These lessons are inspired by Steven Pinker’s book The Sense of Style, which first introduced us to the idea of the Curse of Knowledge. The lesson on reader-centric writing borrows heavily from Larry McEnerney’s lectures at the University of Chicago on effective writing, particularly this one. The idea of top-down and bottom-up explanations is an extension of Timothy Gowers’ blog post “My favorite pedagogical principle: examples first!”. The terms ‘reader-centric writing’ and ‘bottom-up explanation’ were both heard by David in conversations with Mike Gelbart.

Good writing requires feedback, and we received invaluable feedback from Sophie MacDonald, Victoria Reedman, and especially Meg Inman. Meg made every lesson vastly better and we are grateful for her insight and generosity.