Correctness - Deepstash

deepstash

Beta

deepstash

Beta

How to Write Usefully

Correctness

An essay should be correct. However, to be correct is not enough if it is vague. 

Don't publish anything unless you're sure it's worth hearing. Write the first draft of an essay quickly, trying out all sorts of ideas. Then rewrite it very carefully, being sure to sift out anything that you're not sure of, or that is not true. Useful writing makes claims that are as strong as they can be without overstating it.

183 SAVES


This is a professional note extracted from an online article.

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Write Usefully

How to Write Usefully

http://paulgraham.com/useful.html?fbclid=IwAR0Yzz2My9-hrtgMRDShJX_fI__aww2TGnr5PupRveE_PQRBKpn4MqP62R8

paulgraham.com

6

Key Ideas

Components of a good essay

Many people think a good essay is persuasive. But more importantly, an essay should be useful.
There are four parts to a good essay:

  • correctness
  • strength
  • importance
  • novelty

Correctness

An essay should be correct. However, to be correct is not enough if it is vague. 

Don't publish anything unless you're sure it's worth hearing. Write the first draft of an essay quickly, trying out all sorts of ideas. Then rewrite it very carefully, being sure to sift out anything that you're not sure of, or that is not true. Useful writing makes claims that are as strong as they can be without overstating it.

Strength

Strength comes from two things: thinking well, and the skillful use of qualification.

Qualifications can express many things: how broadly something applies, how you know it, how happy you are it's so, even how it could be falsified. As you try to refine the expression of an idea, adjust the qualification accordingly. The more you refine an idea, the less you'll need to qualify it. However, don't underestimate qualification. Learn to use its full range.

Importance

Make something you yourself want.

The reader is not entirely unlike you. If you write about a topic that is important to you, it will seem important to many readers as well.

Novelty

Telling people something novel doesn't always mean surprising them. It could mean telling them something they knew unconsciously but were unable to put into words. In fact, those insights are often more valuable because they are more fundamental.

The way to get novelty is to write about topics you've thought about a lot. Anything you notice that surprises you will probably also surprise many readers. If you don't learn anything from writing an essay, don't publish it.

The writing process

  • Write the first draft of an essay fast, trying various ideas. Then spend time rewriting it very carefully.
  • If you write a bad sentence, don't publish it. Delete it and do it again.
  • If a sentence seems clumsy, ask why it doesn't seem right. By asking this, you'll usually find the replacement right there.
  • Be considerate to the reader: say things as simple as possible.
  • Be humble. If you know you're an expert on some topic, you can admit when you learn something you didn't know.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Jordan Peterson
"Thinking makes you act effectively in the world.  Thinking makes you win the battles you undertake...If you ..."
Jordan Peterson
The Levels of Resolution

An essay exists at multiple levels:

  • The choice of words
  • The formation of sentences
  • The arrangement of sentences in a paragraph
  • The arrangement of paragraphs in a logical progression, beginning to end
  • The essay as a whole

A good essay works at every one of those levels simultaneously.

Step 1: Choose Topic, Read & Take Notes

Writing begins with these 3 steps:

  • Pick a topic: because your essay should answer a central question.
  • Make a reading list: You should aim to read 5-10 books before you write an essay. And plenty of online sources. 
  • Take Notes: of everything that catches your attention. 

10 more ideas

What is a speech?
What is a speech?

Just like essays, speeches have three main sections:

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion

However, unlike essays, speeches must be written to ...

Tips on How to Write a Speech Essay
  • Determine the type of speech you're writing. Is it to inform people? Persuade? Entertain?
  • Craft a creative speech introduction with an attention-grabber, statement on your topic and a strong transition to the body.
  • Determine the flow of the body of the speech depending on the information consisting the body.
  • Write a memorable speech conclusion by restating the main points and ending with a memorable speech.
  • Address the key objectives by using some clever quotes, inspirational stories, meaningful transitions and a good ending.
Types of Speeches
  • Informative and Instructional Speech - Used to inform people about a certain topic, event or area of knowledge.
  • Persuasive Speech - Used to persuade people to join one side of an argument.
  • Entertaining Speech - Used to entertain audience, and topics may not be practical.
  • Special Occasion Speech - Used in special occasions to entertain or inform audience such as graduation, toasts, etc.

2 more ideas

Read widely, with maximum curiosity

The clearest thinkers tend to be those that draw from multiple disciplines.

Develop the habit of reading and eliminate/reduce the things that might stop you from doing that (e.g. mindl...

Put reality first and theory last

Confusing models with reality is a cardinal sin of clear thinking. 

If you believe too strongly in your models of the world, you can start to ignore evidence that your model is wrong.

Campbell’s law

The basic idea is that when you reward people for a particular measure — clicks, dollars, likes, etc. — people will find a way to “game” the system.

For example: If journalism is fueled by clicks, journalists are going to write sensationalist clickbait.

2 more ideas

Writing is intimidating. There’s this expectation of artful precision, mercurial grammatical rules, and the weird angst that comes with writing for other people. You start with a tidy nu...
Writing is Deliberate
Choosing the words to describe your work means you’re doing it on purpose. 

You’re going on the record as someone who thinks about why they do what they do, and understands how each decision affects the results. And developing this knack for critical thinking will also make you better at what you do.

Identify your interests

Just about anything that you love to do can be turned into a profitable career. The key to identifying your interest areas is figuring out what you would do had you not been doing the job you ha...

Do it free

Before charging money, it is recommended that you give people a taste of your services first if you want to turn your passion into profit.

For instance, if its photography, just offer to take photos for relatives for free. Surely, they would like to save money. This is how you establish yourself and prove your mettle to your potential clients.

Build a combination of skills

You should be able to combine your chief interests with the other skills that you might possess.

If you are let’s say, planning to sell cakes, what is that other thing you are good at along with being a great baker? If you are also good at digital marketing, you can blog about baking practices.

5 more ideas

Taking Smart Notes

When we take notes, it should not become a stack of forgotten thoughts. Our notes should be a rich and interconnected collection of ideas we can draw on regardless of where our interests lead us.

Luhmann's slip-box

German sociologist Niklas Luhmann (1927-1998) designed his slip-box made up of index cards. They were thematically unlimited. His simple system produced a prolific output. Over his 30-year career,  Luhmann published 58 books and hundreds of articles while completing his two-volume masterwork, The Society of Society (1997).  He regularly pointed to his slip-box as the source for his fantastic productivity.

How Luhmann's slip-box worked
  • He wrote down any interesting or potentially useful ideas on uniformly sized index cards on one side only.
  • Each new index card got a sequential number, starting at 1.
  • When a new source was added to that topic or something to supplement it, he would add new index cards with letters added to the number (1a, 1b, 1c, etc.)
  • These branching connections were marked in red as close as possible, where the branch began.
  • Any of these branches could also have their own branches. (For example 21/3d26g53)
  • As he read, he would create new cards, update or add comments to existing ones, create new branches from existing cards, or create new links between cards.

11 more ideas