ." Upon conducting research, you find Simply Recipe's post at the top of Google search.

How to make a how to guide example: Simply Recipe

Diving into the post, you'll see Simply Recipe has sections including:

If you want to create your own how-to guide on omelets, then, you'll want to cover all – if not more – than what Simply Recipe has in its post.

As you research, don’t forget to fact-check your sources. You want to make sure that your guide is trustworthy and won’t cause legal or other challenges for you later.

3. Create a step-by-step outline.

Now that you've done your research, it's time to organize your ideas. First, pull together your initial list of steps with any new ideas you learned during your research.

Next, create a step-by-step outline for your guide. This will mean making decisions that can impact how well the reader understands each step.

For instance, if you're writing, "How to Take a Screenshot on a Mac," you'll write down each specific action necessary to take a screenshot. But according to this how-to guide , there are four different ways you can create a screenshot on a Mac. So, the right instructions for the user will depend on what computer and operating system they're on.

You'll need to decide on the best time to introduce that extra information to your readers. Your readers will bounce from your page if it's too difficult for them to find the answer to their question. So, your outline can help you deliver your steps as quickly as possible — and in the right order.

Many readers will also use your how-to guide as a list of instructions. This means that you may need to revise your outline several times to make sure that each step in your outline is clear and easy to follow.

4. Add useful images, videos, and descriptions.

When possible, use visuals like GIFs, images, screenshots, and videos to supplement your instructions. While it can be fun to add images just for fun, the best images to include will be useful and make your instructions clearer and quicker to understand.

If you’re not sure what kind of images to include, run through the instructions in your outline. Does it make sense to take a screenshot for each step? Are there specific materials you want your reader to use? Is there a process that isn’t easy to understand without seeing it happen?

For example, in the technical competitions of the Great British Bake Off , bakers are often asked to bake recipes that they’ve never seen before. If a baker isn’t sure what the final product should look like, they have to rely on the instructions to get it right.

Create a how to guide example, using images to clarify instructions, Great British Baking Show

If they read too fast or the instructions can be interpreted in more than one way, they often get it wrong. This is a good example of what can happen when a user can’t picture what they’re supposed to do. You can use images and videos to help avoid this confusion.

Try to gather images and videos as you research so that you have more than you need when it’s time to start putting together your how-to guide.

5. Review your outline and research from the reader's point of view.

The last step in writing a how-to guide is asking yourself: " Why do my readers need, or want to know, this?"

Understanding the high-level purpose behind a topic can encourage you to write with empathy. Additionally, it will help you create content that accurately meets your reader's expectations and needs.

For instance, when writing " How to Create a Facebook Group for Your Business ," I took some time to learn that readers might search this topic if:

As a result, I wrote:

"A group is a good idea if you're interested in connecting your customers or leads to one another, you want to facilitate a sense of community surrounding your brand, or you're hoping to showcase your brand as a thought leader in the industry. However, a group is not a good idea if you want to use it to raise awareness about your products or services, or simply use it to post company announcements."

In the example above, you can see I targeted a few different segments of readers with diverse purposes to help readers determine whether this how-to guide would even help them meet their own goals.

Ultimately, understanding the purpose behind your how-to guide is critical for ensuring you target all the various components or angles of the topic at hand.

6. Link to other resources.

It's also a good idea to point readers to other useful resources in case they'd like to learn more. Link out to other relevant blog posts, pillar pages, or ebooks so readers can find follow-up information on topics mentioned in your how-to guide.

As you link resources, be sure to cite the original source whenever you can. This is another way to build trust and authority with your audience.

Once you're ready to start writing your how-to guide, you might wonder if your tone or writing style should differ, compared to other kinds of writing.

In short: Yes, it should.

How-to guides should offer tactical, actionable advice on a topic so readers can start following the steps immediately.

When people search "How to …" they're often in a rush to find the information they need. This means it's critical you write in short, concise sentences to provide an answer quickly.

Here are some more best practices to keep in mind when writing a how-to guide:

Use verbs when writing out steps.

Verbs put your instructions in motion. So, active verbs can help your readers visualize themselves doing the task as you teach them how to do it. For example, say "Write a company background" rather than "Your RFP should start with a brief background on your company."

As you write, you’ll also want to avoid passive verbs like the examples below:

If you find that you often slip into passive voice as you write, use a grammar-checking tool to catch and fix your errors.

Make your how-to guide easy to skim.

Many people skim instructions. This means that they quickly skip text that includes stories, data, or longer details. People who skim may pay more attention to introductions, summaries, or the first and last sentences of a chunk of text. Bolded, underlined, or highlighted text can also get their attention.

Use numbered lists, headers, and bullet points to break up the text. These tactics make for easy readability and understanding.

Offer examples to show your readers what you mean.

Show readers what you mean to bring your instructions to life. First, use sensory details and action to create a picture in their head as you write your how-to guide. Pair images with written text for readers who can't load the image on their screen or don't understand what you're trying to tell them from the image itself.

Write with empathy.

How-to guides often attract a wide range of readers, all with varying levels of expertise. So, be sure to acknowledge that it can be frustrating when learning or refining a new skill.

For example, the guide " How to Create a YouTube Channel " likely attracts YouTube beginners who want to create a channel to watch and comment on friends' YouTube posts.

How to guide example, How to Create a YouTube Channel

But it probably also attracts professional marketers who need to create a channel for their business to attract and convert leads.

With such a diverse audience, it's critical you write clearly, but not condescendingly. This can help you make sure you retain readers regardless of skill level or background experience.

Is there a difference in how you would write a tutorial vs. a how-to guide?

Tutorials and guides are often used interchangeably to define content that explains how to complete a particular task. While some argue that one is more descriptive than the other, you'll find that it varies from one brand to the next.

Perhaps the most distinctive difference is between a how-to guide and a user manual. A how-to guide is typically a top-of-the-funnel piece of content meant to attract users and generate leads.

A user manual is typically created for someone who has already purchased a product or service and needs step-by-step instructions on how to use it.

While one falls under marketing materials, the other relates more to the product.

Test every step of your instructions.

Once you've finished writing your guide, it's time to test it out. As you test your instructions, take careful notes. If you have to scan an instruction more than once, you may need to add context or add an image for more clarity.

Ask someone to proofread your guide.

It's always a good idea to get different points of view when you're proofreading a how-to guide. You never know how a word choice or set of instructions will impact another person, so it's smart to test it out with a small group of friends or colleagues.

A polite ask for help goes a long way. It's also a good idea to make the proofreading process as easy as possible for your helpers. Clearly state what you're looking for, expect questions and critical feedback, and connect with a diverse group of people for the most useful insights.

Share your how-to guide.

Whether you're offering a QR code or promoting by word-of-mouth, your next step is to share your guide with your audience.

Other popular ways to share your guide include:

How-to guides are also great for repurposing content .

1. Simple is best.

Simplicity will make your guide easy to find, use, and understand. To make sure that your how-to guide is truly simple, take a close look at your topic.

Your guide should focus on the one thing that your reader should be able to begin and complete after reading your guide. If you take a look at your guide and it doesn't meet that benchmark, it's time to simplify.

A few quick ways to simplify your how-to include:

2. Keep it short.

Writing concise copy takes a lot of practice. If your guide is longer than it needs to be and you're not sure how to cut the extra text, these tips can help:

3. Start with an overview.

A great how-to guide begins with a clear overview. This overview should include:

It's usually easier to write the first paragraph last. This way all the details are complete, you just need a few quick attention-grabbing sentences to pull your readers in. Check out this post if you have a hard time writing introductions .

4. Help the reader prepare for each step.

Many step by steps are great at the beginning or easy at the end, but they can get murky somewhere in the middle. This can create frustration in users, especially when they get to a step that they aren't prepared for.

To avoid this, try to anticipate the questions a reader might have at each step. For example, don't just offer an overview of the materials they'll need for the project as a whole. Talk about what materials they'll need and when, and how to store them, if you think it will be helpful.

Add resources that help your users understand how all the different pieces will fit together.

Repetition can get annoying for some readers. But it's essential for a how-to guide. Repetition is crucial during the learning process because it can help readers get comfortable with new information faster.

5. Write instructions at a consistent level.

If you're a subject expert, you might combine beginner and advanced terms in your writing without realizing it. This can confuse your audience and make your guide tough to understand. It also creates a lack of consistency that will make your instructions more difficult to follow.

If you think this could be a concern, scan your how-to guide for jargon as you proofread. You can also ask proofreaders from other niches and industries to check that your vocabulary is beginner-appropriate.

6. Tell an interesting story.

The best how-to guides aren't just useful, they're fun to read. To keep your guide engaging, don't forget to tell a story .

Make sure you have a clear message throughout the guide, add personal experiences, and use conflict to add interest.

For example, say you're writing a how-to guide about adding software to a computer. A potential point of conflict is when there's not enough disk space to finish installing.

That doesn't sound like a big deal, but if you've ever experienced it, it can be really frustrating. If you can paint that picture vividly for your audience they'll be more likely to follow your directions.

7. Stay positive.

Anyone who seeks out a how-to guide is trying to expand their knowledge about the world. That seems pretty simple, but it's also a big risk. Many people stop trying new things because they don't want to look foolish. So, as you write, keep in mind that learning is exciting, but it's often uncomfortable too.

Keeping your writing positive can help make your readers feel more at ease as they venture into the unknown. Uplifting stories, word choices, and tone can make even difficult instructions seem easier. They can inspire and motivate.

You can also add some positivity by softening negative information. For example, instead of saying "You'll probably fail at this the first time," try saying something like, "This skill may take some practice before you're an expert."

How-to Guide Example: B2B

" how to write the perfect 90-day plan ".

How to guide example: Atlassian

Why we like this how-to guide example: This B2B how-to guide offers important contextual details to the 90-day plan, including "What is a 90-day plan?" and "What should be included in a 90-day plan?" The piece is well-researched and written with empathy.

Best of all, the guide provides a downloadable 90-day plan PDF, so readers can download and use Atlassian's plan with their own team right away.

Takeaway : Consider what ebooks, PDFs, charts, Canva designs, or Google Sheets you can create internally and offer to readers to download. Readers will appreciate the option to immediately apply what they've learned.

More B2B How-to Examples

" how to build brand consistency ".

How to guide example: HubSpot and Brandfolder

Why we like this how-to guide example: Partnering with complementary businesses and services can add depth and perspective to your how-to guide. This example is comprehensive and packed with useful resources from both HubSpot and Brandfolder. It also uses relevant data to highlight key sections.

Takeaway : Look for creative ways to add value to your how-to guide, especially when you are writing about a topic your audience is already familiar with.

" How To Drive More High-Quality Leads With Google Ads "

How to guide example: HubSpot

Why we like this how-to guide example: When you're creating guides for more advanced topics, creating a foundation for your readers is essential. This guide begins with a detailed introduction to the topic that cites current statistics and trends. Then, it goes on to cover relevant topics at each stage in the buyer journey. Next, it offers a useful checklist, links, and resources to put this learning into action.

Takeaway : A clear structure makes challenging topics easier to understand. So, think about the ideal start and end points for your expert readers when writing about specific and advanced topics.

How-to Guide Example: B2C

" how to become a freelancer ".

How to guide example: FlexJobs

Why we like this how-to guide example: This guide does a good job providing relevant links and data to create a comprehensive overview of what freelancing is.

Additionally, the post uses action verbs to inspire the reader.

Under "How to Start a Freelance Business." you'll see tips such as "Do Your Homework," "Create a Brand," and "Plan Ahead." The language used in this post goes a long way toward encouraging readers to get started quickly.

Takeaway : Use action verbs and concise language to keep a reader engaged. When possible, start with a verb instead of a noun when listing out steps.

More B2C How-to Examples

" how to start a successful blog ".

How to guide example: HubSpot

Why we like this how-to guide example: This is a great how-to guide for beginners because it includes resources that offer multiple ways to take in the material. This guide is packed with checklists, links to courses, templates, and tools that can help anyone start a blog.

Takeaway : There are many different learning styles. The more choices you give your students to take in the information you're sharing, the more likely they are to get value from your guide.

" How to Be a Leader "

How to guide example: HubSpot

Why we like this how-to guide example: This example offers a personal perspective on leadership that goes beyond typical advice. It also uses creative headers like "Beyond the Paycheck: What We Wish For," "Doubtliers: Dangers Learning From the Exceptional," and "Great companies don’t always make great decisions" to engage the reader in the content.

Takeaway : Teach broad how-to topics from a unique perspective, and add interest with relevant stories.

How-to Guide Example: Lifestyle

" 11 ways to quickly stop stress in your life ".

How to guide example: Medium

Why we like this how-to guide example: I clicked on this post expecting a few quick, easy tips for stopping stress. Instead, I was engrossed in the first section of the post, "The Effects of Stress in Your Life."

While I previously mentioned the importance of starting with a quick answer to the searcher's how-to question, there are exceptions to that rule.

In this case, it's important readers understand the why before the how.

Takeaway : Play around with structure. Consider what your readers need to know in order for the rest of the post to matter to them. For instance, you might start with a section, "What is XYZ?" and "Why XYZ matters" before diving into, "How to do XYZ." This way, your readers are fully invested in finding out how these tips can improve their lives in some small (or big) way.

More Lifestyle How-to Examples

" how to make honey pie ".

How to guide example: Grandbaby Cakes

Why we like this how-to guide example: This how-to guide is neatly organized so readers can quickly determine a) what makes this recipe special, b) the ingredients they'll need, and c) how to make the recipe.

If a reader already knows the ingredients necessary for honey pie, they can click on "Jump to Recipe" to get started right away.

Takeaway : As you're structuring your own how-to guide, consider how you can best organize it so readers can jump straight to what they need.

" How to Be More Productive "

How to guide example: HubSpot

Why we like this how-to guide example: How-to guides are more than written instructions. Useful images, break-out pages that highlight external links, and infographics are powerful additions to this example. It has a great balance of features and white space to make this guide easy on the eyes and quick to skim.

Takeaway : It doesn't matter how great your how-to guide writing is if it's not well-designed. Take a look at how-to guide examples to get inspiration for the look and feel of your guide design.

Create a How-to Guide That’s Worth Sharing Today

The right how-to guide can change someone's life. It can also give your business a major boost, improve the customer experience, and more.

All it takes is some planning, research, and know-how to create a great step-by-step guide. Your experience can help someone make a difference, just create a guide that makes your knowledge worth sharing.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in March 2021. It has been updated for freshness and accuracy.

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Your Step-By-Step Guide To Writing A Story Outline

Writing a whole novel can seem like such a daunting task. 

But it’s far easier to complete a novel if you break it down. 

Writing a book outline is a really helpful way to break your story down into more manageable parts and to give you a clear guide on where your story is going and what to write next.

Let’s look at how to write a story outline, and we’ll give you some story outline examples to help you get started.

What Is a Story Outline?

You’ll write faster., it’s easier to write., there’s less chance of the dreaded saggy middle., an outline keeps your story on track., you can clearly see your character arcs., save time on editing., 1) start with your premise., 2) identify major plot elements., 3) get to know your characters., 4) explore your settings., 5) think about your theme., 6) choose your outlining method., 7) create your outline., 8) troubleshoot your outline., 9) starting writing, 1) snowflake method, 2) save the cat method, 3) fichtean curve method, 4) reverse outlining, final thoughts.

A novel outline is like a roadmap for your book. Just as you wouldn’t set off on a long journey to an unfamiliar destination without a map, writing a book outline can help you get from setting off from your home to reaching your destination. 

Your novel outline is basically the skeleton of your story, including the structure, main plot points, and more, depending on how detailed you want to make it.

However, it’s not supposed to be a rigid, stifling, or limited document you’re not allowed to deviate from. 

It’s supposed to be a helpful, loose guide that still leaves room for your imagination.

Don’t worry if you don’t already know everything about your story. You can still create a good outline and fill in the gaps as you go.

It’s also possible that however good your outline is, your characters will turn up and throw it out the window. 

If that happens, go with it. It’s your characters that should drive the story. You can always tweak and adjust your outline as you get further into your story.

Things to ask yourself when you’re creating your outline:

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a plotter or a pantser, or somewhere in between. An outline can still help you write your story.

Plotters may want to get really detailed and plot out each individual scene and pantsers can still write a helpful outline but leave more to be decided as they write.

An outline can be anything from a simple list of handwritten plot points on a page to a whole wall of sticky notes or index cards.

Some people prefer the visual format of a mind map, some would rather use writing software, like Scrivener, and yet others work best with a typed, ordered list of scenes.

Why It’s Important to Create an Outline for a Story

It’s not compulsory to create an outline for your book.

You don’t have to if doing so doesn’t work for you, but if you can make it work, there are a lot of advantages to writing a book outline before you start writing your story:

With so many books out every month, it can be hard to stand out. One of the best ways to get attention is to use rapid release for your stories.

But one thing that tends to slow people down when writing is that they don’t know what happens next, and they have to spend time thinking about it before they can crack on with the story.

Write a novel outline, on the other hand, and you can speed away with your story because you’ve already worked out the whole thing from start to finish.

You can then release your stories more rapidly and keep your readers happy.

Not only can you write quicker, but it’s also easier to write and to ensure you don’t miss anything that needs to be there if you already have an outline of at least the story’s main points.

Hands up if you’ve ever started writing a novel and then realized that either you have no idea what happens in the middle at all or that what you’ve got just isn’t enough to keep the story flowing to the end.

That’s the saggy middle, and it’s not something you want. Use your outline to plan your middle and avoid the dreaded sag.

With a well-planned outline, you have a clear path from start to finish, and it’s easier to stay on track when you’re writing and ensure you’re still heading to the big finish you planned.

In most stories, the main characters grow and change over the course of the story. You can use your outline to map these changes out and then write your story without losing any of those changes.No more writer’s block.

Kick writer’s block into touch with a clear outline that you can easily follow to see what to write next and what comes after that.

That doesn’t mean you have to write in order if you don’t want to, but it should mean that you aren’t left staring at a blank page with no idea what to do next.

A great outline can save you a lot of time on editing. You might find that once you’ve written your story, there isn’t as much to change to make sure your story flows well and that you don’t have to edit too much in terms of the story structure.

You might also save yourself some money here because there may be less for your developmental editor to do.

9 Ways to Write a Story Outline: Your Step-by-Step Guide

At the end of this post, we’ll share some story outline examples where you’ll discover there are as many ways to outline your story as there are writers.

But that’s a very good thing. It means that if you want to outline your stories, you can find a way that works for you.

It might take some trial and error on your part, but you will come up with a way of outlining that helps you plan your novel and keep track of all the parts of your plot.

Your premise is the basic idea for your story. What happens and who does it happen to? Remember those questions we gave you in our section, What is a Story Outline? This is where you need them.

Start asking yourself about your story, who your main characters are, and what happens to them.

Look at the inciting incident that sets your main characters off on the path of following the story through. What are the obstacles along the way?

Who is the villain, and what are they up to? How will they try to stop your main characters from achieving their goal?

What is your story about? What is your theme? What tropes will you need to include to fit the genre?

Take some time to answer these questions and think things through, then write yourself a paragraph that summarizes your novel.

We’ve already mentioned the inciting incident – the event that takes place that propels your characters into taking action and doesn’t give them any choice in the matter.

In this step, think about the main elements of your story.

Once you have these major points nailed, you are a good way toward having your outline done, and you have the major points to hand your scenes on.

You can’t finish your outline without knowing your characters really well. Your story should be character-driven, and action and dialogue should come about because you know what your characters would do next and how they would react to each challenge or occurrence in your story.

Use character sheets if it helps, and write down their basic information, such as physical description, any marks, scars, tattoos, eye color, hair color, and more.

If you’re very visual, try to find a photograph of an actor that would play your character in the movie of the book. That can help solidify your character in your mind and let you see and hear them.

Look at your story skeleton from step two and think about how your characters will react to these major points. You may well start coming up with scenes and dialogue at this point, which is great! Jot those down too.

Know how your characters change and grow over the course of the story. Most characters do develop and change in novels. There are very few characters that stay the same.

Get to know your settings as well as you do your characters. You want to be able to describe things in detail for your readers and bring them into the story. 

In some cases, some settings may also contribute to the story and be either a part of the solution or a part of the problem. 

If you’re familiar with the story of Odysseus or Jason and the Argonauts, for example, you’ll well remember the journey across the sea when they faced Scylla (clashing rocks) and Charybdis (the whirlpool), in a very narrow strait of water.

Don’t just think about what your settings look like. Add more description and help place the reader firmly in the story by thinking about what your settings feel like, smell like, and sound like.

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Some writers only discover the theme of their stories as they write. If that’s you, don’t worry. You can still write an outline and then add in the theme later once you’ve discovered what it is. Just leave this bit blank for now.

If you’d rather decide on your theme before you start to write, or even better, if you already know what it is, write it down here.

It’s good to keep the themes of your story in mind both as you write your outline and as you write your story. You can then ensure that your story fits with your theme and what you want to say.

We’ve shown you some story-outlining examples above, but those are just some of the ways you could outline your story.

You could choose a specific outlining method, such as the Snowflake Method, follow the three-act structure, or you could create an outlining method that’s all your own just because that’s what works best for you.

Start to bring everything together here from the above steps. Go back to step two and start to add other major plot points, scenes, notes, and more to your list of the major plot elements.

Keep expanding your outline and adding in more details, including your character arcs, beats, and anything else you find helpful until you’re at a point where you think you’re done, and you’re ready to start writing.

While plotters may want to get into all the details in their outline, pantsers are more likely to want quite a light outline that they can then use to guide them as they discover the story as they write.

Give it a day or two, and then read back over your outline. Make sure every plot point and scene leads naturally up to the major plot elements and that the story flows.

See if there are any gaps and fill them.

Add in any other notes, scene ideas, and bits of dialogue that come up as you do this.

You’ve done it. Your outline is complete, and it’s now time to put it to use and write.

Use your outline as much or as little as you want as you write. Don’t forget that your story follows naturally from who your characters are and what they would naturally do under given circumstances. 

If you find that your characters are going in a different direction or that you get better ideas as you write, then go with them. If things don’t work out, you can always look back at your original outline for help.

Story Outline Methods and Examples

Honestly, there really isn’t one best way to outline your novel. There’s only the best one that works for you. Here are just some story outline examples to show you how you could outline your story.

Try different ones to see which one you prefer, or try adapting the parts that work for you from different methods.

This method was invented by Randy Ingermanson. He was a software architect, and when it came to writing novels, he found himself using the same method he used to design software to write his novels.

He wrote this method up to share with other writers, and many writers find this a helpful way to outline.

You start by writing a single-sentence summary of your novel. This should be a compelling hook to draw your readers in. Get it right, and you can also use it in your marketing copy.

Next, you expand the sentence to a paragraph, which includes the start of the story, the major points, and the end of your story. You now have a short overview of your novel.

Next, add a one-page in-depth summary of each main character. Then go back to your paragraph summary and expand every sentence in that summary into another paragraph.

Keep expanding your novel outline until you have a full, highly-detailed outline and character sketches of your major characters.

You can read Randy’s full description of the Snowflake Method on his website .

Save the Cat was originally a method for writing screenplays by Blake Snyder, a Hollywood screenwriter. It is equally effective for writing novels.

It’s called Save the Cat because so many novels have that moment where the main character does something to make the reader feel for them and root for them, for example, like saving a cat from a tree.

With Save the Cat, you follow a beat sheet, which breaks down the three-act structure, and simply fill in a couple of sentences for each beat to describe what you’ll need to know or what happens in each beat.

This then gives you a good overview of your novel and what has to happen at each point.

You can read more and download beat sheet examples at the Save the Cat website .

This method is commonly used for thrillers where you want the reader to feel right in the middle of the action from the get-go.

The first two-thirds of a story plotted with this method are known as “Rising Action.” The next point in the story is the “Climax,” and then what follows is known as “Falling Action.” It’s easy to see how thrillers fit this method particularly well. 

Most thrillers start off at break-neck speed and take the reader through fast-paced action that’s all heading in the direction of the climax of the story.

Then, once the climax is reached, the story continues into falling action where explanations are given, the bad guys get their just desserts, and any romance is wrapped up nicely.

The pattern of the Fichtean curve tends to look like this:

Crisis 1, Crisis 2, Crisis 3, Climax, Falling Action.

Think about your story and see how you can plan all the action to fit this format.

This method is exactly what it sounds like. Start at the end and then work your way back to the beginning to see how you’ll get to that ending.

This method can be particularly helpful for murder mysteries and thrillers. You can work backward from “who dunnit” and why, working out the steps they took to commit the crime.

As you go, you can also fill in how the detective or hero/heroine of the story works it out. It’s then much easier to go through and add twists to the plot and plant clues and red herrings for your readers to follow.

When it comes to outlining, there are so many different ways to approach it. Whether you’re a plotter or a pantser, an outline can make a big difference when writing your story.

It can help you keep track of everything that needs to happen and allow you to write faster. 

However, when choosing the best way to outline your story, don’t think you have to follow what anyone else does. Everyone is different, so outline in the way that makes the most sense to you.

Generate accurate MLA citations for free

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MLA Format | Complete Guidelines & Free Template

Published on December 11, 2019 by Raimo Streefkerk . Revised on June 16, 2022 by Jack Caulfield.

The MLA Handbook provides guidelines for creating MLA citations and formatting academic papers. This quick guide will help you set up your MLA format paper in no time.

Start by applying these MLA format guidelines to your document:

Download Word template Open Google Docs template

(To use the Google Docs template, copy the file to your Drive by clicking on ‘file’ > ‘Make a copy’)

Table of contents

How to set up mla format in google docs, header and title, running head, works cited page, creating mla style citations, headings and subheadings, tables and figures, frequently asked questions about mla format.

The header in MLA format is left-aligned on the first page of your paper. It includes

After the MLA header, press ENTER once and type your paper title. Center the title and don’t forget to apply title-case capitalization. Read our article on writing strong titles that are informative, striking and appropriate.

MLA header

For a paper with multiple authors, it’s better to use a separate title page instead.

At the top of every page, including the first page, you need to include your last name and the page number. This is called the “running head.” Follow these steps to set up the MLA running head in your Word or Google Docs document:

The running head should look like this:

MLA running head

The Works Cited list is included on a separate page at the end of your paper. You list all the sources you referenced in your paper in alphabetical order. Don’t include sources that weren’t cited in the paper, except potentially in an MLA annotated bibliography assignment.

Place the title “Works Cited” in the center at the top of the page. After the title, press ENTER once and insert your MLA references.

If a reference entry is longer than one line, each line after the first should be indented ½ inch (called a hanging indent ). All entries are double spaced, just like the rest of the text.

Format of an MLA Works Cited page

Generate accurate MLA citations with Scribbr

Prefer to cite your sources manually? Use the interactive example below to see what the Works Cited entry and MLA in-text citation look like for different source types.

Headings and subheadings are not mandatory, but they can help you organize and structure your paper, especially in longer assignments.

MLA has only a few formatting requirements for headings. They should

We recommend keeping the font and size the same as the body text and applying title case capitalization. In general, boldface indicates greater prominence, while italics are appropriate for subordinate headings.

Chapter Title

Section Heading

Tip: Both Google Docs and Microsoft Word allow you to create heading levels that help you to keep your headings consistent.

Tables and other illustrations (referred to as “figures”) should be placed as close to the relevant part of text as possible. MLA also provides guidelines for presenting them.

MLA format for tables

Tables are labeled and numbered, along with a descriptive title. The label and title are placed above the table on separate lines; the label and number appear in bold.

A caption providing information about the source appears below the table; you don’t need one if the table is your own work.

Below this, any explanatory notes appear, marked on the relevant part of the table with a superscript letter. The first line of each note is indented; your word processor should apply this formatting automatically.

Just like in the rest of the paper, the text is double spaced and you should use title case capitalization for the title (but not for the caption or notes).

MLA table

MLA format for figures

Figures (any image included in your paper that isn’t a table) are also labeled and numbered, but here, this is integrated into the caption below the image. The caption in this case is also centered.

The label “Figure” is abbreviated to “Fig.” and followed by the figure number and a period. The rest of the caption gives either full source information, or (as in the example here) just basic descriptive information about the image (author, title, publication year).

MLA figure

Source information in table and figure captions

If the caption of your table or figure includes full source information and that source is not otherwise cited in the text, you don’t need to include it in your Works Cited list.

Give full source information in a caption in the same format as you would in the Works Cited list, but without inverting the author name (i.e. John Smith, not Smith, John).

MLA recommends using 12-point Times New Roman , since it’s easy to read and installed on every computer. Other standard fonts such as Arial or Georgia are also acceptable. If in doubt, check with your supervisor which font you should be using.

The main guidelines for formatting a paper in MLA style are as follows:

The fastest and most accurate way to create MLA citations is by using Scribbr’s MLA Citation Generator .

Search by book title, page URL, or journal DOI to automatically generate flawless citations, or cite manually using the simple citation forms.

The MLA Handbook is currently in its 9th edition , published in 2021.

This quick guide to MLA style  explains the latest guidelines for citing sources and formatting papers according to MLA.

Usually, no title page is needed in an MLA paper . A header is generally included at the top of the first page instead. The exceptions are when:

In those cases, you should use a title page instead of a header, listing the same information but on a separate page.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Streefkerk, R. (2022, June 16). MLA Format | Complete Guidelines & Free Template. Scribbr. Retrieved March 9, 2023, from

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How to write an invoice as an independent contractor

Panna Kemenes

Panna Kemenes

As an independent contractor, you can manage your own hours and also manage your own clients.

But one thing that many independent contractors need to worry about is ensuring they get paid in full and on time. An astounding 61% of all late payments are the result of incorrect invoices.¹ In many cases, this means learning how to master the art of creating an invoice.


What is an invoice for an independent contractor?

At its core, an invoice is simply any sort of bill that represents an obligation of payment from one party (usually deemed “the payor”) to another party (usually deemed the “payee”). Invoices are broadly used, across many different industries and many different countries, to indicate who owes whom , when they owe them, and how much they owe them.

In most cases, an invoice creates a legal obligation to for the payor to either dispute the invoice or make a payment. Developing better invoicing practices is essential for any independent contractor who wants to make sure all payments (both incoming and outgoing) are made correctly.

Why are invoices necessary as an independent contractor?

Invoices make it easy for the payor to know the exact amount they owe the other party, as well as know the other terms involved with the payment, such as when the payment is due and what the preferred payment method will be.

In other words, invoices play an essential role in establishing a “paper trail” between the payee and payer. Even once the invoice has been fully processed and the payment has been received, holding onto invoices can also be useful for paying taxes, creating future budgets, and addressing other financial needs.

The existence of an invoice can help prove that someone was alerted of a payment obligation and, in some cases, that this payment was formally agreed to. This can be very important in a court of law.

How Do I Create an Invoice as an Independent Contractor?

There are several different ways you can create an invoice as an independent contractor. One of the easiest ways to do this is simply using a Microsoft Word document, or equivalent.

If it is the first time creating an invoice, consider using an invoice template to help you get started. Additionally, make sure to save the invoice as a PDF, which is more professional and cannot be (directly) altered.

If you currently use any sort of accounting software, you’ll have plenty of other options for creating invoices. Whether you are using QuickBooks , Xero , or anything else, most will have built-in invoice generates that are usually fairly easy to use.

Connect QuickBooks and Wise: Save time on reconciliation

Components of an invoice

There is no universally accepted way to create an invoice. However, there are still a few widely used invoicing best practices that can help ensure the invoice being created is both accurate and useful. Among other invoice payment terms , these can include:

The Invoice Date: this date represents the date the invoice was issued, not necessarily the date the work was completed.

Payee and Payer: with a quality invoice, it should be very easy to see _who _currently owes money and who is entitled to receive it.

Description of the Goods and/or Services Provided: if there are multiple goods/services provided, it’s a good idea to assign a specific cost to each of them.

Total Amount Due and Payment Due Date: this is probably the most important component of the invoice, allowing both parties to know when they can expect the obliged payment to be made.

Currency Used for Invoices: this is especially important for international payments, where the two parties involved might typically use different currencies. Currencies could also include alternative payment options, such as cryptocurrencies and account credits.

Payment Method Used for Invoice: whether the payment will be made with a physical check, ACH transfer, PayPal (or comparable), or any other payment method, be sure to specify how the payment will be facilitated.

General Terms and Policies: the invoice should outline any relevant terms and policies that might apply, such as whether there is an additional fee for using a certain payment method or if there is a penalty for making a late payment.

Keep in mind—this is just a general list of the terms you’d likely want to incorporate in a standard invoice. If your business is in a highly-specialized industry (or is otherwise unique), you made need to incorporate some additional terms.

How long does it typically take an invoice to be processed?

One of the most common invoicing questions for independent contractors is how long will it take me to get paid?

Naturally, anyone who has issued an invoice will want to be paid as quickly as possible. However, with some exceptions, the use of immediate or same-day payment is not very common. Here are some of the most common invoice payment schedules:

Net 15 or Net 30: when the term “net” is used in the payment structure, this means the payment will be made X number of days after the invoice has been issued. For example, if you issue an invoice on the 1st using the Net 15 structure, that means you should be paid by the 16th.

Advance Payment: in some cases, it might be appropriate to receive payments in advance. This can include if there are payment issuers from the buyer, international or economic issues, or work connected to a pre-established contract.

Split Payments: in some cases (such as new or informal partnerships), contractors might want to create a split payment invoice where they receive part of the payment before the good/service is provided (comparable to a downpayment) and part of the payment after delivery.

End of Month: with this structure, payments will be made at the end of the month (or another pre-established day), regardless of when the invoice was delivered.

These are just a few of the invoicing structures a contractor might consider using. There are plenty of other structures available, as well.

Things to consider when deciding payment terms

The “best” payment structure for a given contractor invoice will depend on several factors. For example, if the payment is being made internationally, contractors might want to use a Net 7 term structure to help minimize the risk of currency changes and also accelerate payment.

Other factors worth considering might include how urgently the cash is needed, the status of the relationship between the payer and the payee, access to credit, and more. This means that a single contractor might end up using several different invoicing structures among their various clients.

How to determine your late invoice fee

One of the most difficult things for business owners—especially new business owners—to determine is how to set their invoice fee . On one hand, it is very important to ensure that invoices are paid in full and paid on time.

But on the other hand, you also don’t want to impose a fee or fee structure that would scare your clients away (for example, telling your clients that the invoice would “double the day it is late” would likely be too aggressive.)

This means the way you word your late payment policy will be very important. Choose terms that are reasonable and wording that is straightforward and friendly. For example, “Payment is due in 30 days. A 1% monthly fee will be applied to all late invoices.”_ _Additionally, it’s also a good idea to give your client at least one warning before the late fee is applied.

Things to Avoid When Creating an Independent Contractor Invoice

It is also important to keep in mind some of the things you’ll want to avoid. Making sure your invoices are able to meet a few basic standards will not only increase the likelihood they are correctly paid and processed, but also make your business look more professional.

Here are some of the most common invoicing problems faced by contractors:

Failing to Create a Backup: as a rule of thumb, you should always just assume that an invoice will be lost, misplaced, or forgotten about. Whether your client asks for a new one or you want the invoice for your records, having a backup will always be a good idea.

Delayed Invoices: the longer you wait to issue an invoice, the longer it will take you to get paid. Be sure to issue your invoice as soon as you possibly can—ideally, the day goods/services are delivered.

Incorrect Details: if the information on your invoice is inaccurate, you will inevitably run into problems. For example, if you undercharge your client, they’ll likely be pretty annoyed if you ask them for _more money _later on. Even if you are using a template, be sure to double-check every detail included in the invoice.

Unclear Terms: every invoice you issue needs to be intuitive and readable. A client should be able to quickly look at the invoice and know the exact amount they owe, when the payment is due, how the payment will be made, and whether any other terms might be applied.

Unexplained Bottom Line: the “bottom line” of an invoice is the total amount your client will be asked to pay. It should be clear to your clients why you are asking them to pay this specific amount—this is especially important if the invoice contains multiple goods and services.

Put yourself in your client’s shoes. What type of invoice would you want to receive?

Bottom Line: Resources for creating invoices for independent contractors

For independent contractors, developing your own invoicing policies can be intimidating. It can be difficult to know where to start and be confident you are moving in the right direction.

Fortunately, there are a lot of great resources available that can help make the invoicing process significantly easier. Using a high-quality, customizable invoicing template can help ensure your invoices look professional and that all important details are included. You can also use an invoice generator, such as the free invoice generator from Wise.

Try the Wise invoice generator to save time!

Source checked March 9, 2023.

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

Wise is the smart, new way to send money abroad.

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Fifth third bank business account:✔️Business accounts and services ✔️Comparison ✔️ Pros and Cons ✔️ Fees ✔️Alternatives ✔️How to Sign up at 53 ✔️ Learn more!

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Tips, news and updates for your location

How to Create Social Media Guidelines For Your Business

writing to guidelines

Marco Giuliani

Mar 2, 2023

writing to guidelines

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In today’s world, social media guidelines are a must. Why? Because all companies are on social media now. And the bigger the company, the higher the chances of someone saying something that they shouldn’t have said on Twitter.

In the following article, we will go through the what , why , and how of social media brand guidelines. Finally, this article is going to cover how Planable can help you maintain your social media guidelines.

What are social media guidelines?

A social media guideline is a document that lays down some general rules of conduct on social media. The purpose of social media guidelines is to teach your team how to use social platforms responsibly . Guidelines will turn your team into natural champions of your brand. It prevents that forced feeling many social posts give off. 

Social media content guidelines shouldn’t be used to police people. Think of it as a general guideline that everybody can use as a quick reference tool.

How can Planable help you adhere to social media guidelines?

Planable sports a sleek, intuitive workspace where teams can easily manage multiple social media accounts and pages . The clean, straight-to-the-point design means that you’ll never confuse your company’s branded account with your personal Twitter account.

social media guidelines

Social media guidelines vs social media style guides

The difference between social media guidelines and social media style guides is that guidelines are general rules and best practices, while a style guide is a concrete set of instructions for visuals and style.

Social media guidelines and social media style guides are often used interchangeably. But they couldn’t be more different. 

Social media guidelines are more instructive in nature. They lay down best practices and outline how teams should behave on social media in a healthy way for the company — things like how to reply to angry customers or handle trolls (but more on that later).

A style guide for social media includes guidelines related to how the company presents itself on social media. So, less “what to say to the guy that spams slurs in DMs” and more “are we totally down for Oxford commas or not?” A social media brand style guide also includes recommendations on brand voice, visual style, creating social media mockups , branded hashtags, headline copywriting styles , emoji policy (yes, that’s a thing).

writing to guidelines

How can Planable help you adhere to a social media style guide?

Planable’s collaboration features can help you maintain a consistent voice on social media. Wondering if your copy is on brand? You can upload your post in Planable and invite team members to share their thoughts on the post right next to it in the comments.

Wait, what about social media protocols? Are they any different from social media guidelines?

Social media protocols are the opposite of social media guidelines.

While social media guidelines advise how to behave on social media, social media protocols outline how much time employees can spend on social platforms on company time.

You’ll often see these two terms used interchangeably, so it’s important to make this distinction right from the get-go.

And social media policies?

Social media policies are a whole other beast.

It’s a document meant to protect the company/brand from legal repercussions arising out of problematic social media usage.

While social media guidelines act as a reference point, social media policies contain rules for posting on social media , the conduct, as well as the consequences for breaking them.

We’re not going to get into any legalese, that’s a subject for another article. So think about it this way — social media guidelines are instructive, while social media policies are mandatory. One suggests, while the other enforces.

What’s the importance of social media guidelines?

Now that we’ve established the “what”, it’s time to address the “how”. As in how social media guidelines can help your company develop a healthy social media presence.  

Remember what I said earlier that your team is your best brand emissary on social media?

What’s stopping many individuals from blossoming into their company’s biggest promoters on social media is, quite frankly, the fear of saying the wrong thing and throwing their employer’s reputation into the gutter. 

This document, when done right, can provide everybody with social media guidance, as well as the tools necessary to engage positively on social media.

A social media guideline also helps with a few other things, namely:

How can Planable help you with brand awareness?

By using Planable and its collaboration, planning, and scheduling functionalities, you will be able to maintain a consistent presence on social media and spread the word about your brand. Because, as we all know, the key to succeeding on social media is consistency.

Wait, we’re not done yet. There are a few more things to address when it comes to social media guidelines:

How should I write my company’s social media guidelines? Where do I start?

When writing your company’s social media guidelines, you should use two guiding principles: conciseness and providing information.

What do I mean by that? That your guidelines for social media posting should cover these two broad departments:

Does this include social media marketing guidelines?

Nope. That’s a style guide. Pay attention, will you? 

What should corporate social media guidelines contain?

Social media posting guidelines for businesses—  give a rundown of the do’s and don’ts on social media.

The “do’s and don’ts” format is perfect for listing out things super clearly, so start your social media guideline with that. Here’s a good starting point:

How can Planable help with approval layers?

Imagine accidentally sharing half-completed assets. Or documents relating to a still-in-the-works-and-totally-secret social media campaign. Or worse, your feelings. Soooo… it’s getting pretty clear what’s coming next, right? Planable’s comprehensive, multi-level approval process ensures that nothing, whether a .psd file, a typo-laden piece of copy, or an entire campaign will go live without the approval from the right people. There are 4 security levels, so Planable offers lots of flexibility.

Include all your official accounts

A social media guideline should include links to all the company-branded social media accounts and encourage your team to follow them. This section of the guideline is also a great opportunity to offer a brief rundown of the company’s social media strategy (you can check out a social media agency in London for that), what the purpose of each social media account is, and so on and so forth. For example: this Twitter account is only for responding to customers; this Instagram account is for promoting company culture; Facebook is only for official announcements.

Access to shared branded assets and helpful resources 

Many social media teams experience efficiency problems due to a lack of proper access to information and resources. Clarity in access and information is the cornerstone of social media collaboration , and it should be the same for your brand social media guidelines.

Therefore, make sure to include links to useful resources, both internal (ex: your company code of conduct, company documents) and external (legal resources, for instance). If your company uses social media tools, include them, too, together with links to tutorials.

Stress equal representation/inclusivity

Every employer, brand, and company should promote inclusivity, both internally and externally, on social media — that’s a given, and companies that don’t do this have no excuse. 

Still, unintentional screw-ups can happen. To prevent this from ever happening, companies should include inclusivity guidelines:

Anti-harassment policy

As a general rule, your social media guidelines should encourage your team to practice kindness and positivity online. On the other hand, it should also emphasize that the business does not tolerate any form of online harassment, whether from or against employees.

This section should include guidelines and resources that educate on how to deal with trolls or bullies. Aspects such as who to report it to, how to react, how to identify trolls and bullies (sometimes they’re just angry customers who are being jerks), when to ban, when to block, and so on and so forth. 

Team members directly responsible for your social accounts should have a separate set of guidelines covering these issues. The reason is simple — how they handle those sensitive situations could or could not reflect badly on your company. Nobody wants to go through a PR crisis because someone retorted with a “no u” to a troll.

Cybersafety protocols

The more technology advances and people educate themselves about cybersecurity, the craftier hackers become (that also sounds like a good marketing line for a movie; my DMs are open, Hollywood). 

Anyway, as companies are moving away from paper and more towards digital, the potential for sensitive data to leak is greater than ever. I’m not going to give you a comprehensive cybersecurity checklist ; what I will do is suggest a few tips you should include in your guidelines:

Here’s how Planable can protect your social media posting guidelines 

Planable is designed from the ground up with collaboration and safety in mind. Planable is a social media collaboration platform that helps marketing teams and agencies, both big and small, create, collaborate on, and publish content seamlessly and swiftly. All that without dealing with those blasted logistical issues most social media teams usually endure. 

But how does this relate to the subject of this article? Well, see, Planable has a few nifty features that will not only help you maintain your social media guidelines but also, like, not need them. Just throw those bad boys in the trash can and use Planable. 

Anyway, here’s a brief but sweet list of features that will ensure will help you maintain your social media guidelines:

Social media collaboration at its best

Planable is a tool made by marketers for marketers. One of the biggest conundrums marketers face is related to the logistics of just getting content out there. Is this visual on brand ? Does the copy accurately convey our message and mission statement? Is the text inclusive? Will I unintentionally piss someone off if I post this? Does this opossum GIF complement the post, or does it detract from its meaning? 

Those are all legit questions that any social media marketer worth their salt should ask.

Planable’s collaboration-centric design is the right fit for teams that want to streamline communication and collaboration. Sign up to Planable, connect your social page, create your posts, and invite your team to leave feedback. How does that work? Everybody can leave their thoughts in the comments right next to the post. That’s where Janice can suggest a few tweaks to the visuals, Mark can fiddle with the copy, and Jennifer suggests a different genus, preferably more memorable, for the GIF. It’s that simple.

A multi-layered content approval system 

Once everybody gives their two cents about a piece of content, it’s time to hit publish.

Planable offers a multi-layered approval system that prevents any post that shouldn’t be published, well, getting published. By using it, teams ensure that the right people ( whether clients or managers) have the chance to take a peek at the post and screen it for any brand/inclusivity inconsistencies. 

Think of Planable’s approval system as the guard dog of your social media guidelines. The dog being Planable, and the social media guidelines being, well, the social media guidelines. Anyway, here’s how the approval workflow works:

Oh, and while we’re at it – Planable has integrations with Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google My Business, Twitter, TikTok and.Pinterest Check it out for yourself — it’s free . 

Do you have any examples of social media guidelines?

Why yes, I do! 

Intel is a great example of social media guidelines done right. It’s a short, 2-page document that goes straight to the point. It emphasizes transparency, authenticity in language and conduct, and, most importantly, it stresses that Intel employees are responsible for protecting the brand. 

Ford’s social media guidelines (or “digital participation guidelines”, as they call them, which sounds like the name of an electro-indie band) is a concise, one-page document that does an excellent job of conveying just how public social media is nowadays. Many people still fail to comprehend the public nature of social media, that anything you post, at any time, could be potentially seen by millions of people if the algorithm gods choose to do so. 

Adidas is notorious for its strong mission statement and inspirational marketing campaigns, and its social media guidelines reflect that. It reminds employees that they are responsible for the content they post on social media and goes out of its way to even provide examples. Another great thing about their guidelines is that it assumes right from the get-go that employees are always online, so Adidas encourages them to talk about their work. 

It wouldn’t have been weird if the marketing and cultural juggernaut we know as Coca-Cola didn’t provide a strong set of social media guidelines, and they deliver. Similar to Adidas, Coca-Cola embraces the fact that their employees are constantly online and encourages them to be brand ambassadors on social media. It also provides clear guidelines as to how to deal with criticism, trolls, and bad actors. Their guidelines are simple — unless you are a spokesperson, don’t say anything. 

Social media guidelines should be the cornerstone of your online presence. In a world where every tweet can become viral and having your reputation ruined can be caused by the right person sharing a bad take, social media guidelines are essential. And to protect your reputation and maintain those guidelines, well, there’s always Planable. Check it out — it’s free . 

Marco Giuliani

Content marketer and aspiring YouTuber, in no particular order. Expertise in content writing, social media copywriting, and neo-noir graphic novels. Used to run a music webzine in the 2 seconds in the early 2010s when blogs were hot. I tweet very badly on Twitter.

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Writing Guide with Handbook

(7 reviews)

writing to guidelines

Michelle Bachelor Robinson, Spelman College

Maria Jerskey, City University of New York

Toby Fulwiller, University of Vermont

Copyright Year: 2021

ISBN 13: 9781951693473

Publisher: OpenStax

Language: English

Formats Available

Conditions of use.


Learn more about reviews.

Reviewed by Aimee Taylor, Assistant Professor, Clarke University on 1/9/23

This guide is appropriately comprehensive for first year and developing college writers. It covers, most importantly, the writing process. It also engages students in thought work about rhetorical effectiveness, information literacy, and... read more

Comprehensiveness rating: 5 see less

This guide is appropriately comprehensive for first year and developing college writers. It covers, most importantly, the writing process. It also engages students in thought work about rhetorical effectiveness, information literacy, and argumentation. The included handbook makes it helpful and easy to incorporate. Students will not have to access two separate texts to have a guide and handbook. This is great for planning and streamlining.

Content Accuracy rating: 5

From my understanding of the topic, this text is highly accurate.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 5

This text deals with contemporary issues that students will find valuable and important, like social media, demystifying college writing, cultural awareness, decolonization, antiracism, and multimodality. These are topics that are not only relevant today, but they will be persistent issues for years to come. The topics covered are in line with the themes and topics I frequently cover in my own classes, so I wouldn't need to supplement so much.

Clarity rating: 5

The text is clear and appropriate for first year college students (and anyone new to academic writing). One of the highlights of this book is that it does spend time explaining and clarifying typically challenging concepts, like rhetoric and argument. This will be helpful for not only students but for new faculty who are teaching writing for the first time.

Consistency rating: 5

This text appears consistent. The units have similar structures and features, "editing," "spotlight on...," and "glance at genre." I like this because it shows students that they can methodically look at writing in this kind of way.

Modularity rating: 5

The text is divided into modules already, which could be beneficial for new faculty teaching writing for the first time.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 5

Organization is the best quality of this text. They offer a helpful introduction, and subsequent units build up to more complicated writing processes. Again, for first time writing faculty, which can provide just as much help as the text does for the students.

Interface rating: 5

I appreciate that this text has instructor and student resources. The text easily navigable, the images are clear (not distracting), and students will not have to scroll through a ton of text (they can easily navigate from the left table of contents or the "next" button at the bottom of each section).

Grammatical Errors rating: 5

I didn't see any errors.

Cultural Relevance rating: 5

This text is quite the opposite of insensitive or offensive. It includes discussions of antiracism and decoloniality, which are important and urgent cultural issues that teachers and students alike to begin engaging with.

I look forward to implementing this text into my course. I am glad to have an open access text that does what I need it to do.

Reviewed by Sarah Lacy, Lecturer, Old Dominion University on 1/6/23

There are lessons on rhetoric, research, portfolios, as well as genre specific readings which does make this a relatively comprehensive Rhetoric and Composition text. I believe the title, "Writing Guide with Handbook" does not do the... read more

Comprehensiveness rating: 4 see less

There are lessons on rhetoric, research, portfolios, as well as genre specific readings which does make this a relatively comprehensive Rhetoric and Composition text. I believe the title, "Writing Guide with Handbook" does not do the comprehensiveness of the text enough justice, as this is much more than what I imagine a "writing guide" to be. I specifically like the "Spotlight on..." sections at the end of each chapter/section, as it allows the authors of the book to bring specific lessons to the students that appear to be new and relevant to our cultural conversation (for example, "Spotlight on... Technical Writing as a Career" and "Spotlight on... Bias in Language and Research" each enhance the other readings in their section which highlighting current issues in the field).

However, while this is a fairly comprehensive text, and I appreciate that it uses various perspectives on writing and academia, I do not believe there are enough writing process specific readings to be the only text for a First Year Writing course. However, it is an excellent resource in helping students understand the complexity of writing, and to envision how they will use writing outside of the composition classroom.

The authors' use of various writers in using their text as examples allows this text to work from an unbiased standpoint. The information provided in these sections reflects accurate depiction of the subject matter, and follows the necessary lessons for a writing class, specifically one concerned with rhetorical lessons.

This textbook has included relevant readings on current issues in the field of writing studies, specifically in potential bias in writing and research, as well as issues in language studies. The supplemental readings in this text are very current (Selena Gomez and Ta-Nehisi Coates for example), but also include classic readings (Mark Twain for example) that show the variety of voices that the authors of this text have considered. The social media based readings may need to be updated from time to time, but I think that is a benefit of providing such of-the-moment readings. The base of this text, however, is in the study of rhetoric and college writing which will remain relevant and useful to students and instructors.

The writing is clear and concise, and is written with undergraduate students in mind. I specifically like that in many sections there are reflection questions offered which help students engage more deeply with the subject matter.

Each page is clearly from the same textbook, and each is given the "Learning Outcomes" at the top box which is one of my favorite features of this text. Additionally, there are often references to other sections of the book which shows that there are common themes and topics throughout. I believe the goal of this text is to help students understand the value in the development or personality and voice in writing, as well as lessons in genre and type; though this was not what I expected when reading the title and synopsis, this consistent theme would be beneficial for college writing students.

Modularity rating: 3

This is the section in which I encountered the main issue I have with this book, and that in some of the pages the structure of the prose and space between text is relatively non-existent, and often close together. The information of the text is helpful and insightful, but some sections are very text-heavy, with very little breaks for the reader. While there are other pages that have images, more breaks, and referential questions and links, this is not consistent throughout each page. Additionally, the numerical breakdown within the sections in the left-hand tool bar was a little confusing when i first began reading through, but if you were able to simply share each page link with students, rather than asking them to navigate the book on their own this shouldn't be an issue. Though the navigation tool took some getting used to, once I got the hang of it navigating the organization of the sections was decent.

The section titles are, however, cleverly titled and would intrigue students, as they both list what the section is about, and restate in a creative way. For example, section 16 "Print or Textual Analysis: What You Read" has several subsections such as "An Author's Choices: What Text Says and How it Says it" and "Editing Focus: Literary Works Live in the Present" that provide insight into the purpose of the section as well as an easy to identify personal purpose.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 4

One portion of this text that I admire is that each section begins with a "Learning Outcomes" box, which is written is short, easy to digest prose in bulleted form, and serve very well to provide a preview of what the reader will encounter, to make working through the text more enlightening. In pages that do contain images, they are clear and there do not appear to be any major issues from a technical standpoint. As discussed in the Modularity section of this review, however, I did find navigation with the Contents Toolbar to be a bit perplexing, but I do believe this would not be as much of an issue if this book were in PDF or even print form.

In terms of interface issues, I did not notice any glaring problems. My issues is mainly with modularity and the tool bar, but they worked as they were intended.

The text of these chapters is well written and as I read through the different sections I did not encounter any issues.

I specifically like that this text has sections written by BIPOC authors such as bell hooks, Ta-Nehisi Coates, as well as specific sections on multilingual writers, which is in part why I chose to review this book. Additionally there are sections that explore the use of social media and other virtual forms of communications to make the text relatable to students. These readings, in particular section "1.2 Social Media Trailblazer: Selena Gomez," relate rhetoric specific lessons to individuals and modalities that students will be familiar with, and I believe is in part what helps to "demystify" the university for students.

This text would certainly serve well to provide supplemental readings in a First Year Writing Course, as it offers both textbook style lessons, as well as supplement essays. There are great readings on revising and editing, as well as active reading which I greatly admire. The readings are from a variety of cultural and language specific backgrounds which is increasingly important for any college students and instructor. However, the title of the book is "Writing Guide with Handbook," so I was expecting a lot more writing specific readings. While there are certainly some of those, this text reads more like a compilation of supplementary readings and lessons in writing types/genres, not so much quick referential selections (which is fine by me, but I was a bit confused by the title).

This text would be an excellent part of any curriculum, though perhaps would not be my only textbook choice. The information is valuable and would certainly aid any student in their composition classroom, but as today's students tend to read their work on their phone or tablets, some of the sections which contain only heavy text with very little breaks at times would make navigation difficult. That is not to say that I would not assign this text, in fact I intend to assigned several readings in my next college writing course. But, I do believe that there are some readings that could do well to include more images and breaks between text to make the more text-heavy sections more manageable.

writing to guidelines

Reviewed by Lisa Kern-Lipscomb, Instructor, Tidewater Community College on 12/30/22

OED offers a free textbook that covers the writing process, vocabulary building, practices for writers, and many instructive lessons. Writing Guide with Handbook is a comprehensive textbook that aligns with my course syllabus throughout the... read more

OED offers a free textbook that covers the writing process, vocabulary building, practices for writers, and many instructive lessons. Writing Guide with Handbook is a comprehensive textbook that aligns with my course syllabus throughout the semester, so students can click a link to take them to valuable learning content.

Content Accuracy rating: 4

Content is readable and accurate without errors.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 4

Guidance formulas for composing both working thesis statements and argumentative thesis statements are relevant writing skills that are beneficial for most students.

Clarity rating: 4

From organizing an essay to integrating documentation to composing an MLA Works Cited page, learning content is engaging while providing clear and concise information.

Consistency rating: 4

While many consistencies exist for each chapter, Editing Focus and Annotated Student Samples are important for composition students. Editing Focus provides novice writers specific learning for challenging writing skills, such as commas and sentence structures. Annotated Student Samples demonstrate annotated models for students to review before starting a writing assignment.

Modularity rating: 4

Chapters are outlined with links to specific, up-to-date content that aligns with my course syllabus, which makes finding learning content easy for students.

Learning content is organized logically, which helps students understand the notion of logical organization, especially novice writers.

Interface rating: 4

While navigating the textbook, all links worked properly, images downloaded, and content viewed correctly.

Grammatical Errors rating: 4

While navigating the book, I did not encounter grammatical errors.

Cultural Relevance rating: 4

Multiple chapters highlight cultural backgrounds and provide engaging activities for students to grasp the understanding of various cultural perspectives.

Writing Guide with Handbook is a textbook I hope my students appreciate as it will not cost them anything. This free textbook is just what I need to help place my students on a successful learning pathway. Thank you OER.

Reviewed by Lisa Whalen, Professor, North Hennepin Community College on 12/7/22

I was thrilled to find this textbook because I've been looking for an OER that covers how to write a narrative, profile, visual evaluation, and rhetorical analysis of argument, and I hadn't seen one anywhere. This one covers each module I teach in... read more

I was thrilled to find this textbook because I've been looking for an OER that covers how to write a narrative, profile, visual evaluation, and rhetorical analysis of argument, and I hadn't seen one anywhere. This one covers each module I teach in first-year writing classes in an engaging format with examples that are much more current and sample essays that are much more relevant to students' lives than the costly textbook I've been using reluctantly for several years.

I didn't see any errors in accuracy. My only complaint about the book is its bias in pushing a specific political angle. I prefer textbooks that are politically neutral or at least politically balanced, but those are nearly impossible to find in recent publications. This one confines most of its political bias to specific sections I can skip fairly easily when using it in my classes.

The examples and societal references are very current and relevant to students' lives. A few, like the section on Selena Gomez, will go out of date quickly, but they're are minimal, and even going out of date won't negate the content associated with them. The other cultural references and example essays are universal enough to be relevant for many years.

Style, word choice, and layout are engaging and accessible. I really like the introduction to rhetoric and key terms at the front. Definitions throughout are concise yet complete. Chapter sections are kept short for readability in an online format.

Concepts introduced in early chapters are applied throughout the later chapters. The whole book builds nicely from beginning to end, and the transitions are seamless.

Yes! Among the things I like best about this book are its logical layout, clear chapter and section headings, and differentiation of genres and skills. The way sections and chapters are set up makes it easy to pick and choose which fit my class and assign them without worrying that skipping around might confuse students.

As stated earlier, the book builds logically from beginning to end while allowing for easy a la cart selection of individual chapters.

It's very easy to navigate. My only criticism is that the PDF page numbers differ from the displayed textbook page numbers. No matter how clearly and often I explain the difference, students get confused by the differing page number designations, especially in classes that are wholly online (versus face-to-face or hybrid). The differing page numbers will cause problems when students want to print pages they are assigned to read. More "digital natives" than I would suspect prefer to print pages they are assigned to read than to read them in an electronic format, and many students aren't aware that printers default to the PDF page numbers.

I didn't notice any grammatical errors or typos.

The book reflects the spectrum of human diversity well.

I'm thrilled to have found this book and plan to use it in my first-year writing sections.

Reviewed by Patricia Jordan, Academic Director, Online Training and Technology, Spartanburg Community College on 9/22/22

There are a lot of great ideas for classroom activities, but it doesn’t really cover the concepts of writing. The handbook portion is better but could be expanded. The table of contents is good. The index is confusing. Word like “Caesar,”... read more

Comprehensiveness rating: 3 see less

There are a lot of great ideas for classroom activities, but it doesn’t really cover the concepts of writing. The handbook portion is better but could be expanded. The table of contents is good. The index is confusing. Word like “Caesar,” “Country Music,” “vulnerability,” and “yearbook” are included, but I am not sure why.

The content seems to be accurate, error-free and unbiased.

Content is up-to-date, but makes use of such pop-culture topics that it feels like it will get out of date very quickly. It isn’t just in sections that would be easy to up date, but seems to be throughout the entire text.

The text is written clearly in an easy-to-understand way.

The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework.

The text is divided into chapters and the chapters into sections. The sections are in easy to read chunks. The sections are hyperlinked.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 3

There does seem to be some repetition in the way the chapters are organized. Concepts seem to be repeated. The organization of the handbook is good.

The text seems to be free of significant interface issues. The online version uses Openstax which has a table of contents on the left and text on the right. There are advertisements from Kinetic by OpenStax to purchase a print copy that distracts from reading.

The text does not seem to have any grammatical errors .

The text goes out of its way to be culturally relevant and to include examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.

It has good information. I think it would be useful to incorporate parts of this into teaching but not use this as a stand alone textbook.

Reviewed by Tara Montague, Part-time instructor, Portland Community College on 7/1/22

This text, Writing Guide with Handbook, is comprehensive. It includes more content than I could cover in one term; I can see using it to cover both a pre-transfer-level course and a basic transfer-level course. Though it is guided by a writing to... read more

This text, Writing Guide with Handbook, is comprehensive. It includes more content than I could cover in one term; I can see using it to cover both a pre-transfer-level course and a basic transfer-level course. Though it is guided by a writing to learn and communicate approach, each chapter includes appropriate writing instruction. The index is thorough and useful; it includes the chapter and section numbers and links to the appropriate content.

The content strikes me as accurate and error-free. This text was a collaborative effort between more than ten authors.

The content is current and engaging; it approaches a variety of relevant social issues and invites the reader to engage with current topics, yet it will certainly remain relevant. The writing models can easily be updated as necessary without changing the overall structure of the text.

The prose is clear and instructive, yet engaging. It doesn’t read like a handbook, and I think students will appreciate that. It is a little less simplistic than other texts I’ve considered from a pre-transfer-level course, but even though some of the concepts and discussions are sophisticated, the commentary provided makes them accessible.

The overall progression from personal narrative to exposition to persuasion includes a loose repetition of structure from chapter to chapter. The framework is coherent and engaging.

The text is completely modular, making it easy to assign small sections. It is well organized, with each chapter broken down into smaller sections, minimizing pages that have multiple screens’ worth of reading.

This text is comprised of twenty chapters that are organized into three larger units; there’s also a brief “handbook” that deals with additional composition elements (e.g. pronouns, MLA documentation, clear and effective sentences) and an Index. Each chapter is divided into eight or so pages or subsections, and the loose repetition of structure between chapters is helpful, but not confining. Each page/section within each chapter has a Learning Outcomes box.

The OpenStax interface makes it easy for users to download the text, view it online, or order a print copy through The online text is well organized and easy to navigate. As I mentioned above, the Index is impressively functional. The OpenStax interface has a search box that I found useful. The “handbook” is one continuous page and has anchors for navigation, but it is a brief handbook, so this is not a big deal.

I didn’t notice any grammatical errors; the text is clean and well edited.

This text was explicitly designed to provide a culturally responsive and inclusive textbook option; the authors set out to offer “an inviting and inclusive approach to students of all intersectional identities.” The examples of writing are far-ranging and diverse and include writers from history and current writers.

Writing Guide with Handbook stands out because it is organized in a more student-centered way than many introductory composition texts. This text would work well for someone looking to almost ready-to-go course, rather than using a text to supplement their existing course. I am considering using the first half of the text for a pre-transfer-level course; I think it would work well (if not better) for a transfer-level course. I am excited by this text as it really invites users to engage in important issues and explore in writing their relationship to the world around them.

Reviewed by Brenda Coston, Assistant Professor, Honolulu Community College on 2/2/22

The Writing Guide with Handbook, is a text for writers who are beyond the basics of essay structure and who wish to develop more with writing in terms of culture and rhetoric for real life situations. read more

The Writing Guide with Handbook, is a text for writers who are beyond the basics of essay structure and who wish to develop more with writing in terms of culture and rhetoric for real life situations.

The content of the book is truly one of exploration and appreciation for other cultures . Other issues regarding oppression, bias, and objective writing are discussed in terms of how identity is constructed through writing.

This text, hands-down, is on the cutting edge of curranacy and relevance. Exploring hot topics facing society is a great way to engage student writers and get them thinking about the world around them.

Any relevant vocabulary is thoroughly and mindfully explained with examples given. For example, in Chapter 2.3, "Glance at the Issues: Oppression and Reclamation," the term bias and how it affects writing is completley investigated.

Any significant terms are defined before any development of ideas is given. This tactic helps the student to understand throroughly what is being explained in the text.

The authors have done a superb job of organizing ideas and breaking down sections. For instance, in Chapter Two, "Language, Identity, and Culture: Exploring, Employing, Embracing," the main ideas: language, identity, and so on, are broken down in to smaller areas devoted to them and are explored regarding the effects on the writing process.

Topics, are, indeed, presented in a clear manner, beginning with what the writer may already be aware of with writing, such as "The Digital World: Building on What You Already Know to Respond Critically" and moving to "Bridging the Divide Between Personal Identity and Academia."

The book is cearly laid out with photos that enhance the subject matter and provide a clear undernstaning for the reader.

No grammatical errors were noted.

This text makes a point to engage readers from all walks of life with varying cultural backgrounds. By undertsanding how others think, the student has a deeper perspective when writing and produces an essay with substance.

The Handbook, located in the back of the text, is phenomenal. It is more that just grammar. It touches on on proofreading the essay for clear and effective sentences, beneficial transitional expressions, mechanics, point of view, and MLA. The explanations are clear and relevant and very relatable for college students.

Table of Contents

Ancillary Material

About the book.

Writing Guide with Handbook  aligns to the goals, topics, and objectives of many first-year writing and composition courses. It is organized according to relevant genres, and focuses on the writing process, effective writing practices or strategies—including graphic organizers, writing frames, and word banks to support visual learning—and conventions of usage and style. The text includes an editing and documentation handbook, which provides information on grammar and mechanics, common usage errors, and citation styles.

Writing Guide with Handbook  breaks down barriers in the field of composition by offering an inviting and inclusive approach to students of all intersectional identities. To meet this goal, the text creates a reciprocal relationship between everyday rhetoric and the evolving world of academia.  Writing Guide with Handbook  builds on students’ life experiences and their participation in rhetorical communities within the familiar contexts of personal interaction and social media. The text seeks to extend these existing skills by showing students how to construct a variety of compelling compositions in a variety of formats, situations, and contexts.

The authors conceived and developed  Writing Guide with Handbook  in 2020; its content and learning experiences reflect the instructional, societal, and individual challenges students have faced. The authors invite students and instructors to practice invitational, rather than confrontational, discussions even as they engage in verbal and written argument. Instructors will be empowered to emphasize meaning and voice and to teach empathy as a rhetorical strategy. Students will be empowered to negotiate their identities and their cultures through language as they join us in writing, discovering, learning, and creating.

About the Contributors

Michelle Bachelor Robinson , Spelman College

Dr. Michelle Bachelor Robinson directs the Comprehensive Writing Program and is an assistant professor of writing and rhetoric at Spelman College. For five weeks each summer, she also serves as faculty for the Middlebury College Bread Loaf School of English, a summer residential graduate program for secondary educators. Her research and teaching focus on community engagement, historiography, African American rhetoric and literacy, composition pedagogy and theory, and student and program assessment. She is the coeditor of the Routledge Reader of African American Rhetoric and has published articles in WPA: Writing Program Administration, Peitho: Journal of the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition, the Alabama Humanities Review, and the Journal of Social Work Education. Her early career was spent as a secondary educator, teaching high school students in the subjects of writing, literature, reading, debate, and drama. Dr. Robinson currently serves as the higher-education cochair of the College Board test development committee for the Advanced Placement (AP) English Language Exam, as well as a member of the test development committee for the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) for College Composition. Dr. Robinson also served on the executive committee for the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) from 2017 to 2020 and is still actively involved in that national work.

Maria Jerskey , City University of New York

Dr. Maria Jerskey is a professor of education and language acquisition at the City University of New York (CUNY), where she teaches courses in ESL, linguistics, bilingualism, and French to community college students and academic writing to graduate students. She is the founder and director of the Literacy Brokers Program, which supports and promotes the publishing practices of multilingual scholars. Dr. Jerskey has 4 Preface Access for free at published widely and been involved in national professional committees and organizations that focus on bringing current research and scholarship to bear on institutionalized practices that disenfranchise multilingual writers in order to design and implement equitable teaching and learning practices and professional development. She has authored college writing handbooks, including Globalization: A Reader for Writers and, with Ann Raimes, Keys for Writers, 6th edition. In her teaching and professional committee work, Dr. Jerskey problematizes and challenges the value and status of Standard Written English by applying critical research and scholarship in the fields of education, linguistics, and composition. Her current research and activism focus on identifying institutional barriers to linguistic justice and cultivating sustainable practices that recognize, encourage, and value the use of each person’s full linguistic repertoire.

Toby Fulwiler , Emeritus, University of Vermont

Dr. Toby Fulwiler is an emeritus professor in the Department of English at the University of Vermont. The author of numerous professional texts, student textbooks, chapters, and articles, Dr. Fulwiler graciously provided The Working Writer as inspiration for Writing Guide with Handbook.

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How to Write a How to Guide

Last Updated: March 1, 2023 References

wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 13 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 75,701 times. Learn more...

A how-to guide is an informative piece of writing instructs a reader on performing a task by giving step-by-step instructions. It is a practical way to convey information about an active process. Creating a how-to guide can be an opportunity to share a practical skill you possess with a wider audience.

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The Harvard Writing Project sponsors a wide range of writing guides that encourage better writing by giving students practical advice and useful examples. The development of some guides has been underwritten by Faculty Grants on Writing Pedagogy. There are four principal types of writing guides:

The writing guides may be viewed online or downloaded as PDF files. Some of the guides are also available in print form. Persons wishing to receive a print version of any of the writing guides should contact James Herron at  [email protected]

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APA Style provides a foundation for effective scholarly communication because it helps writers present their ideas in a clear, concise, and inclusive manner. When style works best, ideas flow logically, sources are credited appropriately, and papers are organized predictably. People are described using language that affirms their worth and dignity. Authors plan for ethical compliance and report critical details of their research protocol to allow readers to evaluate findings and other researchers to potentially replicate the studies. Tables and figures present information in an engaging, readable manner.

The style and grammar guidelines pages present information about APA Style as described in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition and the Concise Guide to APA Style, Seventh Edition . Any updates to APA Style are noted on the applicable topic pages. If you are still using the sixth edition, helpful resources are available in the sixth edition archive .

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How to use ChatGPT to help you write


ChatGPT's advanced capabilities have created a huge demand , with the 'app' accumulating over 100 million users within two months of launching. One of the biggest standout features has been its ability to compose all sorts of text within seconds, including songs, poems, bedtime stories, and essays. 

Also:   What is ChatGPT and why does it matter? Here's everything you need to know

Contrary to popular opinion, ChatGPT can do a lot more than just write an essay for you (which could be called plagiarism). What is more useful is how it can help guide your writing process. If you are a looking for ways to use ChatGPT to support your writing, here are five different ways to explore.  

How to improve your writing process with ChatGPT 

1. use chatgpt to generate essay ideas.

Before you can even get started writing an essay, you need to flesh out the idea. When professors assign essays, they generally give students a prompt that gives them leeway for their own self-expression and analysis. As a result, students have the task of finding the angle to approach the essay on their own.

If you have written an essay recently, you know this step is often the trickiest part -- and this is where ChatGPT can help. 

Also:   I wish I had ChatGPT when I was in college. But not for the reason you might expect

All you need to do is input the assignment topic, include as much detail as you'd like -- such as what you're thinking about covering -- and let ChatGPT do the rest. For example, based on a paper prompt I had in college, I asked:

Can you help me come up with a topic idea for this assignment, "You will write a research paper or case study on a leadership topic of your choice." I would like it to include Blake and Mouton's Managerial Leadership Grid and possibly a historical figure. 

Within seconds, the chatbot produced a response that provided me with the title of the essay, options of historical figures I could focus my article on, and insight on what information I could include in my paper, with specific examples of a case study I could use. 


2. Use the chatbot to create an outline

Once you have a solid topic, it's time to start brainstorming what you actually want to include in the essay. To facilitate the writing process, I always create an outline, including all the different points I want to touch upon in my essay. However, the outline writing process is usually tedious. 

With ChatGPT, all you have to do is ask it to write it for you. 

Also :  ChatGPT productivity hacks: Five ways to use chatbots to make your life easier

Using the topic that ChatGPT helped me generate in step one, I asked the chatbot to write me an outline by saying: 

Can you create an outline for a paper, "Examining the Leadership Style of Winston Churchill through Blake and Mouton's Managerial Leadership Grid"

After a couple of seconds, the chatbot outputted a holistic outline divided into seven different sections, with three different points under each section. 

This outline is thorough and can be condensed for a shorter essay, or elaborated on for a longer paper. If you don't like something or want to tweak it further, you can do so either manually or with more instructions to ChatGPT. 


3. Use ChatGPT to find sources

Now that you know exactly what you want to write, it's time to find reputable sources to get your information from. If you don't know where to start, like with all of the previous steps, you can just ask ChatGPT. 

All you need to do is ask it to find sources for your essay topic. For example, I asked it the following: 

Can you help me find sources for a paper, "Examining the Leadership Style of Winston Churchill through Blake and Mouton's Managerial Leadership Grid."

Also :  The best AI chatbots: ChatGPT and other interesting alternatives to try

The chatbot output seven sources, with a bullet point for each that explained what the source was and why it could be useful. 

The one caveat you will want to be aware of when using ChatGPT for sources is that it does not have access to information before 2021, so it will not be able to suggest the freshest sources. However, it is a start.  


4. Use ChatGPT to write a sample essay

It is worth noting that if you take the text directly from the chatbot and submit it, your work could be considered a form of plagiarism, since it is not your original work. As with any information taken from another source, text generated by any AI should be clearly identified and credited in your work.

In most educational institutions, the penalties for plagiarism are severe, ranging from a failing grade to expulsion from the school.

Also :  ChatGPT is changing everything. But it still has its limits

If you want ChatGPT generate a sample piece of text, put in the topic, the desired length, and watch for what it generates. For example, I input the following text: 

Can you write a five-paragraph essay on the topic, "Examining the Leadership Style of Winston Churchill through Blake and Mouton's Managerial Leadership Grid."

Within seconds, the chatbot output exactly what I asked for: A coherent, five-paragraph essay on the topic which can help you to guide you in your own writing. 

At this point it's worth remembering how tools like ChatGPT work: They put words together in a form that they think is statistically valid but they don't know if what they are saying is true or accurate. That means you might find invented facts or details or other oddities. It won't be able to create original work because it is simply aggregating everything it has already absorbed. It might be a useful starting point for your own work, but don't expect it to be inspired or accurate.


5. Use ChatGPT to co-edit your essay

Once you've written your own essay, you can use ChatGPT's advanced writing capabilities to edit it for you. 

You can simply tell the chatbot what you specifically want it to edit. For example, I asked it to edit for essay structure and grammar, but other options could have included flow, tone, and more. 

Once you ask it to edit your essay, it will prompt you to paste your text into the chatbot. Once you do, it will output your essay with corrections made. This could be the most useful tool as it can edit your essay more thoroughly than a basic proofreading tool could, going beyond spelling. 

You could also co-edit with the chatbot, asking it to take a look at a specific paragraph or sentence and asking it to rewrite or fix it for clarity. 


Teachers are using ChatGPT more than students. Here's how


3 easy ways to subscribe to your favorite authors online


How to save a ChatGPT conversation to revisit later

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How to use Guidelines in a sentence

If you abide by the guidelines , you are sure to succeed with the project.

Setting guidelines can help in defining the context of your search.

The following guidelines describe how the watch routine function.

Is it cynical to suggest that the courts are being a trifle schizophrenic about the guidelines ?

The articles in this resource reflect national clinical practice guidelines and are free of racial, gender, or other bias.

The cafeteria must conform to the state's nutrition guidelines .

Treatment guidelines consider gastric lavage if the patient presents early.

New European guidelines for control and prevention of travel associated legionnaires ' disease have recently been produced and adopted by the group.

It therefore violates the guidelines set out in the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine, and constitutes medical malpractice by the State.

Perform resuscitation on an approved manikin following the current guidelines .

The drafting of EIA guidelines was undertaken in a participatory manner.

We carefully follow the current national guidelines for dental radiography and use modern, low radiation dose dental x-ray machines.

This is the first cluster of guidelines which will in due course cover all aspects of diagnostic neuropathology.

A review of patients receiving nifedipine or amlodipine at two GP practices was carried out in line with British Hypertension Society guidelines .

The revised IPCC Guidelines document [25] was used to give a range of emission factors for nitrous oxide.

Are there any tips or guidelines that can be given on how to contribute without appearing pompous, a know-all, opinionated etc.

He set out the guidelines for pensions reform in the millenium, emphasizing the importance of sound policies on this increasingly predominant issue.

In order to address this we will be putting together a set of presenter Guidelines , which we will ask future presenters to follow.

Current guidelines on anti-D prophylaxis - are they effective, can they be improved?

The US Public Health Service Guidelines for occupational postexposure prophylaxis are currently being revised.

The impact of salvage radiotherapy on disease-free survival is promising, but the guidelines of therapy are not well established.

This record was compiled by CRD commissioned reviewers according to a set of guidelines developed in collaboration with a group of leading health economists.

The Guidelines do not have sufficient safeguards for basic transactions relating to IP at present.

Local guidelines regarding the setting and standards of intrapartum fetal and maternal surveillance in women with uterine scar.

Tonic-clonic seizures Basic guidelines From behind, hold the person's head above water.

How could a new, publicly funded church school with a highly selective set of entry guidelines , be opening in 2003?

We encourage self-discipline in all students by setting clear guidelines .

To follow company sops and other regulatory guidance documents (ICH Guidelines ) To ensure that timelines are met.

In this light, their request for guidelines in attacking " unruly " pupils carries the stench of cant.

Movement 2 2 4 Guidelines for safe movement and safe stowage to be covered in the safety brief.

The above guidelines are very useful in every situation in life and you can successfully tackle hostile circumstances by following them.

Audit guidelines and tools and procedures were developed to enable focussed audits of sludge thickening plant.

Work is ongoing within OECD with respect to inhalation toxicology study guidelines .

Basic guidelines for good agricultural practice when growing GM crops with specific agronomic traits should be encouraged.

See also our guidelines as to whether pre-sessional English tuition is required or recommended.

Now under new guidelines , this genre classic can finally be released uncut!

The SOS program provides user-friendly, step-by-step guidelines for creating respectful and effective learning environments " .

Although reproductive health issues are importantly included, clearer guidelines are needed especially on the management of sexual and gender-based violence.

There are also two flow charts, also known as decision trees, covering work-up and treatment guidelines .

The guidelines above include few of the steps you need to take to get high rankings for the keywords of your choice.

Human materials HLA reagents prepared from human source material should comply with the guidelines in Section 10.5.

If our vendor did not rebuild according to the guidelines required where do we stand legally?

The course will equip clinicians to provide sedation services in keeping with current best practice and in line with contemporary UK guidelines .

Tonic-clonic seizures Basic guidelines From behind, hold the person 's head above water.

To follow company SOPs and other regulatory guidance documents (ICH Guidelines ) To ensure that timelines are met.

These products are quality tested in the EU under the strictest of guidelines to ensure quality and safety.

The plant in Merthyr Tydfil had to comply with strict new European guidelines in order to be allowed to export the meat.

If the summons procedure is used, there are recommended time guidelines .

The new edition of " Guidelines for Surveys, Assessment and Repair of Hull Structures - Bulk Carriers " - supercedes the 1994 edition.

The new guidelines suggest that it should be classified on the basis of symptom duration and/or severity.

Cotton Terry Fabric Our cotton terry fabric is milled in the EC under strict guidelines .

The BAPEN guidance has been used by some Drug and therapeutics committees locally in Scotland to prepare guidelines .

Layout tables and the W3c Access Guidelines The relevant parts of the guidelines say, Guideline 5. Create tables that transform gracefully.

Use the guidelines to unblock cookies [38kb ].

Now under new guidelines , this genre classic can finally be released uncut !

The SOS program provides user-friendly, step-by-step guidelines for creating respectful and effective learning environments .

It is based on guidelines , not state legislation, which are vague on detail.

Benefits are for those who are most financially vulnerable in society and will be assessed and paid within Government guidelines and the relevant legislation.

Includes recommendations to the Home Office and guidelines for the voluntary sector working with refugee women.

Visit the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education for state-specific guidelines .

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission publishes guidelines pertaining not only to the distance between the slats of a crib, but also regarding what to put in the baby crib, and what to avoid placing in your baby's bed.

This helps the child maintain important family relationships, while at the same time providing legal protection and guidelines for all parties involved.

Find out the guidelines and age limits for the children.

These day cares will be licensed by your state, and they must abide by a strict list of rules and guidelines .

What safety guidelines are used both inside and out?

Disease and Illness Standards - Setting basic health guidelines for when children are sick and reporting certain illnesses to local health authorities, including vaccinations and medications procedures.

Transportation Guidelines - Particularly important for out of school care when the day care facility transports kids to and from school and for programs that take field trips.

Within the guidelines of your state's licensing and regulations, you have the freedom to create your own career program.

They also offer guidelines pertaining to verses and other important information that should be placed on the card.

Equipment List-The equipment should meet suggested guidelines .

Meal and Snack Info-There may also be guidelines in place to govern meals and snacks.

They set up specific guidelines which govern the arrangement between the participating student and the host family.

Because the guidelines generally stipulate that she must return to her home country at the end of one year, emotional ties can make the parting hard for everyone involved.

These guidelines are not written in stone.

There are definite guidelines that must be followed according to immigration laws before a child is allowed to enter the United States through adoption.

While agencies may still have prerequisites set regarding religious beliefs, age, and/or sexual orientation, Christian agencies typically have to follow the guidelines established by the countries from which parents are adopting.

However, the following is list of common guidelines you can refer to in regards to the development of your preemie.

Remember, your baby may not meet these particular guidelines .

With this wish list readily available, you can hope friends and family members wishing to bestow gifts upon your new arrival will follow the guidelines you've provided and save you some expense!

Look for pacifiers that are made of non-toxic materials that are designed to comply with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's guidelines .

Avoid unlicensed agencies and adoption facilitators because they may not follow state guidelines , which can create more risks for the adoptive family.

Beechnut Stages Baby Food was created in 1984 and was designed to follow the American Academy of Pediatrics food guidelines .

Food guidelines -Beechnut has created specific guidelines to ensure that their products are healthy and delicious.

Finally, if you do decide to buy any used baby supplies, like cribs or car seats, be sure they meet the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's guidelines and specifications.

Here are some basic guidelines when shopping for an MP3 player.

When it comes to how to buy a comforter you should choose what you love while following a few guidelines .

Cut guidelines are set to reflect the maximum amount of light.

The most common diamonds, called Round brilliant, are cut to these specific guidelines .

The Federal Trade Commission has strict guidelines about the range of carat weight.

They offer a wide range of specialized services for letters and parcels USPS Shipping Guidelines .

You can figure domestic and international postage with USPS Postage Calculator check Postage Rates, and get guidelines on Package Preparation.

Here are some guidelines about how to assess a rental apartment you're considering.

You can buy anniversary gifts according to traditional schedule guidelines .

So before you go buying your aquarium fish, let's go over some simple guidelines that will help make your choices easier and pain free.

If you are a first-time parent, these "how to buy infant car seats guidelines " are the basics.

If you have never used down pillows before, the following guidelines should help you select a down pillow that meets your particular needs.

Buying a used piano can be a great experience if you follow some general guidelines .

Whether you are buying fancy two-way radios or inexpensive ones, make sure you read the FCC guidelines and rules before using the radios.

A general handgun buyer's guide can't give you those guidelines because they vary from location to location.

And since Apple sets general prices, they also have guidelines for refurbished iPods.

Aside from smart devices, laptops are the most popular means of wireless Internet access, but there are many options out there, and a few guidelines when purchasing a wireless laptop computer might be needed.

One of the most important guidelines when purchasing a wireless laptop computer is to identify what you need.

These pricing guidelines will help you make sure you get a good deal for the boat you have in mind and can be one of the best boat buyers guide tools available.

I recommend you read our article on House Training Cats for guidelines on training your kitten.

First, government guidelines for what can be considered honestly "organic" pet foods are still being hashed out.

This book contains a collection of tasty, balanced recipes for both cats and dogs, and there are additional feeding guidelines that clearly explain what your pets need as well as how much to feed them.

You won't be able to protect your cat completely, but following these simple guidelines will help you cut the risks significantly.

There is a booklet enclosed with the package that has helpful hints and guidelines to help solve your problem.

A couple of cat-specific guidelines give you a good start for making cat health decisions.

Even items placed inside the toy should follow these guidelines .

The guidelines for what can be mixed together are very flexible.

The FTC offers guidelines for those working with these companies.

Certain guidelines will vary state-to-state, but reviewing this site will provide consumers with a better understanding of the process in order to ask questions and formulate a plan of action.

The government is sympathetic to consumers who have to deal with collection agencies and has set up a number of guidelines companies must adhere to.

The current card guidelines state that the general APR begins as low as 4.9 percent for certain accounts but jumps to 19.99 percent if payments are late, so read the agreement carefully.

However, there are strict guidelines for doing so and it's not always to your benefit.

The Federal Trade Commission of the United States has clear guidelines in place that prevent lenders from threatening you for repayment.

American Express has very strict guidelines , however, on who it will accept as card members.

New York's Child Support Standards Act provides child support guidelines and enforcement.

Each state has their own child support guidelines that the court uses to determine how much must be paid to support the children.

Generally, these guidelines are based on each parents' income, how much the child spends with each parent, and whether the parent is obligated to support other children.

For a person who is representing him or herself in Court, it is possible to find an attorney who will provide a consultation and prepare the child support guidelines forms.

Most states do not have the same kinds of guidelines about alimony that are in place for child support payments, and a judge will need to determine what the rate of alimony payments should be.

Under United States federal law, each state is directed to develop its own child support guidelines .

This way of providing for dependent children is not without its faults, even though the guidelines were developed as a way to protect the welfare of children when their parents' relationship breaks down.

One problem with using general child support guidelines to determine how much a non-custodial parent should pay is that they don't take into account the non-custodial parent's ability to pay.

Taking a specific figure and using it for child support guidelines may also be flawed.

While there are no written alimony guidelines that Courts use, many judges go by specific criteria to aid in the decision of ordering alimony and the amount of it.

If you're looking for alimony guidelines , you won't find them.

However, since these are not alimony guidelines , you won't be able to know for certain that the Court will decide in your favor.

The state of Florida has developed child support guidelines to be used by divorcing couples with children.

People who are getting a divorce in Florida should ensure that the child support guidelines they are using is the most recent version so that the figures are correct.

All of the child support guidelines used in Florida are based on monthly income.

Either parent can request that the Court award an amount other than what the Florida child support guidelines indicate.

If they choose to do so, they need to file a Motion to Deviate from Child Support Guidelines .

The Florida child support worksheet is designed to keep the amount of child support fair by using set guidelines .

In certain situations, the amount set out in the guidelines may not provide adequate support, such as in the case of a child with special needs due to a physical, intellectual or emotional disability.

Parents can look at the guidelines to get an idea of what level of support they are obligated to provide for their children.

Each state has its own guidelines for awarding alimony, and the judge may not give each factor equal weight when making a ruling about spousal support.

Certain states, like California, have unwritten guidelines for determining how long a former spouse will receive alimony.

Any property that the couple accumulated during their marriage will need to be divided according to the guidelines of the state where the couple lives.

In many states, judges use child support guidelines to determine how much should be paid monthly.

Spousal support guidelines vary from one state to another and are designed to financially assist people who will experience a significant decrease in income as a result of divorce.

Although the laws pertaining to spousal support can be different depending on what state the separation or divorce takes place in, most states have similar guidelines .

Additional spousal support guidelines may exist in specific counties and with military divorces.

Many states have guidelines that dictate how spousal support amounts should be decided.

Depending on the guidelines of the state, spousal support amounts might increase or decrease based on the ability of the partner to pay and the self-sufficiency of the other partner when it comes to earning money.

Since guidelines for spousal support can vary greatly, becoming familiar with any state guidelines will be an important step in figuring out if spousal support is warranted.

Guidelines , ground rules and basic information exchanges will also occur at this time.

The guidelines are meant to make the process fair for both parties.

Florida child support guidelines are used by judges to determine how much a non-custodial parent should pay.

The court has the flexibility to order an amount that is higher or lower than what is specified in the guidelines if circumstances warrant a different level of support.

Under Florida child support guidelines , a judge can modify an existing child support order if a substantial change in circumstances has occurred.

The difference in support payments under the state guidelines must be at least 15 percent or $50, whichever is greater, before the judge can change an existing order.

Under certain circumstances, the Florida child support guidelines provide for the amount payable to be changed.

The guidelines also consider seasonal variations in a parent's income or expenses.

Parents with a solid co-parenting plan can help their children grow and emotionally prosper by implementing a few simple guidelines into their parenting efforts.

This may take some extensive negotiating and compromising, but the child will feel more secure living by guidelines agreed upon by both parents.

Whether you are doing it after a relationship breakup, based on geographical separation or as the result of a non-traditional union, following a few basic co-parenting guidelines reduces the stress of the arrangement for everyone involved.

Bending the rules or disregarding guidelines that have been agreed upon by both co-parents sets a bad example for the child, encourages him to play one parent against the other and is detrimental to the family unit as a whole.

Approaching co-parenting with a light heart, as well as following the guidelines above, is a recipe for successful co-parenting and happy, healthy children.

Many faiths also seek to keep their members spiritually safe by providing guidelines for living that help them avoid temptation and corruption that could jeopardize their spiritual safety.

By learning the techniques of building log furniture and using finished pieces and projects as guidelines , you create log furniture that is truly unique and one of a kind.

Even though every Amish master craftsman has a characteristic and unique style, each piece of furniture they produce fits into the general guidelines of a specific category of style and design.

You should also go with the measuring guidelines each furniture cover manufacturer provides, as their guidelines will be structured according to how their individual furniture covers are designed to fit over specific types of furniture.

See examples of measuring guidelines at The Cover Store and KoverRoos.

Every recycling facility has different guidelines for how to recycle paper products, and consumers should investigate how paper must be prepared, sorted, and turned in to be sure they can contribute to the recycling effort effectively.

Before dropping off paper to be recycled, it should be free from contamination, properly sorted, and dry, and it should meet any other established recycling guidelines for each specific facility or collection point.

If you follow these guidelines and double-check to make sure your purchases are included in the approved list for tax credits, then you can save money and have a more energy efficient home.

The guidelines for this certification are as demanding as those for a LEED contractor.

There is some evidence that kava kava can cause severe liver damage, and there are currently no clear guidelines for safe dosage of the herb.

While fresh picked Maqui berries are full of healthful nutrients, the nutritional benefits may be diminished in processing even though Maqui juice and supplements are manufactured following strict FDA guidelines .

This accreditation insures that the school has met a strict set of guidelines .

The Council sets guidelines for interior design education and then accredits schools who meet those standards.

Ignoring these guidelines may create a space that is too cramped to be used properly or a kitchen that requires unnecessary movement when preparing food.

No matter what type of design style you prefer, here are a few simple guidelines to help you decorate your master bedroom with these purposes in mind.

Nothing can transform a room like paint, and with so many colors available to paint a room, understanding some basic color design guidelines ensures you will make the best choice for your home.

These essential guidelines apply whether your taste leans towards traditional or modern.

While the above are guidelines , how you use the Tuscany kitchen colors is really up to you.

Mark the width of the stencil's pattern on the wall and then snap guidelines along the wall using chalk or baby powder.

There are as many answers as there are people, but the following is a good guidelines to help you make the choice that's right for you.

If you want to know how to decorate with a beach theme, just follow a few basic guidelines .

Remember, these are just guidelines to help you create a seamless table setting.

All medical procedures carry at least a small amount of risk, but with proper use of tools and safety guidelines , permanent cosmetics are a relatively safe practice.The most common problem associated with permanent makeup is infection.

Always follow their specific guidelines .

Here are a few guidelines for selecting perfume gifts.

That brings us to the other disadvantage; there are really no guidelines , save for looking" at the color and making and educated guess, to decide which shade will look best on you.

While the cosmetics world has no official rule-book, some guidelines simply work, as these top 5 gothic eye makeup tips will prove for the dark lords and ladies out there.

These should clearly spell out what the guidelines are regarding malfunctions, computer errors, and most importantly, how to settle disputes.

This is a comprehensive resource for Pokemon players, providing guidelines and help on how to play the newest games online.

In this way, take the following tips as guidelines or a launching point for your photographic adventure.

While it is important to adhere to basic photo-taking guidelines , you shouldn't feel restricted when it comes to trying out new ideas.

Each contestant must meet minimum sanitation guidelines .

Most manuals come with paper weight guidelines .

You may choose to exceed these guidelines with heavier weight cardstock, but it could affect your printer's functioning and warranty.

You can learn the maximum paper size for your printer by reading your owner's manual or examining guidelines on the printer itself.

Adhere to the guidelines at sites where membership is offered to remain in good standing.

Following these guidelines will help you answer the question, "How do you adjust snow ski bindings?"

If you feel confident, follow these guidelines .

Using your marks as guidelines , drill halfway through your skis.

Here are some guidelines for binding mounts for terrain park skis.

Although, there are some basic guidelines for being a good partner you should keep in mind, based in the roots of strong relationships.

With the guidelines for your body type in mind, choose a simple shift dress in a neutral shade.

Safe chat for teens is easy to accomplish by keeping a few simple guidelines in mind when you log on.

Teen magazines should in no way dictate your personal style, but they'll serve as some great guidelines to what's "in" this season.

However, there are some guidelines most parents can follow without meeting total disaster.

Talk to your parents and establish some guidelines (calmly) so you all manage expectations about balancing time with family, time with friends, and time for yourself.

If the children are too much and will not cooperate with your rules or guidelines set up by their parents, then maybe the parents should recruit another sitter.

A modest prom gown is appropriate for a school that has strict dress code guidelines , while a modest formal dress is suitable for formal church events such as weddings.

California Department of Education - Learn the basics about the California educational system, including testing guidelines and a directory of schools with contact information for each.

Create a list of guidelines including length of speeches.

These guidelines can help ensure that a respectable graduation ceremony will take place.

Unlike traditional public schools, most Catholic school has very strict guidelines for behavior.

Even though formal etiquette rules are not as important as they used to be, for the important moments in life, such as graduation gifts, you do want to know and follow some gift giving guidelines .

As long as you are thoughtful and mindful of the graduate during this exciting time, you'll be following the guidelines for graduation gift etiquette.

Your parents might also set guidelines for you that you should follow to stay safe while using the computer, whether it is at home, work, or at school.

If you follow these guidelines , you should be safe while using the Internet.

In addition to overseeing competitions within academic, fine arts and sports, the MHSAA also has some guidelines for who is eligible to play sports.

Dietary guidelines define one serving of grain as one ounce or the equivalent of one ounce.

They also have etiquette guidelines and tons of inspiration ideas.

There are those who wonder whether or not such registries fall within the guidelines of proper wedding registry etiquette.

Keep in mind that each state which recognizes common law marriages has specific guidelines for designating the union as a legal marriage.

Giving some guidelines for the style, such as asking each attendant to wear matching hair pins, is fine, but being flexible will keep attendants smiling.

Many organized religions have strict guidelines as to the wedding vows that can be used, but if you're getting married in your backyard, on the beach, or in any kind of civil ceremony, you're likely to have a lot more leeway with your vows.

Women who are not able to find a boutique that offers gowns that adhere to the guidelines set forth by the LDS church can find help through online retailers like A Dressy Occasion and more.

More information regarding each temple's particular bridal party attire guidelines for the marriage and/or sealing ceremony can be obtained when you make appointments to discuss the church's wedding requirements with your church officiant.

The shopping list should follow some guidelines , but it is important to keep things personal.

By following a few simple guidelines , however, guests can ease their fear over writing the perfect verse and offer warm words of congratulations to the couple.

Follow these guidelines to ensure your wedding is flawless.

Just because the weather is changing is September does not excuse you from following guidelines regarding formal and informal dress at a wedding.

Of course, if you are attending a theme wedding, like a Halloween wedding or country western wedding, and the couple requests you dress in certain outfits, you can ignore the guidelines above.

Simple follow a few simple guidelines and you will not only say "I do" without a hitch, but also have cash leftover to enjoy your honeymoon.

There are some useful guidelines to follow when cutting a wedding cake, but there are no strict rules.

First, consultants will expect you to work with them and stick to the guidelines created at the initial meeting.

The best drug rehab programs use this philosophy in developing treatment guidelines .

Guidelines for drug testing are regulated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, formerly under the direction of the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

If it still sounds good you can check out the study guidelines and most importantly the inclusion/exclusion criteria.

Those with significant addictions use the chewing tobacco against its guidelines and retain the tobacco in their mouths overnight, along with neglecting to spit the juices of the product out.

Often, dependency occurs when users don't follow prescription guidelines , either by taking more than the recommended doses or taking the drug for longer than was originally intended.

It's easy, thanks to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines that state the fiber content of each product must be fully disclosed on the packaging.

Since not all instructions are similar, it's best to follow the usage guidelines coming directly from the company that made your pan.

Use the instructions that came with the pan for guidelines on how much batter to use and how to care for the pan.

Follow these guidelines to ensure your unbeatable bargain is really worth the money spent.

Some websites like Pure Modesty have developed an entire page of guidelines to help define modesty in today's western culture.

Follow a few simple guidelines to get the most out of your leather jacket purchase.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has developed a set of safety guidelines that parents should review before purchasing sleepwear for their children.

Some people prefer skirt lengths to be closer to the floor, and some desire the length of sleeves to hit the elbow, but, on the whole, modesty usually falls within these guidelines .

Shopping in stores for modest apparel will be as simple as adhering to the aforementioned guidelines .

By keeping these guidelines in mind, you should be able to select a decent dress for the occasion.

While actual garment measurements vary depending on styles and manufacturers, there are some general industry guidelines .

On StudentsReview, one student noted that not all of the classes lived up to expectations, and that even after many complaints, the professor was not made to stick to guidelines .

Federal student loans will be offered those who complete the FAFSA and meet the necessary guidelines .

Federally approved guidelines are in place and these grants go to students in need, based on the college of their choice.

When the time comes to apply, you should visit the website of the graduate school you are most interested in attending and review its admission guidelines .

Public grants, offered through education agencies, have specific application guidelines .

Discuss these guidelines with your high school guidance counselor or college financial aid representative to determine what you need to do to successfully complete your application.

There are also numerous resources to help students learn about laws and guidelines set forth by the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the Department of Justice, ASIS and more.

Each university may have specific requirements based on the program, and you should consult with the admission guidelines of the university you are considering attending.

Programs for public law officers and state or local government employees vary by state, so check with your employer for specific guidelines .

The key to boarding a cruise ship efficiently is to be prepared to follow instructions, read posted guidelines , and be patient at the cruise port.

Individuals seeking Disney Cruise Line jobs need to be willing to adhere to the strict personal appearance guidelines the company dictates.

The manufacturer offers the following guidelines .

Use the following guidelines and your vet's own advice to prepare home cooked meals your dog will thrive on.

They also set other guidelines to suit each individual dog's needs.

You have to depend on the manufacturer's label for the most part, but here are some additional guidelines to help you make your selections.

The sources of protein used to meet AAFCO's minimal guidelines are also typically of lesser quality and therefore less digestible.

By following the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) guidelines for the food pyramid, Innova creates a healthy, balanced food that is full of flavor.

They want to be sure that the foods that they buy are not going to make their dog or cat sick.Innova has high quality manufacturing guidelines that rival the requirements for foods created for human consumption.

The club provides guidelines for treatment of the dog to help them in the transitioning of the dog into its new home and with its new owner.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) developed pet food sale and labeling guidelines .

Dog food labels also include feeding instructions to provide general guidelines for pets based upon life stage and weight.

Following a few simple guidelines should help insure your puppy grows into a healthy and happy dog.

Pet food labels are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and many states have also adopted the label guidelines of the Association of Animal Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

As with all design choices, your individual preferences are your best guidelines .

By following the guidelines in this article you can have a nearly year round garden and enjoy fresh produce on your table.

Always read and follow label guidelines when using any products in the garden.

Follow a few simple guidelines and you will be on your way to becoming a butterfly haven.

Remember, these are only general guidelines on how to build a deck.

Here are some guidelines for speaker placement for an average "out of the box" home theater speaker system.

No matter who you turn to for information, there are some important guidelines to keep in mind.

In industries where safety is an issue, there are stringent regulations and guidelines that impact where, how, and what products can be used.

Using these guidelines to help make your selection and using a manufacturer whose name you trust will insure that the tile you choose will survive for the life of your home.

The decorating police have established guidelines for the placement of chandeliers over dining tables.

Most zoning laws have guidelines indicating that sheds be located a specific limited distance from property lines.

Contact your zoning commission to get the specific guidelines for your area, or speak to a contractor.

If you are installing your shower wall tiles yourself, follow these guidelines to ensure a quick and painless installation.

Rinnai offers a number of tankless water heaters that meet or exceed the strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.

Failure to follow these guidelines will make even the best quality paint fail to bond with your home.

Ready-to-build designs are printable, and give you the step-by-step guidelines you'll need to build your new deck.

Once you've finished the safety guidelines above, the actual repairs usually require nothing more than a standard screwdriver, wire strippers and sometimes a pair of heavy duty needle nose pliers.

There are a few guidelines , however, that will help create a winter look that is both stylish and practical.

If you decide to use a company for the merchandise, you must follow their guidelines and use their catalog and pricing.

Business casual dress codes differ from company to company, but there are some general guidelines that can help you decide what to wear.

Coupling these guidelines with your company's particular corporate culture will help you avoid any career-derailing inappropriate business attire.

While there aren't many variations, fashion experts want men to understand that the rules of black tie attire are basic guidelines that allow men to choose their style.

While this code may vary depending upon region and a company's personal preference, there are general guidelines most businesses follow.

By following simple guidelines directed toward your particular shape, you'll look good at work, on a date, at a party and anywhere else you want to be stylish.

Closeout denim shorts often manufactured abroad for major retailers conform to some strict quality guidelines .

Here are a few guidelines that will cover most situations.

If you're going for a European vibe, then follow their general style guidelines and select a top that fits you well.

Consider special guidelines for heavier men, if that describes you.

Be sure to check with the manufacturer's sizing guidelines before ordering a pair since they can vary from one to another.

Following the guidelines of fashion, you can acquire the individual pieces suited to your own taste.

By following these guidelines , you reap the greatest benefit from your investment.

Review the FDA's guidelines for pet food labeling in order to make better choices for your pets.

Manufacturers still have to adhere to strict guidelines of safe production, especially in order to label something organic, so you can try the tea without too much concern.

They also have some very helpful feeding guidelines for you to check out.

Organic cotton grown in the U.S. is cultivated to meet United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines designed to protect the soil, air, and water and produce cotton that is pesticide free.

Including an organic designation on a cosmetic or skin care product indicates that one of a number of regulating boards evaluated an ingredient or ingredients in the preparation and is confident that they meet a list of minimum guidelines .

There are some specific guidelines that must be met to qualify for the organic certification of agricultural farms.

The NOP uses a network of independent organizations to evaluate and inspect agricultural producers, like farmers, according to strict guidelines .

Because organic cotton is produced with strict guidelines , organic cotton can often have a higher price tag than synthetic cottons where the use of toxins is permitted.

With these guidelines in place, you have an assurance that the organically produced products you buy are wholesome for your family to eat, wear or use.

By understanding organic labeling, you can choose goods that are produced using Department of Agriculture guidelines in a number of purity categories and at a variety of price points.

If a product carries the U.S.D.A. Certified Organic label, that means that the product adheres to the guidelines set out in the National Organic Program.

However, if the product does not carry the U.S.D.A. Certified Organic label, then the product does not adhere to the National Organic Program guidelines .

Of course, there are some guidelines to the terms organic and natural.

To help clear out the confusion a bit, here are some quick and easy to remember guidelines for the terms organic and natural as they pertain to cleaning products.

Of course, there are a few companies that do not have strict guidelines and are simply trying to profit of people's desires to be more environmentally friendly.

As long as you are using the organic methods, the plant will be organic.Follow your area's guidelines for when to plant your seeds or seedlings.

The certification process of third party requirements must follow the guidelines set forth by the USDA.

The guidelines include a list of approved materials for organic products.

Mattresses manufactures are bound by federal guidelines to include fire resistance materials in their products.

Wines made with organically grown grapes are wines that must follow organic guidelines during the growing process.

The National Organic Program provides specific guidelines for the production and labeling of organic foods.

In order for manufacturers to use this label, they must follow precise guidelines .

Further classification specifies organic ingredients and labeling guidelines .

Certified organic fibers must be grown and processed under very specific guidelines set out by the United States Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program (NOP).

Additionally, certain guidelines govern animal testing and labor requirements.

With the correct fit and by following these simple guidelines , you can fully embrace this trend and look fashionable and fabulous.

Thanks to these strict guidelines , the earth becomes healthier and people who suffer from allergies or experience chemical sensitivity can benefit from purchasing organic clothing.

Does the skirt have to meet professional guidelines or requirements?

Whether you choose a floor length bridal gown with or without a formal train, a long wedding dress or a shorter style, the following guidelines will help full figured women find the style that is perfect for their body.

You should stick to a few guidelines for the most flattering look and fit, especially if your aim is to look sexy, not tacky.

In general, the following guidelines apply.

It's best to stick with these guidelines for the most fashionable look.

When shopping for plus size dresses that ship to Canada, there are a few guidelines to follow to make sure you are not disappointed when your dress arrives in the mail.

While there are some guidelines for the most flattering clothes, it's ultimately about what makes you feel your most elegant.

Keep in mind that there are no standardized guidelines for measurements in the garment industry so you may notice a discrepancy in the fit between different brand labels.

Help these parents by giving them some guidelines or topics to discuss.

Teachers who take advantage of activities, guidelines , posters, reviews, and other tools to ensure safety are helping students learn in an effective and minimal risk environment.

Following the general safety guidelines for classroom behavior is very important in preventing accidents in a science classroom where special equipment and materials are often kept.

In addition to general safety guidelines , there are many safety rules that are specific to science classrooms and laboratories.

Following guidelines for food safety helps prevent foodborne illness and disease, making your food much safer to eat.

When you think about the guidelines for food safety, you may not realize just how important they are for keeping you and your loved ones healthy.

Being aware of the guidelines for proper food handling, preparation and storage is more important than ever, as the incidences of foodborne diseases, illnesses and infections continue to rise.

Yet there are still many individuals that do not follow even these general guidelines all the time.

Even if they are aware of the safety guidelines regarding food, they do not believe anything could happen to them.

The following are general food safety guidelines that you should follow to reduce your chances of contracting a foodborne illness.

If your meat thermometer does not have temperature guidelines , visit What's Cooking America for an online temperature cooking chart.

There are many additional guidelines concerning safely handling, preparing and storing various kinds of foods.

The following websites include both general guidelines and safety guidelines regarding specific food safety issues such as properly freezing foods, how long food can safety remain refrigerated or how to safely cook an egg.

Food Safety covers many food safety issues and includes many guidelines for proper food safety.

The website also includes guidelines for safely thawing frozen meat, meat cooking guidelines and a cold storage food chart.

Being aware of food safety guidelines and following them are important steps to staying healthy.

Following are basic guidelines to keep your kitchen and its' contents clean.

Having clear guidelines and the support of management when dealing with customer service concerns can help to lower the psychological strain these types of jobs can place on workers.

According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, people aged 50 and over should be especially careful to consume foods rich in vitamin B12 as well as reducing sodium intake to 1500 mg per day.

Others have similar community covenants and restrictions as many suburban housing developments, such as guidelines on lawn care, vehicle parking, pets and more.

Before you pack, it's always recommended to consult the Transportation Security Administration website for updated requirements and guidelines .

Members can post additional pictures, construct polls to prompt discussion and generally talk about anything they like, within respectable guidelines .

A law firm can take charge of ensuring that investments are made in a manner which is compliant with the applicable legal guidelines .

These programs are developed in accordance with the Alzheimer's Association's standards, "The Guidelines for Dignity".

It's imperative that those under the age of 55 pay close attention to the resulting legislation, guidelines , advancements, and challenges, because each subsequent generation suffers or benefits from the previous action.

Research insurance options in order to supplement Medicare currently allowable under the revised guidelines .

Make sure to eat at least three meals a day and follow the nutritional guidelines your doctor has put in place for you.

For senior citizens to qualify for low income subsidized housing they must be 62 years old or older and prove that their income falls into the required guidelines .

Each year seniors must verify their income meets their area's subsidized housing guidelines .

The senior's income must fall into the federal guidelines of being 50 percent or less of the specific area's medium income.

Before joining a chat room, be sure to read the organization's guidelines .

Some guidelines can help you decide when to buy a replacement CPAP mask.

Following are guidelines from Medicare and from CPAP that can serve as a general guideline.

While you may be able to find companies that sell CPAP masks without prescriptions, it is important to follow FDA guidelines .

See the Practice Parameters of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine for more detailed information about the treatment of snoring and for guidelines for using oral devices to treat obstructive sleep apnea.

There are some countries, such as the United States, that have rules and guidelines regarding the sale of contact lenses.

If you like to make things for yourself, you can follow the guidelines given by those who have already made some.

This means that you have to follow certain guidelines when you use Clear Care, but it also means that your contacts are truly disinfected.

Follow the specific contact lens cleaning and storage guidelines from your eye care professional and the solution manufacturer.

Be sure to take the fit guidelines listed above into consideration to ensure a comfortable and flattering fit.

No matter what the season or the latest fashion, you can usually count on Chanel to deliver a certain timelessness within the guidelines of the season.

These can be worn at any time as long as you follow the guidelines regarding length of wear.

While you may be able to use the color/shape guidelines to pick your own perfect pair, you might be in need of a few more nudges in the right direction when it comes to choosing a pair for your significant other.

In fact, if a contact lens provider does not require a prescription-even for plano lenses-they are not abiding by FDA guidelines .

There are a few guidelines to follow, however, that all boil down to proportion.

Each retailer may have specific guidelines regarding repairs to their eyewear.

The retailer you purchased the glasses from will be able to let you know if your glasses are within warranty guidelines as well as how to have your glasses repaired.

Interested guests should note that height requirements vary on different slides; observe all posted safety regulations and guidelines to ensure a happy and risk-free visit.

Park guests should always follow all rider safety guidelines , including securing loose objects or leaving them with a non-rider.

Always investigate offers carefully to be sure they are legitimate, and check any expiration or blackout dates, restrictions, purchase requirements, and other guidelines to ensure it is the best possible deal.

Read all safety guidelines for the water park attractions, including height requirements and other restrictions so there are no surprises while visiting.

Obey all water slide height restrictions and riding guidelines to avoid any water slide oops.

For this reason, it is best to set some guidelines before you begin to surf around for your dream vacation.

The website also has information on all the rides, including ride safety guidelines and height requirements.

The following video game console reviews are meant to provide some basic guidelines , but the ultimate decision is of course up to you, the consumer.

The guidelines are similar to the MPAA system for rating movies in the United States.

When you aim your shot, you'll get two separate guidelines coming off of the ball that you're aiming at.

However, if you're too far away (more than half the table away), the guidelines won't appear.

Certain guidelines can help you enhance your enjoyment of both.

That being said, here are a few guidelines to help you ake selections to enhance your enjoyment of both.

Sommeliers and chefs use the above guidelines when they select wine and food combinations.

Even if you plan to drink a bottle of wine soon, following some basic guidelines may help you preserve its quality.

While not all wines produced outside of Europe follow EU guidelines in winemaking, any winemaker outside of Europe who labels a wine with a Brut designation must conform to EU guidelines .

These wines don't follow the strict guidelines of the DOC and DOCG laws, but are still excellent quality.

The retailer's website will offer guidelines if you are unsure.

However, the prices are guidelines , and not always the actual price or value you will find for an item you are selling or buying.

For more information about the proper storage of your treasured books, see the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works guidelines for proper care and storage.

Although not everyone will always agree, there are collectible book condition guidelines that can help you accurately describe the condition of your book.

Whether you are going on a relaxing one day hike, or a grueling five day mountain climb, following the guidelines above will ensure that you are fully prepared to meet every challenge that you'll encounter on the trail.

Just be sure you use these numbers as guidelines , instead of assuming they are set in stone.

There are, however, a few general guidelines that you may want to consider.

A physical therapist can instruct the patient on proper posture guidelines to maintain proper alignment of the hips and back.

Physical and occupational therapists can provide guidelines on how to adapt the child's home and school environments to ensure safety and comfort.

Dietary guidelines are individualized, based on the child's age, diagnosis, overall health, and level of functioning.

Fructose intolerance can be a life-threatening condition if strict dietary guidelines are not followed.

In 2004 the American Academy of Pediatrics issued revised guidelines for identifying and managing neonatal jaundice.

These descriptions provide guidelines for both professionals and parents interested in understanding how variations in the parent-child relationship affect the child's development.

They are insecure because they lack guidelines to direct their behavior.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has developed guidelines for age grading of toys and related products.

Most toy manufacturers use these guidelines in labeling toys and games for age-appropriateness.

This standard is voluntary, but the majority of U.S. toy manufacturers comply with its guidelines .

To help answer these questions, Daphne White, founder of the Lion & Lamb Project, published a list of guidelines in the November-December 2004 issue of Mothering magazine.

A physical therapist can instruct the patient on proper posture guidelines .

Physical and occupational therapists can provide guidelines on how to adapt the child's environment to ensure safety and comfort.

Dietary guidelines are individualized, based on the child's age, diagnosis, overall health, severity of disability, and level of functioning.

The child's pediatrician can help provide some guidelines to help the family understand how the child's development may be affected by the illness and treatment.

Treatment is usually very successful if followed with the prevention guidelines to prevent reinfection and doing a retreatment within two weeks after the first.

In 2004, guidelines were proposed by expert physicians for treating primary hyperhidrosis.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Health Care Policy and Research has developed guidelines for pain management.

These guidelines establish a standard of care that should be followed.

Basic guidelines about what kind of speech is normal at what age can be helpful in determining if a child is missing significant speech milestones.

The North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition drafted guidelines for treating children and adolescents with GERD in 2001.

In patients who already have heart disease, the goal is under 100 mg/dL, according to FDA guidelines .

According to youth strength training guidelines , children and adolescents should perform strength training for approximately 20 minutes two or three times weekly on nonconsecutive days.

Given the rarity of ALA dehydratase porphyria, definitive treatment guidelines for this rare type have not been developed.

What are the inclement weather guidelines , especially for lightning storms and extreme heat?

Sound nutritional guidelines include decreasing the intake of fat, increasing fiber, and emphasizing fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, beans and lentils, and whole grains in the diet while avoiding processed foods and sugar.

The Vaccine Injury Table contains guidelines for evaluating whether the injury or death was vaccine-related.

Vaccine Injury Table-The guidelines by which claims to the VICP are evaluated; includes the vaccines, injuries or other conditions, and the allowable time periods for coverage by the VCIP.

Most families provide the babysitter with general guidelines about bedtime, acceptable activity and behavior during the parents' absence, and instructions on who to contact if case of an emergency.

In all, the sitter's job is to keep the children safe and as happy as possible within the guidelines set by the parents.

If an underlying neurological disorder has been identified, dietary guidelines are individualized, based on the child's age, diagnosis, overall health, caloric and energy needs, and level of functioning.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Maryland released clinical guidelines for blood pressure in 2003, lowering the standard normal readings for adults to less than 120 over less than 80.

A pediatrician can calculate a healthy range of body weight for the child, recommend dietary guidelines , and provide activity guidelines to help the child safely and effectively lose weight.

Dietary guidelines are individualized, based on the child's blood pressure levels and specific needs.

The child's doctor should provide specific activity guidelines , including recommendations regarding the child's sports participation.

This involves following the American Dietetic Association (ADA) nutritional guidelines for children, and possibly the addition of a multivitamin if the pediatrician feels it is advisable.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed guidelines for a standard solution taken by mouth and prepared from ingredients readily available at home.

Staffing ratios and qualifications are established in federal guidelines and are checked by local boards or state department.

Flex-time-A system that allows employees to set their own work schedules within guidelines or limits set by the employer.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued guidelines for pediatricians in dealing with gay and bisexual adolescents.

Home canners must be diligent about using sterile equipment and following U.S. Department of Agriculture canning guidelines .

Guidelines for returning to sports activities are based on the severity of the concussion.

The guidelines above are designed to minimize the risk of this syndrome.

Parents should ask the child's doctor for specific guidelines .

These procedures involve surgery, and certain guidelines should be followed before carrying out a procedure with permanent effects.

In 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued revised guidelines for preventing perinatal GBS disease.

The CDC also recommended updated prophylaxis regimens for women with penicillin allergies, as well as other guidelines for patients with threatened preterm deliveries and other recommendations.

The Required Dietary Allowances (RDA) guidelines can help ensure that minerals are being obtained.

People who like to can food at home must be diligent about using sterile equipment and following U.S. Department of Agriculture canning guidelines .

The above guidelines also apply to school age children.

Use insect repellents according to safety guidelines for children.

Following proper treatment guidelines , healthy people under the age of 65 usually suffer no long-term consequences associated with flu infection.

Specific guidelines may include reducing indoor humidity, using allergen-impermeable bedding covers, minimizing the use of carpet and upholstered furniture, and minimizing pet exposure.

The child's doctor can provide specific exercise recommendations and guidelines .

In May 2002, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) included scabies in its updated guidelines for the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Parents should inquire about sibling visitation guidelines .

The health care team will provide specific guidelines and provide all necessary medications during the child's hospital stay.

For children who have been diagnosed with epilepsy, the doctor should give guidelines about when to call.

Devising restrictive guidelines or instructions for an activity reduces its potential as a creative experience.

Most of the websites have sample videos of past participants, as well as guidelines for competing, and you and your teacher can work out together what is the best strategy for you.

There are a few guidelines to follow when picking out the right dance clip art to suit your purpose, but if those are kept in mind, it's as easy as "a-five-six-seven-eight!"

Whether it's online or in person, there are a few guidelines that apply to everything from Argentine Tango to Viennese Waltz.

These general guidelines can help you learn the most common way to dance in a nightclub.

When wanting to find a listing of someone who has died, you will want to follow some guidelines .

You can find this guide, Guidelines to Settling an Estate on our resource page.

The stages are guidelines and not hard and fast rules since everyone experiences grief differently.

Use the information in this interview and other articles as guidelines , but please understand that there's no such thing as 100 percent perfect feng shui.

When practicing the art of feng shui, bed and window placement that follows feng shui guidelines is essential for a restful night's sleep, which allows your body to replenish its universal life energy.

A few simple guidelines can shorten your hunt for this important information.

Before committing to a wild style with funky hair color, however, be sure to check your school's dress code guidelines - many schools don't permit unusual cuts or colors that may be distracting in class.

The same general guidelines apply to many jobs as well.

Emo hair styles are just one way that teenagers express their emotions through individual style that does not necessarily conform to established guidelines .

Simply seeking advice will not improve your hair, but using professionals' recommendations and following their guidelines precisely will help improve your hair's health, let you craft the perfect coif, and keep your style looking fabulous.

Following the recommended guidelines of trimming hair every 6-8 weeks, it is possible to save from $60-$400 or more per year by learning to do the style yourself.

Knowing the genetics behind red versus brunette hair will help you adjust styles to meet your needs, and understanding military guidelines can help you fashion a trendy and practical short style.

For more information on the Pur line including upcoming products and detailed use explanations and guidelines , interested clients can visit the official website,

Different organizations have different requirements and guidelines for donating hair.

Many places have dress code guidelines that may not permit radical hair colors.

If you want an emo haircut, have your stylist follow the basic guidelines of razoring, asymmetry, and volume on top to create a cut that not only makes a statement but flatters your features, too.

These are just general guidelines , however, and your punk, emo, or goth color can be any shade you choose.

Whether recent weight fluctuations or heredity issues contribute to facial plumpness, by following a few basic guidelines , you can learn to choose the best haircuts for fat faces.

Internet homeschool provides parents the opportunity of educating their children at home while following the school's curriculum guidelines .

They may choose Montessori teaching methods but incorporate the Moore Formula's guidelines for service to the community.

The Skilled Migrant Visa is for those who are between the ages of 20 and 55 and meet other immigration requirements like a proficiency in the English language, health requirements, and character guidelines .

When going to Ethiopia to live you will have to follow their guidelines to be a legal Ethiopian resident.

Each country has its own guidelines and requirements for issuing work permits to foreign nationals.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the law that provides guidelines for youth in the workforce.

Company officials developed a set of initial guidelines and policies to use with the projects.

Each state administers the program within the guidelines established by Federal laws.

Some offices have guidelines in place for situations like that.

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Knowing when to capitalize job titles can be tricky: Is it an official title or just describing someone's role? The rules for the capitalization of job titles depend on the order of the words, the use of the words, and whether or not the job title is used as part of the person’s name.

Are you wondering how to write a journal article? If your goal is to get your work published in an academic journal, you’ll need to start by posing an interesting research question and conducting a well-designed research study that is both reliable and valid. Next, you’ll need to present the results in a well-written article. Sharing unique information is what academic article writing is all about.

Grammarly Announces New AI Tool To Improve Your Writing

Grammarly app on iPhone

We're not even a quarter into it yet, and 2023 is already proving to be the year of artificial intelligence. With the biggest players in technology like Microsoft and Google getting in on it , it's only natural that the rest of the digital world follows suit.

Just last week, we heard of Brave's browser and search engine combo getting its own unique AI tool . It doesn't claim to offer deep generative language capabilities that can perform any text-oriented task you throw at it, but it does help supercharge search to offer more relevancy and clarity in its results.

Now, we're being treated to another major announcement of a new AI writing tool by the folks behind Grammarly, a writing aid that helps you tighten up your prose, not to mention the various dottings and crossings we're prone to miss in everyday typing. It's called GrammarlyGO , and its goal is to take the platform well beyond its roots as a souped-up spellchecker.

In a sense, Grammarly already uses a form of artificial intelligence to power its feature set. Its grammar and spell-checking tools need, at the very least, a rudimentary system to understand proper language. And it's been fairly effective at its noted tasks. Ask 10 writers what their favorite tools are, and odds are a majority will swear by Grammarly to keep the quality of their scribing work in check.

GrammarlyGO will offer deeper AI functionality

GrammarlyGO proposes an offering similar to ChatGPT's : it'll take a prompt to compose a new piece of writing and generate an appropriate output within seconds. In addition to creating new drafts from scratch, it can also rewrite existing content, taking into account your personalized preferences for length, tone, and clarity. If you've hit a moment of writer's block, it can also help you ideate and outline new content.

How far it digs into the latter functionality remains to be determined. Unlike ChatGPT, GrammarlyGO doesn't claim to draw on real-time data by internalizing information gleaned from internet sources, so using it as a one-stop research and writing tool may be out of the question. It could be a powerful augmentation when used with other services, however.

It's unclear whether Grammarly leverages third-party technology or if it has developed something in-house. Compared to similar writing tools, it primarily targets the enterprise and academic sectors, with the company heavily advertising business tasks — such as quickly outlining project briefs or responding to emails — as standout use cases.

Business teams can apply for early access to the tool early, though individual subscribers to Grammarly's premium service will get access just as soon as it enters beta, which rolls out in April. Eventually, it'll be freely accessible for those in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Poland, and Ukraine, with more countries to follow soon after.

I help high-school seniors write their college-admission essays. Here are the 4 most common mistakes to avoid.

For high-school seniors, one of the toughest parts of the college-application process is writing the dreaded personal essay.

For eight years, I've been helping students shape their college-entrance essays. I help them home in on ideas that work, and I edit the essays to make sure their stories make sense. Lastly, I work with students themselves to buff and polish the essays until they shine. 

Through my years working with students, I've noticed several common mistakes. Here are the four pitfalls any prospective college student should avoid when writing a personal essay.

Think your idea or topic is original, but everyone is actually writing the same thing

Your personal experience may be unique to you, but it may not make a unique college essay. 

For example, in my area, there is a huge South Asian immigrant population. These kids are first-generation Americans and were brought here as small children or were born right after their parents arrived. These first-generation Americans want to share their stories because these are important, meaningful stories. Unfortunately, though, the idea isn't original. On average, approximately 70% of my students are trying to write on the same topic. 

Similarly, students often think writing about someone else — a role model, for example — will be original. I assure you, it will not. Yes, you have deep respect for your grandmother who raised five children as a single mom, but that's her story , not yours . 

You're writing about an experience that happened when you were in elementary school

I've seen high-school students write about how they learned to be part of a group when they joined a robotics club in third grade. Unfortunately, the admissions counselors don't really care about third grade. They're interested in your current life — as a high schooler. 

You want to write about things that have happened to you recently. Did you just have a big blowout with your friend group that redefined your meaning of friendship? Did you find out that your best friend cheated on a recent chemistry exam? What did you do about it? 

Tell us who you are today — not who you were in elementary or middle school.

You want to focus on your achievements, your SAT scores, or your grades

Showcasing your academic triumphs is what the rest of the application is for. From transcripts to letters of recommendation to a list of your activities, admissions officers will see your accomplishments throughout your application. 

But if you rewrite them in your personal essay, you'll just be repeating yourself, which colleges don't like. Plus, you won't be showing who you really are.

You're not thoroughly proofreading your essay

Reading the essay back to yourself under your breath isn't enough. I want you to first read the essay out loud — one word at a time and slowly. I want you to then read it out loud to yourself again, but this time, read it backward so that you see each word as a separate entity. Finally, I want you to use free spell-check programs, like Grammarly. And then reread it again before hitting the upload button.

With all that said, make sure you're showing who you are in your college essay. Bring yourself to life . Use the power of storytelling; it will get you everywhere.

Do you have a powerful or unique college life story to share with Insider? Please send details to [email protected]

writing to guidelines

Purdue Online Writing Lab College of Liberal Arts

writing to guidelines

General Format

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Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

Note:  This page reflects the latest version of the APA Publication Manual (i.e., APA 7), which released in October 2019. The equivalent resource for the older APA 6 style  can be found here .

Please use the example at the bottom of this page to cite the Purdue OWL in APA.

You can also watch our APA vidcast series on the Purdue OWL YouTube Channel .


General APA Guidelines

Your essay should be typed and double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5" x 11"), with 1" margins on all sides.   Include a page header (also known as the “ running head ”) at the top of every page. For a professional paper, this includes your paper title and the page number. For a student paper, this only includes the page number. To create a page header/running head , insert page numbers flush right. Then type "TITLE OF YOUR PAPER" in the header flush left using all capital letters. The running head is a shortened version of your paper's title and cannot exceed 50 characters including spacing and punctuation.

The 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual requires that the chosen font be accessible (i.e., legible) to all readers and that it be used consistently throughout the paper. It acknowledges that many font choices are legitimate, and it advises writers to check with their publishers, instructors, or institutions for guidance in cases of uncertainty.

While the APA Manual does not specify a single font or set of  fonts for professional writing, it does recommend a few fonts that are widely available. These include sans serif fonts such as 11-point Calibri, 11-point Arial, and 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode as well as serif fonts such as 12-point Times New Roman, 11-point Georgia, 10-point Computer Modern.

Major Paper Sections

Your essay should include four major sections: the Title Page , Abstract , Main Body , and References .

Note: APA 7 provides slightly different directions for formatting the title pages of professional papers (e.g., those intended for scholarly publication) and student papers (e.g., those turned in for credit in a high school or college course).

The title page should contain the title of the paper, the author's name , and the institutional affiliation . A professional paper should also include the author note . A student paper should also include the course number and name , instructor name , and assignment due date .

Type your title in upper and lowercase letters centered in the upper half of the page. The title should be centered and written in boldface. APA recommends that your title be focused and succinct and that it should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose. Your title may take up one or two lines. All text on the title page, and throughout your paper, should be double-spaced.

Beneath the title, type the author's name : first name, middle initial(s), and last name. Do not use titles (Dr.) or degrees (PhD).

Beneath the author's name, type the institutional affiliation , which should indicate the location where the author(s) conducted the research.

A professional paper should include the author note beneath the institutional affiliation, in the bottom half of the title page. This should be divided up into several paragraphs, with any paragraphs that are not relevant omitted. The first paragraph should include the author’s name, the symbol for the ORCID iD, and the URL for the ORCID iD. Any authors who do not have an ORCID iD should be omitted. The second paragraph should show any change in affiliation or any deaths of the authors. The third paragraph should include any disclosures or acknowledgements, such as study registration, open practices and data sharing, disclosure of related reports and conflicts of interest, and acknowledgement of financial support and other assistance. The fourth paragraph should include contact information for the corresponding author.

A student paper should not include an author note.

Note again that page headers/page numbers (described above for professional and student papers) also appear at the top of the title page. In other words, a professional paper's title page will include the title of the paper flush left in all capitals and the page number flush right, while a student paper will only contain the page number flush right.

Student APA title page

This image shows the title page for a student APA seventh edition paper.

Title page for a student paper in APA 7 style.

Professional paper APA title page

This image shows the title page for a professional APA seventh edition paper.

Title page for a professional paper in APA 7 style.

Begin a new page. Your abstract page should already include the page header (described above). On the first line of the abstract page, center and bold the word “Abstract” (no italics, underlining, or quotation marks).

Beginning with the next line, write a concise summary of the key points of your research. (Do not indent.) Your abstract should contain at least your research topic, research questions, participants, methods, results, data analysis, and conclusions. You may also include possible implications of your research and future work you see connected with your findings. Your abstract should be a single paragraph, double-spaced. Your abstract should typically be no more than 250 words.

You may also want to list keywords from your paper in your abstract. To do this, indent as you would if you were starting a new paragraph, type Keywords: (italicized), and then list your keywords. Listing your keywords will help researchers find your work in databases.

Abstracts are common in scholarly journal articles and are not typically required for student papers unless advised by an instructor. If you are unsure whether or not your work requires an abstract, consult your instructor for further guidance.

APA Abstract Page

This image shows the title page for a student APA seventh edition paper.

Abstract page for a student paper in APA 7 style.

Please see our Sample APA Paper resource to see an example of an APA paper. You may also visit our Additional Resources page for more examples of APA papers.

How to Cite the Purdue OWL in APA

Individual resources.

The page template for the new OWL site does not include contributors' names or the page's last edited date. However, select pages  still include this information.

In the absence of contributor/edit date information, treat the page as a source with a group author and use the abbreviation "n.d." for "no date":

Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.).  Title of resource.  Purdue Online Writing Lab. http://Web address for OWL resource

Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.).  General Writing FAQs. Purdue Online Writing Lab.

The generic APA citation for OWL pages, which includes author/edit date information, is this:

Contributors' names. (Last edited date).  Title of resource . Site Name. http://Web address for OWL resource

9 ways content creators are using ChatGPT, from writing hooks for videos to email drafting

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Joseph Arujo says ChatGPT has been a "game changer" for his everyday content creation.

Arujo, who creates fashion and lifestyle content on TikTok, has found a variety of use cases for the artificial intelligence bot — from helping with content ideas, to drafting emails, to writing posts for LinkedIn.

Arujo is one of hundreds of millions of users who have tried their hand at using ChatGPT. The app had 100 million unique visitors in January, making it one of the fastest growing in history.

Companies in virtually every field have started experimenting with ChatGPT or similar products — from media , to health , to marketing .

Creators on TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and more have also been flocking to the chatbot.

"ChatGPT has become an indispensable tool for my content creation process," said Eric Suerez, who has amassed about 4 million followers on TikTok with his challenge videos. "Its ability to spark ideas, enhance creativity, and automate certain tasks has enabled me to create high-quality content." 

Like Arujo and Suerez, almost all of the 12 creators Insider spoke with said ChatGPT had been helpful in providing them with dozens of content ideas they could draw inspiration from and adapt to their style. 

Most of the creators also said the chatbot has helped outsource tasks they normally would have to pay for, like brand outreach or scriptwriting.

Some have even used it to write first drafts of legal agreements, like contracts or NDAs.

"It's very accurate to what I've seen before," said creator Jade Darmawangsa , who used ChatGPT to help with putting together an NDA. She added that she'd still always have her lawyer check an agreement the bot wrote.

But while AI can be a valuable tool to increase productivity, the creators said that they generally would not take the content ChatGPT generates without fact-checking it and adjusting it to their style.

"As an influencer who doesn't have the support of a management team or an assistant, I use ChatGPT daily as I would Grammarly and Google," said micro influencer Tanisha Cherry. For her, it's a "supplementary resource," she said.

There are also functions that ChatGPT is not great at. YouTuber Marina Mogilko said she wouldn't use it to research people — when she tried to ask the bot "who is Marina Mogilko," the information it returned was incorrect.

Here are 9 ways creators say ChatGPT has helped them:

Coming up with ideas for content

Most of the creators Insider spoke with said they use ChatGPT to help with formulating content ideas.

Designer Noah Jennings feeds ChatGPT prompts that revolve around design to help him understand the direction to take his content, such as "List 10 article titles that someone would look for if they were a beginner designer."

"It helps separate out all of your ideas and distinguish things that are really important," he said.

Eric Suerez, who is popular for his man-on-the-street-type challenges in exchange for money, has asked the platform to create challenge ideas for these videos, as well as asking it to come up with rules for the challenges.

Similarly, Benjamin Poli has asked ChatGPT to provide "Five reasons why Apple is better than Android" to get inspired when filming a tech YouTube video.

Drafting email templates

Several creators told Insider they'd asked ChatGPT to draft emails for them, particularly when contacting brands for collaboration.

"You don't have to worry about the tidy work of writing a whole email, you fix up a few sentences and then it's good to go," Arujo said.

Arujo usually includes information about the brand he's contacting in his prompt, so that the text is not generic, but catered to the company.

Cherry said she recently used the platform to edit her outreach emails for Fashion Week events.

"One of the brands responded saying they loved my enthusiasm and would love to have me attend," she said. "It's challenging sometimes when you know what you want to say but don't know how to articulate it, so that response really made my day."

Giving guidance with scriptwriting

"I like ChatGPT because it can act as a creator's writer's assistant – getting them started with video ideas, catchy titles, opening hooks, and even first drafts of scripts," Matt Koval,  SVP of creators at Mighty Networks, previously told Insider.

Cherry has used ChatGPT to help with scripting, asking it to create an outline for a TikTok video about what she spent in New York during Fashion Week.

The chatbot came back with a suggested script for the intro and outro of the video, a breakdown of the expenses category — accommodations, transportation, food/drinks, activities and miscellaneous), and the type of B-roll shots to use. 

Suerez added that he had previously used ChatGPT to support him in writing a script for a pilot episode he pitched to an agency that's working with him to set up a TV show.

Supporting with content research, especially for niche topics

Alasdair Mann has used ChatGPT to help with research of topics he films videos about.

When he was writing a story about engineer Dennis Tito and how he became the first space tourist , he wanted to make the story interesting by mentioning the challenges he faced, but couldn't find helpful information on Google, he said.

He asked ChatGPT, "What do you think was the main challenge Dennis Tito had when he wanted to become the first space tourist?"

The chatbot replied with examples of what Tito's challenges might have been, and Mann was able to supplement the bot's reply with his previous independent research to help with scripting the video.

Helping out with brand research

Micro influencer and UGC creator Salha Aziz said she had used ChatGPT to help with research about brands she works with.

"I'll ask AI which hair brands on the market specialize in curly hair, then a second prompt would be to narrow the research by North American companies, or any that ship to Canada," she said. "Then another prompt, to narrow down to vegan brands, sustainable brands, and so on."

When she finds a brand that she thinks is suitable for her needs as a creator, she reaches out via email and uses the information ChatGPT provided to show she has done her research and knows the brand.

Crafting captions for Instagram posts

Creator and marketer Estella Struck said a big struggle in her content process is coming out with short and effective captions for content. 

To help with this, she asks ChatGPT to draft captions for her. She gives a detailed description of her picture or video, and later edits the response the AI gives.

A prompt she has previously used is, "Write a caption for a video that is making fun of big oil executives using a trending TikTok sound to be posted on Instagram."

Supporting with writing posts for LinkedIn

Arujo has found ChatGPT useful in drafting blog-style text content — like for LinkedIn posts.

"You could just tell it to write a heartfelt story about a topic and how it helped you in this scenario," he said. "And you could just edit it and change certain parts where it's more catered to your experience." 

The editing portion is key to Arujo, who uses ChatGPT's responses more as an outline. 

Putting together drafts of legal agreements

Darmawangsa said ChatGPT has been helpful for her to draft contracts for her work.

She has asked the bot to write mutual NDAs, or a "very basic freelancer agreement" for when she's had to hire people to work with her on a contract basis.

While she always recommends having a lawyer look through the contract before actually using it, she said she has been impressed by how good the chatbot was in providing drafts of legal agreements.

"I have had my lawyer look at it and he was like, 'This is pretty good,'" she said.

Similarly, Mann has asked the chatbot to draft an agreement for a brand partnership following guidelines he gave: "We agreed that I would post a video on my YouTube channel for $10,000. 50% of the payment is upfront, 50% of the payment is after the video is produced. All revisions of the video must happen in the scriptwriting stage. I will retain the intellectual property rights to the content. Please write this contract."

Providing examples of engaging hooks for videos

Mann has also been using the chatbot to write "hooks" for his short-form videos — the introductory sentence that captures the attention of a viewer and persuades them to keep watching.

When using ChatGPT this way, Mann includes in the prompt what his video is about and his current idea for a hook, and asks the bot to provide alternatives.

He then takes the options and combines them or edits them according to his style.

A prompt he's previously used said, "I'm writing a 60-second video script about how we use machine learning to identify deepfakes. The hook should tease the video, be a bit clickbaity, but not give too much away. My hook is currently: 'This is the best way to know if you're looking at a deepfake...' Give me 10 alternatives to the hook."


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