- Word Count: 800 - 1200 words
- Image Usage: Recommended
- Your images must be under one of the following licenses: CC0, CC1, Public Domain, Apache2, or MIT.
- Brand Images and Screenshots of said application can be used if the developer has made such usage public domain.
A top number list is a type of article that ranks a range of things and provides them to the reader in a handy list. The topic choice here is limitless; any number of lists can be made for any number of subjects. However, here are a few things to note that will make your Top List better to read.
- Make sure you understand every item on the list. If you can't explain an item in the list in detail, you should not include it altogether. Don't make lists about things you know nothing about. Do equal amounts of research for each item, whether it be number 1 on your list or 10.
- Do not repeat item categories if possible. For example, if you are writing a Top 10 Video Game Villains article, try not to repeat villains from the same game more than once. Having similar items in the list only adds bloat to the article. Try to pick a diverse set of items which are unique to each other.
- Make your list as compact as possible. The more items you have on your list, the more you are expected to know about each item, and the more difficult it will be to find new and unique items. Optimize your list and be efficient with managing items.
- Try not to make a list that has been done countless times before if you are not going to add something new. If your list is about the same thing and has the same items as a WatchMojo video, no matter how good you are at writing, your list will still be stale and boring. If you really want to write about topics that have been done to death, bring a fresh take into it and expand the range of what is covered instead of reiterating common knowledge.
An article on troubleshooting is recommended to contain the following sections.
- Introduction: Introduce your list by mentioning what it is about. Top Number lists usually don't need lengthy introductions; a quick paragraph about the topic in question and a brief overview of what is covered will be enough for most articles.
- Top Number Content: This will be the meat of the article. Many things to look out for are already mentioned in the previous section. However, the most important thing is maintaining consistency between items in the list. For example, let's say you have an article called "Top 7 Apps for Drawing on an iPad" and written item 7 on the list by giving its name, release date, features, and price. So, to maintain consistency, you must ensure that every other item in the list also contains the name, release date, features, and price. A reader can only make fair comparisons if you provide them with similar data arranged in an easy-to-understand manner.
- Honourable Mentions: If you want to, you can also include a very minimal "honourable mentions" section right before the Top 1 item on the list to cover any items that you did not have enough time or space to add to the list.
- Conclusion: Top Lists usually conclude right after the best candidate on the list is announced, and you should be aware that not all will agree with how you have ranked the items. You can't please everybody, and these lists cannot truly be objective, so write your conclusion in a reconciliatory and understanding manner. You can also ask the readers to leave comments about what they think you missed and to give their own opinions on how they would rank these items.
Headings and Callout Boxes
- All separate products and sections should be under proper Headings and Subheadings that match their context. If you just have 1 set of lists, you should always put each item under an H1 tag for easier navigation.
- Callout boxes should follow the guidelines set by the Tech Writing 103: Technical Difficulties article. In summary, use callout boxes sparingly to provide relevant information during a step without breaking the flow of the article. They are great for Top List articles to give unique information about an item without breaking the item format guide.
After you are done writing your article, don't forget to check it using the guidelines provided by Tech Writing 201: Content Standardization and Fluency. In essence:
- Check your content in the Hemingway App and make sure it scores as low as possible on the readability test.
- Check your content in Grammarly to find grammatical errors and fix the ones you think are relevant.
- Check your content for Plagiarism in Grammarly and make sure it does not score more than a 5% plagiarism score.
Finally, submit your article to your editor for publication once everything is done. Top 1 best way to finish an article!
Top Lists Article Template
Below is a template to help you with writing a Top List. You can copy and paste it to your editor of choice and fill it in to help with formatting.
Honourable Mentions (Optional)