How to make an effective Tutorial or How-To.
EDIT: I hesitated to post this, but after deleting 3 more threads in the last few days, I believe that it is in the best interest of those wishing to post tutorials and guides to have some sort of guide on making a guide.
As a community we encourage all of our members to post guides and how-to's on using tools in BT. We also encourage member generated scripts, programs or applications, that deal with Penetration Testing. A few tips or tricks will make your post stand out above the crowd or otherwise be taken seriously.
First proper grammar is important. We understand that not everyone is an authority on spelling and grammar, or that English is not your first language. But the more you attempt to clarify what you are posting the better others can understand it.
As such please use a spell check program before making your post. These are available with most modern text editors. They are also included in most (if not all) web browsers.
Spend time reading what you have written before you post it. A better idea is to find someone to help you proof read it. There is nothing gained from being in a hurry to make a tutorial. It might even be better if you save a draft somewhere and then come back after a period of time and look at it again. Not only does it give you the chance to clear your mind, you might even find a better way of presenting something.
Use of a standard font and text size also goes a long way. Using several different fonts or sizes will generally only anger the reader. Use of extravagant color schemes is also a sure fire way to have people not read your work. Using bold text or underlined text will indeed improve the look and help your tutorial stand out. Moderation is the key to using these features.
Use of pictures and or videos should go without saying a long way, in helping the reader to understand what you are presenting. There are several methods of going about this. A simple way to make a picture in BT is to use Ksnapshot, located in the menu tree of Back Track. There are several other methods as well. The same applies to videos, there are several free Open Source and commercial screen capture programs on the internet. I will leave it to the reader to decide which to use.
Use code tags is not only a good idea for code, but commands or information
a user may need to type in a terminal.
The code tag can be done by highlighting the appropriate text
and using the # symbol or [ code ] sample code here [ / code]
Of course without the spaces between the brackets and the word code.
Another thing to bear in mind is that your audience may know very little about penetration testing, or BT.
While we hope that before anyone blindly follows a tutorial they learn what is actually taking place or what a tool or command is doing, many do not. As such the amount of information you include in your guide is important.
You may also be called upon by someone who follows your guide to provide help. If you are unwilling or unable to do this it may be best to either think twice about posting it or stating this in your post.
The last two things to keep in mind is that by posting your material here on this forum you are in essence agreeing to have it read, criticized, and scrutinized by members of the community. As such one should not take these critiques personally. They should be seen as a means of improvement. We are all humans and will make mistakes or may make a simple task complicated, this is a part of learning and growing. So learn and grow from it, if someone shows you those mistakes.
On the other side of the coin however, there is no real need to belittle the efforts of someone, who at least tried to contribute.
With that said, get to making those tutorials and guides. :)