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Mageia style guide

Writing for and about Mageia is good fun to do, but there are some things to keep in mind.

Keep it simple

Your work will be translated into many languages, so please keep your language straightforward. Don't use slang or idiom if you can avoid it, because translators might find your writing more difficult to translate.

Use Active language

We write to engage our audience, and to interest them in what we have to communicate. Our users will identify better with writing that includes them, as part of Mageia. Here are some things we can do to help:

Avoid using the Passive Voice

Try to avoid the passive voice. For instance, try to write "Mageia held the top spot in the Distrowatch list in 2012", rather than "The top Distrowatch spot in 2012 was held by Mageia".

Use inclusive language

When we write for our Mageia audience, use "we" as much as you can, where it makes sense. "You" and "us" can create a division between different parts of the Mageia community - which is not what we want!

Be Clear

Before you begin to write, make sure you know exactly what you want to communicate.

Plan your writing

  1. Know what you are writing about. Is it a blog post? Is it a Press Release? What is it about?
  2. Know how you plan to approach the subject. Should it be formal or informal? Does it need to explain pictures and diagrams?
  3. Plan each section: beginning, middle and end.
  4. Write your heading.
  5. Write short points (bullet-points) that will form the body of your article or post Make sure they relate to the heading, and to the subject you are writing about.
  6. The journalist's first-paragraph rule of "who, what, where, when and why" can help you decide what you need to write at the beginning.
  7. Keep to one topic per paragraph.
  8. Ask other team members to comment and proof-read your writing before you publish!

Resources

If you find other resources that can help, please add them!

The BBC has a page on planning your writing.

The European Union Style Guide for Translators is a comprehensive document. It covers a lot more than we need, but because it is aimed at translators - who will translate all our work - it has is some very useful information.