Benjamin Franklin on improving thinking and writing

benfranklinAs we dig into our post-Labour Day realities, the scribes at CG&A COMM thought it best to review some advice from Benjamin Franklin – a very productive and prolific man. Here is this American genius on how to improve your own thinking and writing skills. Benjamin Franklin writes in his autobiography how he used news copy of current affairs:

About this time I met with an odd volume of the Spectator. … I thought the writing excellent and wished if possible to imitate it. With that view, I took some of the papers, and making short hints of the sentiment in each sentence, laid them by a few days, and then without looking at the book, tried to complete the papers again by expressing each hinted sentiment at length and as fully as it had been expressed before, in any suitable words that should occur to me. Then I compared my Spectator with the original, discovered some of my faults, and corrected them. … I also sometimes jumbled my collections of hints into confusion, and after some weeks endeavoured to reduce them into the best order before I began to form the full sentences and complete the paper. This was to teach me method in the arrangement of the thoughts. By comparing my work afterwards with the original, I discovered many faults and corrected them; but I sometimes had the pleasure of fancying that in certain particulars of small import I had been lucky enough to improve the method or the language, and this encourage me to think that I might possibly in time come to be a tolerable English writer, of which I was extremely ambitious.


Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

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