The guidelines ensure quality, guarantee a consistent learning experience on serlo.org and answer questions about the creation and editing of articles.

Of course, it is difficult to take all guidelines into consideration but don't worry, every contribution will be checked by experienced community members who will give you feedback. You are welcome to comment on a video, article or course if you have any questions.

These guidelines are not set in stone and we welcome any ideas or suggestions from you on how to improve them. Please post them as a comment on this page.

Table of contents

  • The Goal of an Article
  • The Structure of an Article
  • The Elements of an Article

The Goal of an Article

The main question that you have to ask yourself as an author is:

”What interests students that don't understand an answer to a problem and visit this article?”

Students check out an article because:

  • they followed a link in the solution to an exercise.
  • they searched for something in the search bar that they didn't understand in school or that they forgot and the search function lead them here.
  • they are not familiar with a certain subject or topic. This happens very rarely.

You should always keep in mind that:

  • Articles are lexicon articles and not a lesson. The step-by-step introduction of a topic or term is covered in a introduction course or video.

  • Articles are supposed to provide relevant terms and techniques quickly and concisely and generally contain everything that is needed to solve exercises in school. They don't need to be structured according to didactic methods or be particularly interesting.

  • Articles, unlike Wikipedia articles, do not cover the historical background or deal with complicated derivations.

The Structure of an Article

Title

Titles are used to structure the content of an article. They should never be used to format or highlight the text arbitrarily.

Length

Generally, the number of topics in an article should not be too high.

Many, short articles about small subject areas ensure that everyone can find the right article with a specific search. These short articles can be linked in the related content.

Once a particular part of a topic becomes too extensive, it should only be explained briefly and then put in a separate article that you link to. It is not always obvious when an articles has become too long and everybody judges this differently. If you are not sure, ask about it in the discussion module below the article before you change it.

Additional topics have been put in seperate articles (e.g. Addition and subtraction of decimal fractions)

The word decimal fractions in the first sentence refers back to the main topic.

The Elements of an Article

Title

Above every article there is a title. Here, the most commonly used name of the topic should by used, if possible as a singular and capitalized.

Summary

The article should start with a short summary. This serves several purposes: On one hand, it should enable students who have already understood the topic to look something up quickly. On the other hand, it prepares a new student for the article and gives him or her a short overview of the topic.

Content

The main article then covers the topic in a way that enables a student without specific prior knowledge to understand it and possibly apply what he or she has learned (within the scope of school requirements).

Articles for Theory and Application

For every technical term in math, there should be an article that defines it. Articles that explain calculations should focus on the explanation and only link to the definition.