Re[2]: tutorials -- establish a format.

Subject: Re[2]: tutorials -- establish a format.
From: Ron D Rhodes <Ron_D_Rhodes -at- MAIL -dot- BANKONE -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 09:17:27 -0500

Dan wrote:

I would appreciate, and other folks on TW-L might appreciate,
additional information that you could provide that distinguishes
between training and tutorials. Even a quick synopsis, with references
to print or Web information, would be useful.


The big difference is that training manuals are designed for
trainer-led classes. Tutorials are usually for self study. But you
already know this.

The way you write each is essentially the same, but tutorials offer
their own list of pros and cons.


You as the writer get the rare opportunity to talk directly to your
readers. There is no trainer acting as the "middle man."

You can use a little more paper and provide a wealth of information
that a training manual cannot provide (most training manuals are
written for a short 4 to 8 hour class).

You have more flexibility with document format and page layout
(provided that you don't have standard in-house styles). However, the
consistency thing still applies.

there are a lot more pros, but I am little pressed for time today.


Since you don't have a trainer to do any classroom hand-holding, your
challenge is to write a manual that can teach a student all by itself,
with no human instruction, no help desk, no FAQ Web page, "no

Your how-to's (steps, procedures, whatever you call them) are even
more crucial. Usually, I end up making them a little longer and
detailed, but not laborious. I still use only one, maybe two,
sentences on each step.

Since, your readers are only looking at the manual (not the trainer),
your writing must stand on its own. Your strengths AND your
weaknesses are out there for everyone to see.


Hope this helps. I don't have access to the Web when I am at work, and
I can't give you any sites of the top of my head. I'm sure that other
people have some great sites. All you have to do is ask.

Bye for now. E. me at home if you want. My address is
rrhodes -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com -dot- My current assignment is ending next week.

Ron, or

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