Whether you’re teaching elementary school students or corporate executives, educational booklets have the power to transform minds. But how do you make sure your booklet is as informative and educational as you need it to be?
Understand Your Audience
Arguably the most important aspect of any educational booklet is its ability to target and effectively reach a specific audience. Physics textbooks for graduate students aren’t written with the same language as pop-up books for toddlers, even if they happen to cover some of the same topical ground; that’s because one audience has a much higher level of understanding than the other.
If you want your educational booklet to be effective, you need to know exactly who your audience is and how they’re going to read your work. Is this audience especially informed or competent on this topic? Does this audience prefer to learn in a specific way, such as through visuals? What are the best ways to persuade this audience?
You’ll likely need to do some in-depth market research, or at least conduct a few studies, before drafting your educational booklet for the first time.
Start With the High-Level View
Before delving into the minutiae of your writing, start with a high-level view. What are you trying to teach your audience? What are the big steps you need to take to get there?
It’s important to define the purpose of your booklet, so you can effectively write and design it to achieve this purpose. By the end of this booklet, what should your readers take away? How should they feel about this subject matter?
Break Things Down
Most educational writers find it much easier to teach topics when they break things down. Instead of trying to write an entire booklet on one specific topic, they break the main topic down into three to five subtopics. Then they break those subtopics down into many different individual components.
For example, let’s say you’re writing an educational booklet about how to play guitar for beginners. The components of learning guitar could be learning the anatomy of the guitar, learning proper posture and form, learning the basics of music theory, and learning how to practice properly. Each of these subtopics can be broken down into much smaller components.
Don’t Neglect the Presentation
Choosing a reliable booklet printer and practicing effective quality assurance can practically guarantee that your educational booklet will make a strong first impression.
With better design, better materials, and better quality control, people will be wowed when they first get your hands on your educational booklet and they’ll be more likely to take what you have to say seriously once they read it.
Along similar lines, it’s a good idea to hire a graphic designer or layout specialist who can help you perfect your design.
Include Illustrations and Examples
People often learn more easily when they have illustrations, metaphors, and examples to work with – so make sure you include plenty of them in your work! No matter how good of a writer you are, your writing will likely be elevated by these additions.
This is especially true if your audience happens to be full of visual learners. Children, in particular, typically learn more effectively when there are visual components to their instructional material.
Add Exercises (If Possible)
When teaching certain topics, it pays to guide students through exercises. If this is relevant to your booklet topic, add a section of your booklet to support these exercises. For example, if you’re writing a booklet about how to start a business, you could include a few pages at the end for brainstorming or to guide aspiring entrepreneurs through outlining their first business plan.
Control Your Tone
Tone can be difficult to control while writing, but it’s important to master if you want your educational booklet to be effective. You need to write with an authoritative and direct tone, without being abrasive or condescending.
Show off your expertise and your authority, but never talk down to your audience. This can sometimes be a tough balance to strike.
Run a Test (and Make Additions and Changes)
When you’re happy with the first draft of your educational booklet, run a test with it. Have some people within your target audience give it a read and provide you with feedback. What do they like or dislike about it? Can you make any additions, deletions, or other changes to make this piece better?
With a better, more professionally polished educational booklet in place, you’ll have a much better chance of providing necessary knowledge to your target audience. And as you gain more experience in writing and publishing educational booklets, your results will only increase further.
Keep refining your skills and your approach to continue improving.