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The DigitalOcean Submitted Article Rubric

PostedJune 13, 2014 6.2k views DigitalOcean Articles


DigitalOcean is excited to build out a library of beautifully-written tutorials to cover the spectrum of open source topics that would be helpful to linux server users.

We invited authors to write about their topics of expertise with the DigitalOcean "Get Paid to Write Initiative", and we individually review each article that gets sent in before publication. While we’d love to provide each author with individual feedback on their article, unfortunately, due to time constraints, it’s not always possible.

Instead, we have created a rubric that describes the various criteria that make for a successful article. We aspire that all articles published in the DigitalOcean community should merit a 4 or 5 in every category!

I. Grammar

  1. The article has significant grammar or spelling issues and features a basic or incorrect sentence structure. The author may repeat certain phrases multiple times.
  2. The article has some to many grammar or spelling issues. It is written in a basic or simplistic writing style. There are some stylistic issues in the writing.
  3. The article has very few grammar or spelling issues. The author is able to convey their idea clearly.
  4. The article has no grammar issues.
  5. The grammar of the article is impeccable. The author has a distinctive, engaging writing style.

II. Word Choice

  1. The article has an extremely scarce vocabulary. The words are basic and not descriptive. The article reading experience suffers.
  2. The article has a limited vocabulary. The article does not read well.
  3. The article has an adequate vocabulary.
  4. The article has a varied and interesting word choice. The article is enhanced by the vocabulary.
  5. The article has impeccable word choice.

III. Structure

  1. The article has no structure, no breaks, and no clear logical arrangement of ideas. The article skips required steps and assumes too much of the reader.
  2. The article has a structure that has been misapplied. The article may have also grouped together too many commands and changes in one single step.
  3. The article has a clear order of operations. The article may have sections that are too long or short. The article may provide too much or too little explanation.
  4. The article has a sound structure that makes it clear and easy to read.
  5. The article has impeccable structure that actually makes the article easier to complete.

IV. Length

  1. The article is too short. The article does not provide a lot of explanation about each step, and only grazes the subject it is discussing.
  2. The article is on the shorter side. The article covers too narrow a topic or is highly deficient in explanations.
  3. The article has an adequate length. The article covers the topic presented adequately but without any exceptional depth.
  4. The article has a good length. The article covers its topic in detail and provides additional explanation where helpful.
  5. The article has a great length. The explanations are rich and detailed.

V. Readiness for Publication

  1. The article has many typos and does not look like it was proofread. The article is hard to follow due to all of the errors.
  2. The article has many typos and writing issues. It would take a significant amount of work on the part of an editor to correct the issues for and prepare the article for publication.
  3. The article has very few typos and they are clearly incidental. There may be some issues with the formatting.
  4. The article has no typos and very minor issues with formatting.
  5. The article is ready for publication: it has no typos and has perfect formatting.

VI. Technical Accuracy

  1. The article advocates insecure and incorrect practices. The reasoning for recommendations is not sophisticated. Eg: recommending chmod 777 to clear up a permissions issue.
  2. The article advocates insecure practices. The article’s recommendations are not best practice.
  3. The article advocates reasonably secure practices but does not delve deeply into why it recommends what it does, allowing the reader to follow the recommendations blindly.
  4. The article advocates good practices and facilitates the reader’s understanding of why they are helpful.
  5. The article advocates best practices and is informative and conducive to the reader’s understanding of why the author recommended certain steps.

VII. Ease of Check Completion

  1. The article cannot be completed: there are issues with typos in commands, skipped commands, assumptions made about the reader’s knowledge etc. The issues are so deep that the editor cannot easily correct them.
  2. The article cannot be completed: there are issues with typos in commands. Commands are skipped out of negligence. The issues can be corrected by the editor but they are very numerous.
  3. The article has minimal issues and can be completed during the review. There may be one or two spots where the author missed a dependency. Overall the article is good.
  4. The article can be completed easily with no technical issues. There may be a spot where more explanation is needed.
  5. The article can be completed easily and is ready for publication.


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