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Activist Handbook quality guidelines

Evaluating content quality
4 min read
Last update: Jan 7, 2024

In this guide, we explain how Activist Handbook evaluates the quality of the guides on our website. We also use these same guidelines for external resources. As a writer, you can use these to write better guides.

Why do we have guidelines?

Our quality guidelines help us clearly communicate with our readers what to expect from the guides they are reading. We use these guidelines both to evaluate our own guides, as well as external resources.

How to use these guidelines?

These guidelines are meant to allow you to determine the quality of a guide on Activist Handbook or an external resource. They receive a 1 to 5 score based on the 10 evaluation criteria below.

โš ๏ธ Important:

At Activist Handbook, we publish any guide, regardless of the quality score, as long as they fulfil our topic requirement (it must be a practical how-to guide, as described in our guide on creating a new guide).

In fact, we encourage writers not to go for perfect. It is fine to publish a draft. This lowers the barrier for people to contribute. And it allows people to write together.

Our quality score helps readers understand what to expect from a guide.

Content quality guidelines

๐Ÿ‘‰ Practical guide

  • Answers a "how to..." question

  • Covers a specific topic

  • Actionable: clear step-by-step instructions

โœ… How to write a strategy plan

โŒ Facts about the housing crisis (no how-to question)

โŒ How to solve the climate crisis (too broad)

๐Ÿ˜Œ Easy to read

  • No difficult words (preferably B1 level, use this tool to analyse your text)

  • Short sentences (max 25 words)

  • Uses emoji or other visual elements

โœ… Your vision is your analysis of the root problem and your big ideas on how to make the world a better place.

โŒ Your vision is a comprehensive and insightful perspective that delves into the underlying causes of an issue and proposes innovative solutions to rectify its effects, ultimately aiming to enhance the world's overall well-being.

๐Ÿ”ข Well-structured

  • Title and introduction help the reader understand what the guide is about

  • Uses headings to structure text

๐Ÿ’… Polished

  • Article looks professional

  • No typos or spelling mistakes

  • Proper paragraphs, not just bullet points

๐Ÿ“š In-depth

  • Thorough coverage of the topic

  • Best guide on the topic out there

๐ŸŽ“ Quality sources

  • Links to other high-quality sources relevant to the topic

  • Claims are supported by research

  • Author offers expertise

๐Ÿ’ก Innovative

  • Offers creative new solutions

  • Addresses current challenges

๐ŸŽฌ Diverse media formats

  • Includes videos, images, illustrations, podcasts, quizes, etc. that offer additional value to (a subset of) users

๐ŸŒŽ Marginalised perspective

  • Takes into account local contexts and inclusivity

  • Helps empower marginalised people, or written by marginalised activist

โ™ฟ๏ธ Accessible format

  • Accessible website (e.g. fast loading times, sufficient contrast)

  • Accessible media (e.g. videos include subtitles, alt-text for images, not a PDF)

  • Inclusive language

Allowed on Activist Handbook

Allowed: Original research

Original content is used to mean anything that is published for the first time on Activist Handbook, which therefore does not exist previously anywhere else.

The primary aim of Activist Handbook is to research, collect, categorise and share information useful to activists, by making it available and easy for consultation all in one place. Material that has already been published through publications, toolkits, on other organisationsโ€™ websites etc will therefore be the priority focus of content uploaded on and shared through the Activist Handbookโ€™s website.

However, unlike Wikipedia, Activist Handbook also allows the publication of original research. Why do we do this? Activism is a relatively unexplored area academically: sometimes the best source is you.

Activist Handbook values personal experiences of activists and strives to gradually create a space where activists benefit through a peer-to-peer exchange process.

On Activist Handbook, everyone can share lessons they learned while doing activism. It is a collaborative platform for doing research together.

Be aware that anyone can edit your text: unlike regular academic research, on Activist Handbook you do not publish under your own name. This means that others cannot respond or refer to your work specifically when building upon it. Instead, they edit it directly to improve your text. This requires a certain discipline: you should never remove the perspectives of other authors. Instead, add an additional section that discusses the same topic from a different perspective. The end result reads like a guide as if it is written by a single author (who happens to be unrealistically knowledgeable with a great ability to self-reflect).

Allowed: Writing about yourself

Unlike Wikipedia, for example, we encourage contributors to write about topics they are close to. For example, we believe that people of a particular marginalised identity are the best people to write about making activism accessible for their communities. Also, activists in a particular organisation are the people best placed to write about that organisation.

However, we should also be wary of the effect of being close to a subject we are writing about. For example, members of a particular organisation should be wary of unduly promoting that organisation when writing about them. When youโ€™re writing, ask yourself, would this perspective be controversial in a circle of activists from other progressive organisations? If so, present their perspectives too.

In addition, we encourage you to add a disclaimer to the "improve this page", something in the lines of:

This guide was largely written by people who are a member of XYZ. We encourage others to share their outsider's perspectives.

External resources

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