A how-to or a how to is an informal, often short, description of how to do a specific physical task, think to solve a specific problem, or think about a topic. There are many forms of these, such as video-game walkthroughs, parkour how-to guides, and others.
Characteristics[change | change source]
How-to guides "guide" you through a topic. They include videos, descriptions, and other resources to help the reader understand what the guide is trying to teach. Usually, the guide contains helpful third-party resources. An example of this is wikiHow. However, the topic taught needs to be in layman's terms, or a simple general guide, similar to this project. To meet the requirements for a how to, the creator has to understand the topic better than the reader. For example, if a person is reading a guide on particle physics, the author of the guide does not need to be a astronaut with a Phd in physics, but the author also cannot be a person who just found out about the subject. This is explained better in Mentorship.
Guidance[change | change source]
Some guides are for the field, like the Golden Guides, and others made to help others understand a topic, like a guide on Nuclear Science. The reader cannot observe the reactions but can understand how they happen. How to guides are mostly populated by field guides, like "How to fire a gun properly." and "How to be a helpful Wikipedia contributor". Guides can't start without the "how to" prefix, in the process confusing potential readers and making the title seem like a statement rather than a question-statement hybrid. "Fire a gun properly" sounds like a statement, so people will click away from the guide without actually understanding how, just planning to do what the title said.
Topics[change | change source]
A topic needs to be teachable. A subject cannot be "How to watch a show" because the solution can be easily found. A topic needs to be teachable to a new person who wants to learn more about the subject, and retain its hard-earned difficulty.