A Checklist for Crafting an Effective Pull Request

Mastering Pull Requests: A Guide to Success in Open Source Contributions

In the world of open-source development, Pull Requests (PRs) are pivotal. However, many new contributors, including myself, initially struggled with the 'right' way to create them. There isn't a one-size-fits-all approach, but there are best practices to follow. This guide aims to simplify this process for you.

Understanding Pull Requests

1. Review Contribution Guidelines

  • Before writing your PR, check the repository's CONTRIBUTING.md for specific instructions on coding style, tests, and submission processes.

2. Tips for Creating Your First PR

  • Title Clarity: Ensure your title clearly indicates the issue, changes made, and PR type (bug fix, feature, etc.).

  • Detailed Description: Provide a summary of changes, context, and background. This assists maintainers in understanding your changes and their purpose.

  • Link Issues: If applicable, link the PR to related issues for automatic closure upon merging.

  • Acknowledge Requirements: Include information about tests or documentation and ensure compliance with the project's Code of Conduct.

3. The Importance of a Well-Written Description

  • Facilitates Collaboration: Detailed descriptions promote team feedback and transparent communication. It helps reviewers quickly grasp changes, reducing rework.

What Happens After Submission?

After you submit your Pull Request (PR), it undergoes a detailed review by maintainers and is subject to Continuous Integration (CI) tests to ensure quality standards. Effective collaboration with maintainers, marked by patience and responsiveness to feedback, is crucial. Upon meeting these standards and receiving approval, your PR is merged into the main repository.

Tips for Getting Your PR Reviewed

  1. Prioritize Clarity: Clear titles, commit messages, and descriptions make it easier for maintainers to review your PR.

  2. Read the Documentation: Familiarize yourself with the project's contribution guidelines.

  3. Test Your Work: Ensure your changes are error-free and add value.

  4. Complete the PR Template: Provide all necessary details for a quick review.

Handling PR Rejections

Pull Requests (PRs) can be rejected for several reasons: misalignment with the project's goals, lack of code quality, insufficient testing, poor communication, legal issues, or if they are duplicates or outdated. To increase the likelihood of acceptance, ensure your PR aligns with the project's objectives, adheres to coding standards, includes comprehensive tests, communicates changes effectively, respects legal and licensing requirements, and is not a duplicate or outdated submission.

It's normal for PRs to be rejected. Understanding and learning from rejections is crucial for growth in open-source contributions.


Creating effective pull requests in open-source projects is a skill that improves with practice and understanding. Embrace rejections as learning opportunities and contribute to add value to the project.