The curse of knowledge

We know our writing must be clear and reader focussed – but how do you know if what you wrote will make sense to your reader? After all, you know things that your reader doesn’t, and you can’t unhear or unsee this knowledge. This can cause you to write things that make sense to you, but no-one else. This is a type of unconscious bias called the curse of knowledge.

The best defence against the curse of knowledge is to get someone else to review your document. Fresh eyes will find gaps in your logic that your own mind had subconsciously filled. If you can’t get someone else to review your document, put it in the freezer. Set it aside for a few days before you review your draft; you will be surprised what you pick up. If you can’t put your document aside for a few days, try overnight. Or go make a cup of coffee – a few minutes in the freezer is better than nothing.