ProTip One: Be Direct

Our ProTip series is designed to help Professionals on create advice that will become the best answer for any student looking for the answer to a question.
Feb 20, 2017 · 2 min read

Introducing ProTip One:

“A great answer responds to the question directly.”

Address what the student needs right away to answer their question. If a student asks “What is the best thing about being an architect in…” start your advice with “The best thing about being an architect is…”


Direct answers have stronger voice, impact and focus. It also helps students who are browsing the site learn quickly and stay focused.

How do you know it when you see it?

The easiest way to know it when you see it is to read the first sentence of the answer and ask “does that first sentence answer the question?” We also sometimes see direct answers at the very end, but that’s usually not what we recommend.

Examples From the Village

Skyler begins his response with a direct answer to Amit’s Question on internships:

When you are a freshman, the truth is that it is more difficult to get an internship, but not impossible.

Jared directly answers Denisse’s core question on extra curricular activities for college apps in one sentence:

Things that (1) are hard to achieve, (2) show something about who you are as a person, and (3) you enjoy.

What’s next?

  1. To see the next ProTip, head over to ProTip #2: Be Comprehensive.
  2. To read more about summing up your answers into a top-line message, we recommend Barbara Minto’s great book called “The Pyramid Principal”. Read more at Barbara’s website:
  3. Share your thoughts with us by emailing us ( or in the comments below!

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