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Answering FAQ Questions

As basic as it sounds, the Number 1 rule in writing FAQs is to answer the question.

Consider the following examples:

Example 1
Q.What financial help can I get to start my new apprenticeship?
A. The Australian Government provides funding to assist new apprentices in starting their apprenticeship. See the Apprenticeships section of this site for more information.

Example 2
Q. What financial help can I get to start my new apprenticeship?
A.A New Apprentice Subsidy of up to $500 is available to help you cover the cost of any specialist tools or safety equipment your employer does not provide when you start an apprenticeship.

You can download an application form for the New Apprentice Subsidy from this site, or ask your employer for an application form.

Example 2 answers the question, Example 1 does not.

Yes or No Responses

When answering questions that call for a Yes or No response, include that response as the first word in the answer, and then add other explanatory text.

For example:

Q. Do I need to be an Australian citizen to become a student apprentice?
A.Yes, all student apprentices must hold Australian citizenship…

Linking to More Information

Don't leave readers at a dead end. Any answer that requires an action (e.g. downloading an application form) or more detailed information, should include a link that helps users take that action or find that extra information.

Make sure to send readers exactly where they need to go. Never answer a specific question by sending readers to a general area or index page.

Answering the Question Format

Make sure the answer is appropriate to the format of the question. Compare the following examples:

Example 3
Q.How do I apply for the New Apprentice Subsidy?
A.Application forms for the New Apprentice Subsidy are available for download from this site, from your employer, or contact your nearest office of the Generic Training Authority on 1300 000 000.

Example 4
Q.How do I apply for the New Apprentice Subsidy?
A.You (and your parents or guardians if you are under 18) need to complete a New Apprentice Subsidy Application Form, and return the completed form to your nearest office of the Generic Training Authority.

You can download the application form, ask for one from your employer, or telephone the Authority on 1300 000 000 (free call) and ask for one to be sent to you.

Don't just throw generic information at a question. Ensure that:

  • How questions include a process or procedure.
  • Why questions include a reason.
  • Who questions include a name and/or title.
  • When questions include a date or clear time frame.

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