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Guidelines for posting and responding to tutorial topics

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Staff member
Feb 24, 2012
Hello everyone,

The staff here at MHB has decided, after some consideration, that it would be beneficial to our site if a few small changes are made in the way tutorial topics are posted and in the way comments/questions regarding these topics are handled.

A tutorial topic should be attempted to the best of the author's ability to be composed with textbook quality writing style, with all points clearly explained and properly formatted using $\LaTeX$. In topics with multiple posts, the flow of information should proceed logically as one point leads naturally to another. Comments and questions can interrupt this flow, although they may be useful to the author and to other readers.

These topics are linked to from other sites, and so give guests an overall impression of our site, and we want to put our best foot forward, so to speak. However, we also want people to be able to ask questions, or offer insights that might improve the tutorial. We have tried to come up with a plan that will allow us to do both.

So what we are asking people to do is as follows:

When writing a tutorial topic:

Please create two topics, one of which will contain the body of information you wish to give, and the other to receive comments and questions pertaining to your tutorial. In the first post of each topic, please include a link to the other topic, so that the two topics are linked together, and allows ease of navigation between the two topics. The commentary topic should have a title which states it is the commentary topic, and to which topic it is linked. For example, if you wish to create a tutorial on Lagrange multipliers, your main topic might be titled Using Lagrange multipliers and your commentary topic could be titled Commentary for "Using Lagrange Multipliers". It need not follow this format exactly, as long as it is clear that the commentary topic is for commentary, and to which topic it is linked. A sub-forum for the commentary topics has been created here:

Commentary threads

When responding to a tutorial topic:

If you are reading one of our tutorials, and you have a question or a comment, follow the link in the first post of that topic to the commentary topic and post your reply there. You should include the post number in the main topic to which your question or comment refers, as well as the statement or point you are addressing, for easy reference.

We feel this setup will allow the tutorial topics to look their best, while also allowing questions to be asked and information suggested, which is then up to the discretion of the author to use or not in their main topic.

We will be changing the existing tutorials to follow this format, although for existing topics, it will appear that the first person in the topic to have made a reply other than the author will be the author of the commentary topic. A link to the main topic will be added to this first post, and a link to the commentary topic will be added to the first post of the main tutorial.

Lastly, we wish to extend our gratitude to everyone who has taken the time to create a tutorial topic or added information to one of these topics, as they increase the knowledge base and quality of our site.

MHB Staff.
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