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Content elements

Updated on January 21, 2021

Answer the following questions to provide meaningful editor review feedback on specific fields and elements of technical documentation content.


  • Is the title appropriate for the type of content? Does the title start with the correct type of word:
    • Gerund for a task topic, Community tutorial, or procedure
    • Noun or noun phrase for a concept or reference topic
    • Noun or noun clause for a release note
    • Imperative for a What's New article
  • Is the title concise, accurate, and not too long? (Best practice is not to wrap to a second line.)
  • Does the title follow sentence-style capitalization?
  • If the content describes how to do a task, is the title user-oriented instead of product-oriented?
  • Are trademark symbols excluded from the title?
For example: For example:
  • Correct: Changing user profiles
  • Incorrect: Using the User Profile dialog box

Short descriptions

  • Is the short description brief (two to three sentences; about 50 words)?
  • For task information, does the short description state the purpose of the task and the benefit to the user? For conceptual or reference information, does the short description provide a context that helps users to understand the purpose and benefit of the topic content?
  • Does the short description end with a period and not a colon?
  • Does the short description include only text; no notes, bullets, tables, or figures?
For more information, see Short descriptions.
For example: For example:
  • You can configure a case type to skip the create view when you create a case. You can override the create view to speed up or simplify case creation.
  • You can display the data in a report definition by using a map, if the data supports this kind of visualization. For example, map charts are useful for reports on sales by region, activity by state, and incidents by county.
  • Use Pulse to communicate and collaborate with other users by sharing messages and files, tagging content, and referencing users. You can use Pulse in various contexts, such as within a case or as a conversation in your user profile.


  • Do prerequisites start with an imperative verb?
  • For a set of prerequisites, are the prerequisite steps included in a list that is followed by an introductory sentence?
  • Do prerequisites provide links to tasks that describe how to complete them?


  • Does the content flow logically from title to short description to main body of the help topic or article?
  • Is there no mixed content of different types, for example, steps buried in conceptual descriptions?
  • Have the correct heading levels been used?
  • For longer articles and help topics, have headings or section headings been used to structure the content?
  • Are any sentences too long? (~25 words maximum)

Steps in tasks

  • Remember to orient the user in the first step; provide information about the starting point. Do not assume that users read every topic in sequential order.
    • Correct: In the Source list, click Data Transform.
    • Incorrect: Click Data Transform in the Source list.
  • Is each step really a step, that is, does the step correspond to a user action and not to a user interface action?
    • Incorrect: 8. The Apply to (class) field and Add to ruleset field are filled out automatically.
  • Are optional steps formatted correctly?
    • Correct: 5. Optional: To exclude a case type from the import process, clear the check box next to the case type.
    • Incorrect: 5. Optionally, clear the check box next to a case type to exclude it from the import process.


  • Are list items parallel?
    • If one item begins with a verb or noun, all items must begin with a verb or noun.
  • Is the first word in each bullet capitalized?
  • Are numbers used only for information that must be read or followed in a sequence?
  • Does the list have an introductory sentence that ends with a colon?
  • Is the correct punctuation used? Use a period at the end of list items in the following cases:
    • When at least one bullet item is a complete sentence
    • When the bullets are a mix of sentence fragments and complete sentences
    • When the bullets complete the introductory sentence


  • Is the table easy to understand?
  • Is the formatting uncomplicated?
  • Does the table have an introductory sentence that ends with a colon?
  • Do the column headings use sentence-style capitalization?


  • Does the text before the figure describe the purpose of the figure?
  • Does the figure have a caption?
  • Is the figure caption a short noun phrase?
  • Does the figure have alt text? (both DITA and Community content)
  • Is the text in the figure legible?
  • Does the figure show only completed fields and selected options?
  • Is the text in the figure free from typos and outdated product names?
  • Are names of real people or companies blurred in the figure?
  • Does the figure show the UI without cutting through its elements or text?
  • Is there no excessive blank space or unnecessary parts of the UI visible in the figure?
  • Are the figures consistent in size?


  • Are cross-references formatted correctly and consistently?
    • For more information, see…
    • For more information about xyz, see…
    • To obtain a hotfix catalog, contact Global Client Support.
    • To define more fields, repeat steps 5 through 8.
    • For more information about EAR deployment and polling, see the Pega Community article Using MQ and JMS Services with Enterprise Application deployment.
  • In cross-references, is about used instead of on? (Microsoft Style)
  • Are there only general references to third-party documentation?
For example: For example: For information about the EFormUtils API, see the PublicAPI Javadoc documentation.


  • In help topics, are inline links used sparingly, usually only to a related or prerequisite task?
  • In help topics, are the related links limited to the most closely related information? Do the links number more than 5 or 6?
  • For all content, do the links work? Is there any duplication between inline links and related content links?
  • Does the topic or article provide related information links at the bottom of the page?
  • Are there no links to external documentation?

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