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LinkedIn Learning

Technical Writing: Quick Start Guides

via LinkedIn Learning


Learn a step-by-step process for writing a quickstart guide to accompany a product or software.

A quickstart guide is a short, getting-started document that usually accompanies a product or software. In this course, writing instructor Leslie O'Flahavan explains the components, best writing practices, and overall strategy for creating a quickstart guide that helps readers easily find answers to their questions. Leslie shares how to base your quickstart guide on your user manual or develop your guide by using customer feedback. She also discusses how to clearly identify the overall purpose of your guide, write clear headings, and use plain language. To wrap up, she covers methods for getting feedback from subject matter experts and users to ensure that your guide is both accurate and useful.


  • Welcome
1. Components of a Quickstart Guide
  • Know what you want the guide to accomplish
  • List steps: Sequence or separate tasks?
  • Incorporate visuals into your quickstart guide
2. How to Develop Your Quickstart Guide
  • Base your quickstart guide on your user manual
  • Base your quickstart guide on input from users
3. Best Writing Practices for a Quickstart Guide
  • Address your user directly
  • Identify the overall purpose of the guide by explaining the outcome
  • Write clear headings
  • Begin each step with a verb
  • Provide context or notes before steps, not within them
  • Use plain language
  • Use consistent formatting
  • Challenge: Revise a quickstart guide
  • Solution: Revise a quickstart guide
4. Check Your Quickstart Guide for Accuracy and Usefulness
  • Ask a subject matter expert to review your quickstart guide
  • Ask users to review your quickstart guide
  • Next steps

Taught by

Leslie O'Flahavan

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