How to Decide What to Write About on wikiHow

Two Methods:Deciding What to WriteMaking Your Article Appealing

Do you love to write, but are out of ideas on what to write about? Here are some ways to overcome wikiHow writer's block.

Method 1
Deciding What to Write

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    Think about what problems you have in your life and extra things that appear cool to you. Hey, there are millions of people that probably use this system, and one might just like your topic.
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    Ask yourself, "What are my strengths? What do I have a pretty good knowledge about that I can share? Am I stronger in a specific topic or subject? Am I willing to research and spend time on writing an article?" When you come to an answer to these questions, you may want to quickly jot them down.
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    Make mental notes of problems that other people might share with you and try to solve them. This could take place anywhere (e.g. if the water cooler beside your cubicle is plugged, experiment or look in the guide to see how to fix it and put it on wikiHow).
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    Explore the list of requested topics. These are titles that were specifically requested by someone who visited wikiHow, or that we probably do not have an article about yet.
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    Consider writing about your favorite website or online game. Are you a teen whom loves to play Animal Jam or a gamer whom plays Halo on a regular basis? Are you on social media platforms a lot? Think of topics that people would benefit in learning about.
    • Type in a keyword and press the search button. Or, select a category and browse titles by subject.
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    • To get started, click the "Write" link on the left.
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    • Look carefully at the list of similar existing articles. If any of the titles shown are on the same topic you're writing about, select it and press "Next". If you start an article on a topic we already have on wikiHow, it'll most likely get merged. If your title is unique, though, just click "Next".
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    Import Content Into wikiHow. You can copy a how-to article from elsewhere on the Internet and onto wikiHow if (and only if) you get permission from the copyright holder. There are also some sources that have already given us permission to use their content. Even if you don't get permission to use content on another site, you can use the information you find in writing an article as long as you follow the guidelines in How to Use Research Sources on wikiHow.
    • To find content you might want to try importing, just do an Internet search for "how to" and a topic you're interested in. If you find an article that you'd like to import, try to find the e-mail address of the person who wrote it so you can get permission to copy the page onto wikiHow.
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    Document your life. Writers who've spent a long time on wikiHow often find themselves coming up with article ideas by documenting things they're already doing.
    • Trying a new recipe? Take pictures as you go along and start an article on it. E.g. How to Make Baked Crescent Churros
    • Taking a class? Become more familiar with your course material by teaching it to others on wikiHow. E.g. How to Calculate the Volume of a Triangular Pyramid
    • Hiking a new trail or going on some kind of adventure? Take pictures and provide some tips for the next person who does the same. E.g. How to Hike North Kalaheo Hillside on Oahu, Hawaii, How to Enjoy the Hall of the White Giant Tour at Carlsbad Caverns (US)
    • Going through some kind of hardship? Share the coping and healing process with others. E.g. How to Deal With and Recover From Complete Knee Replacement Surgery
    • Frustrated about something in the world? Try to solve it through education. E.g. How to Practice Airplane Etiquette
    • Choose a topic about your job. Do you know of an efficient technique that would be helpful to others in the same field?
    • Doing anything? Anything at all? No matter how trivial it might seem, it's probably something you can write about on wikiHow. E.g. How to Install a Shower Curtain, How to Peel a Pomelo
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    Rewrite an existing article on a topic you're interested in. Search the site and browse the categories to find pages on topics you're knowledgeable about. If the page is practically useless, be bold and rewrite it! Here are examples of wikiHow writers who've given existing articles a heavy-handed edit:

    • How to Develop Your Photography Skills: before and after (by Lewis)
    • How to Identify and Avoid Predators: before and after (by Foxglove)
    • How to Be Honest: before and after

Method 2
Making Your Article Appealing

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    Think about what you will write, how you will describe it, and the pictures you would want. Also, make sure that your wikiHow won't be tagged as a stub. You need description and depth in your words. Don't just write a sentence, write a paragraph! Knowing you have to write a paragraph, it will really help you get into that article. Using one method can be a bit easier because then you won't be writing the same exact thing 4 times.
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    Add some graphics. This will pull the reader in. Seeing a drawing of an eye on how to draw an eye makes drawing an eye so much easier because you can see the end product. Make sure the pictures match too because you may confuse the reader by putting something off topic. People will often give thought about their efforts throughout the article. Maybe even keep track of how long your taking can help you produce a better article. Most good articles take 30+ minutes. Any less than 20 is probably not very efficient.
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    Adding tips and warnings do help. The tips will show a person how to improve upon the end result or how to make the process run smoother. Warnings inform the reader of things that can go wrong and how the reader can actively avoid them. Something like "may catch fire if in sunlight" would be very helpful. Most viewers will put tips and warnings because it is excess information on the topic. Be careful that the tips and warnings are true. Just because you might have messed up once does not mean that the other person needs to know.

Tips

  • Look for topics that you know about and add your useful tips.
  • Deciding on a topic may take time.
  • Take note of other people's problems and try to solve them. Are you a computer expert?
  • Ask your friends. They know you well and should be able to choose a topic that you enjoy.
  • Choose a similar subject that is unique or specialized. Do you know how to play tennis left-handed?
  • Before answering a request, do a search to make sure wikiHow doesn't already have an article about that topic.
  • Asking friends or family may also help.
  • Write about a topic you love and one that you are passionate about.

Warnings

  • Don't leave the tab open on your browser for too long. You never know, someone could walk by and accidentally delete all of your hard work!
  • When you finally get your article idea, don't get all your hopes up because it may or may not be taken. Search wikiHow for the topic first and also topics very similar to it. If it is taken, think of something like it, just not the same exact thing.

Article Info

Categories: Writing and Editing