Benjamin Franklin writing technique

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http://www.gutenberg.org/files/148/148-h/148-h.htm start at "Three or four letters of a side had passed, when my father happened to find my papers and read them."

for a summary, see e.g. https://excellence-in-literature.com/copywork-how-benjamin-franklin-taught-himself-to-write-well/ (there are at least several articles online discussing this)

Franklin's technique takes advantage of several learning-related effects:

  • Generation/testing effect: without looking at the actual example piece of writing, he attempts to produce an imitation, i.e., he attempts to generate the piece of writing himself.
  • Spacing effect: before trying to produce the imitation, he leaves aside the example piece of writing for some time so that he forgets it to some extent.

See also

External links

  • Duncan Sabien discusses this technique in the context of inventing rationality techniques in this EA Global talk