Think of the reader as a beginnner

A quick guide on how to think about your reader when writing the first draft of your article pieces.

When you write your article, try and imagine yourself in the shoes of a beginner to your subject. Ask yourself:

  • What sorts of things would you want to know about?

  • What sorts of things would confuse you?

  • What concepts would a beginner need to understand?

Take Care of Your Reader

If you know your subject very well, sometimes it’s very difficult to remember what it was like to be a beginner.

But it’s important that you make the effort, and take care of your reader.

Here’s how to do this:

  • Make sure every concept you introduce is clearly explained, without assuming any prior knowledge of your subject.

  • Make sure you explain the “why” behind every step.

  • Make sure you add reference sections so the reader can go beyond the particular example in your article.

Remember that your goal is to actually share your knowledge, and the best way to do that is to make sure your reader does not get lost somewhere along the way.

What is a Beginner?

Some folks think: “I don’t need to worry about this, because I’m making an intermediate or advanced article!”

But actually, you do. This is because a reader might be advanced on your platform, but a complete beginner to your topic.

In general, readers have two different levels of experience:

  1. Experience level with your topic: You should assume almost always that a reader is a beginner to your topic: After all, that’s why they’re reading your article. For example, if you were making a book on TDD in iOS, you shouldn’t assume any prior knowledge of TDD or testing in general.

    If your article is an Android article on specific parts of using a Room database, your reader might have experience with Room, but not with the specific aspect of it covered in your article.

  2. Experience level with your platform: It’s OK to require a certain experience level for the platform you’re developing on. For example, if you were making a book on TDD in iOS, you can assume basic Swift knowledge, basic iOS app making knowledge, etc.

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