In this article, we explain how to write good articles for Activist Handbook. We highly recommend you to read this article before the Pizza & Write-a-thon event.
In this article we discuss the following:
- Content organisation
- Choosing a topic
- Using Google Docs
Activist Handbook consists of pages which can be chapters, articles or sub-articles.
Use this to your advantage during Write-a-thon. The topic you write can be very complex and elaborate, but the pages you write them on should not be. We heard from our readers that having sub-pages and links works better than putting every piece of information on a single page.
Depending on the topics you cover, you can create additional pages if you want to get into more detail, or if you want to highlight something for further exploration in the future.
For a more detailed guide on how to structure your article within pages, check out the Content circle guide about page templates.
Choosing a topic
Bad examples 👎
These are examples of unsuitable articles for Activist Handbook:
- 10 things you didn't know about Greta Thunberg: It is unclear how this article helps an activist work more effectively. Nice to read in a magazine, but not useful for Activist Handbook.
- Climate activists are using hand signals to communicate: Using hand signals is not only useful for climate activists. A better title would be ‘How to use hand signals at protests’.
- Extinction Rebellion gets media attention, but fails to diversify: This example mixes different topics, making it hard to find the information you are looking for. It would be better to write one article about ‘how to get media attention’, and another on ‘how to diversify your movement’.
Good examples 👍
For each chapter on our website, here are a few example questions that could each be used as starting points for articles:
- Theory of activism: What is activism? Does activism work? Why do we do activism?
- Organisation: How to make decisions in a large group? How do I recruit volunteers? How do I raise funds? How do I make my organisational structure inclusive to everyone?
- Strategy: What kind of strategies are other movements using? How to create a long term plan for my movement? How do I decide what opponent to target?
- Tactics: What kind of actions fit within my strategy? How to prepare an action? How to evaluate an action?
- Wellbeing: How do I prevent activist burnout? How do I give first aid at protests? How do I create a healthy culture in which everyone feels welcome?
- Communication: How do I formulate my movement's message? How to use inclusive language? How to promote an action? How to use social media effectively? How to livestream an action?
- Digital tools: What app should I use for internal communication? How do I build a website? What tools can I use to manage my projects?
- Rights: What are my legal rights as an activist in my country? Should I talk with the police? How to I register my protest with the authorities? What kind of violence does the police usually use at this type of action?
In this video, we go through each of our chapters, to explain how we have organised our content:
Using Google Docs
Activist Handbook visual editor doesn't support co-writing (yet). So to work together we use Google Docs because of its accessibility and Style features.
When using Google Docs you can divide articles in as many sections as you need in order to make the content well organized. For sections of the articles we use Heading 1.
If there are any items within the section you’d like to explain further you can use Heading 2.
It is very important to use Heading 1, Heading 2 and Normal Text instead of manually formatting the writing. That way, once you copy and paste the text into Activist Handbook Visual Editor, it will appear just like in the Google document.
There might be situations where the page you are creating might be too long if you put all the information in one place. That's where you want to create links to new pages. These can be placed in a bulleted list, something like this:
- Link to the sub article 1
- Link to the sub article 2
- Link to the sub article 3
Inside all the Affinity Group folders You'll find Article Templates we prepared to make all of this easier for you.
- 🔢 Structuring articles: Every article on Activist Handbook follows the same format to help structure the content.
- 🎨 Styling articles: We use headings, quotes and lists to make articles more easily readable.
- 📄 Reference guide: When adding links to external resources, we follow a certain referencing style.