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Knowledge Base

Steps for an Informational Article or Stub

(Modified from Apache and evolt – see Resources)

Write the Overview

State the point of the article in two or three short sentences with virtually no detail.

An overview helps potential readers quickly determine if your article matches their interests or needs.  Make sure to include any critical definitions to help readers evaluate the usefulness of your article. Consider writing the overview last, after you have completed all other sections. If you have trouble with the overview, synthesize your article by answering these questions in two or three sentences: "Who does what to whom (or what), when, where, how, and why?"

Describe your Intended Audience

If your article is targeted at a specific audience, describe it here.

For example, potential readers will have different levels of knowledge about open source. They will also bring different areas of expertise and backgrounds to their knowledge base experience.

State the Purpose

Tell your audience what value they'll get from reading the article.

List any Prerequisites

What do they need to know to understand the meat of the article?

Tell your reader about any required knowledge, configuration, or resources they may need before reading your article. Link to other useful resources on the CATS Knowledge Base or other websites.

Explain the Concept

Using simple language, give the readers a broad-strokes overview of the topic.

Create an outline and fill in the important details. Keep it brief. You can create other articles about robust subtopics or link to existing articles that round out the topic.

Add Examples and Applications

Provide your reader with a few real-world examples of how the knowledge gained from your article could be applied. Reward the reader for successfully completing the article with a few ideas about how it will pay off.

Summarize the Entire Process

Reinforce the main points of your article in a few sentences.

Additional Tips or FAQs

Use this section to pass on any other tips or frequently asked questions. Anticipating the needs of your readers will increase the overall success of your writing effort.


Remember to acknowledge any third-party resources or individuals who contributed to the development of your article. Some readers want to learn more, so consider providing links to more information, resources, or other materials you’ve used to derive your content.

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