Writing Clinic #5: Tom Roelandts’ Post

By Ali Luke

Welcome back to Writing Clinic! If this is the first Writing Clinic post you’ve read, here’s a quick reminder of how it works.

I take a look at a blogger’s post (published or unpublished) and explain what’s working well and what might need some tweaking. The posts can be on any subject, and we’ve had quite a range so far.

If you’d like to submit a post,there are guidelines and instructions here.

 

Today’s post is by Tom Roelandts and it’s titled Do Not Ignore the ASTRA Toolbox!

ASTRA-toolbox

Tom’s blog is pretty technical (covering topics like photography, mathematics, and tomography). The fundamentals of a great blog post, though, remain unchanged.

Here’s what I thought:

What’s Working Well

#1: The Writing Style

Tom’s writing is confident and clear. It’s clear his blog is aimed at a specialist, advanced audience, and he doesn’t shy away from using technical language — but he still manages to write in a friendly, approachable why.

#2: The Post Structure

While I don’t understand a fair bit of the post, it’s at least easy to know where I am within in! Tom has a clear introduction, an explanation of what the ASTRA toolbox is, and then a couple of subheadings that divide up the post. He links to further information on tomography at the end.

#3: The Formatting

It’s always great to see images, blockquotes, subheadings, links and italics being used well — and Tom has all of these elements here. It’s particularly great to have the code section (under “Python Wrapper”) given so clearly, as I often see code being rendered badly on blogs.

What Tom Might Change

#1: Small Text Tweaks

I have a couple of small suggested tweaks:

In the introduction, cut this sentence slightly:

Original: Well, actually, I am confident that you can, if you put your mind to it, but what I want to say is that you shouldn’t.

Suggested new version: Well, I am confident you can, if you put your mind to it, but you shouldn’t.

It’s a nice touch of humour either way, but I think my shorter, punchier version is better!

I spotted a single typo: under “MATLAB Wrapper”, the word “All” is mis-typed as “Al” at the start of the second sentence.

#2: Add an Explanation of the Image at the End

Now, this might be my lack of subject knowledge, but it wasn’t quite clear to me how the image at the end was related to the rest of the post. (My guess is that it’s what’s produced by the Python code example?)

I’d like an extra sentence or two immediately before or after this image to give it more context.

 

And that’s it! I thought this was a great, functional blog post that (despite its technical subject matter) manages to be very readable. Thanks for contributing it, Tom!

If you have any extra suggestions or feedback for Tom, just add a comment below.




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2 Responses to “Writing Clinic #5: Tom Roelandts’ Post”

  • Tom

    Dear Ali,
    Thank you so much for picking my post for review! I’ll incorporate the changes that you suggest, but that will have to wait until Tuesday, because I am abroad (in romantic Paris no less!) and only have my phone with me…
    Best regards,
    Tom

  • Ali Luke

    Thanks so much for letting us learn from it, Tom! And I hope you’re having a wonderful time in Paris. 🙂

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