Click here to Skip to main content
15,792,870 members
Articles / All Topics

A Word to the Beginning Author

Rate me:
Please Sign up or sign in to vote.
3.42/5 (4 votes)
23 Jun 2009CPOL4 min read 12.7K   4  
An article to offer suggestions

Having trouble writing or posting articles? These articles aim to gather together tips and tricks from authors and mentors to help you write great articles.


If you have ever worked in a high-tech environment, then you might have found that in certain cases, there is a large gap between those at the expert level and those who are at the beginning level trying to working themselves out of that beginners level. More to the point, those at the expert level do not have the time to step a beginner through the process of, say, calibrating an instrument, running a machine, or even writing kernel-level code. This is why the beginner should never take anything personally when it comes to advice or criticism. CodeProject is a web site that offers any driven individual a plethora of information on systems programming, application programming, component development, and any topic related to computer science. This naturally results in a membership comprised of those at the expert level and those at the beginner levels But the beginner’s first-in-rank goal would be to study the article submission wizard and become acquainted with HTML.

The beginner should reference any material taken from an educational source, avoid arrogance, be respectful of those who will review the article, and avoid any sarcastic profanity. Often in writing, the beginner may find that some authors have a way of stating in a paragraph what could have been stated in a sentence. And perhaps, there are certain well-known text-book writers that get paid by the word. It is better, however, to use words like bullets, and avoid writing prose that is turgid and disjointed. For example, consider the following description of reference types and value types:

Reference types store the address of their data, also known as a pointer, on the stack. The actual data that address refers to is stored in an area of memory called the managed heap. The runtime manages the memory used by the heap through a process called garbage collection. Garbage collection recovers memory periodically as needed by disposing of items that are no longer being referenced. On the other hand, value types are variables that contain their directly instead of containing a reference to the data stored elsewhere in memory. Instances of value type are stored in an area of memory called the stack, where the runtime can create, read, update, and remove them quickly with minimal overhead.

The example paragraph above defines not only reference types and value types, but also defines the differences between them. Notice that it did not state: a reference type in one that stores...”. Perhaps value types could have been described as variables that are allocated inline as a sequence of bytes on the thread stack. So what is the point? Well, some readers will understand that topic off the bat, while other readers might not have any concept of them. And admittedly, it is difficult to ascertain what the reader will understand and what she/he won't. But the discrepancy comes from losing focus from wondering what level of knowledge the reader has. Therefore, a good practice is first write a general rough draft. Read it over and read it aloud. Ask yourself, is it choppy and does it jump from subject to subject? Reading that rough draft can remind the writer to start with a general approach and state the purpose of the article. The sections that follow should be written sequentially in accordance with that purpose. Stated loosely, state the purpose in a generality and then break it down into its specific subcomponent parts.

Avoid Complicated Programming Topics If You Are a Beginner

If any beginner has read any of the CodeProject articles on COM, then that beginner will notice that the written material indicates a detailed knowledge of both component object model programming and writing articles in an outlined, orderly, and professional manner. Study their techniques, how they outline, how they begin, and how they conclude. But do not, if you are a beginner, try writing about COM, as it is a complicated programming practice. And finally, always check the HTML to ensure that your header, paragraph, order list, unordered list and image tags are in alignment with pre tags that are used for code blocks. It might appear a little difficult at first, but with a positive attitude your articles will evolve into “works of art”.


  • 23rd June, 2009: Initial post


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

Written By
Software Developer Monroe Community
United States United States
This member has not yet provided a Biography. Assume it's interesting and varied, and probably something to do with programming.

Comments and Discussions

-- There are no messages in this forum --