A good structure for non-fiction writing

I read a fair number of books every year. Based on the stuff I’ve read last couple of years, I have observed a winning method of structuring concepts in non-fiction books. The easiest to consume non-fiction books appear to use this familiar structure to present the chapters/concepts:

  1. Start with an anecdote, or a story. The story displays, or better, ends with the concept the chapter intends to impress.
  2. Follow up with an explanation of the concept—its definition, origins, benefits, why-it-works, side-effects, etc.
  3. Reinforce with references to research, or interviews with researchers who have studied the characteristic in depth.
  4. Finish with a few more short anecdotes. Even better if these are follow-up stories to the ones in the first section, and/or lead to the concept in the following chapter.

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My cricket legacy—fractions of 6th

Growing up in India, cricket was one of the central parts of life. I am also curious, and a tad numerically inclined. So, my favourite pass-time while watching cricket while growing up was calculating run rates, required run rates and other similar fractions while watching a match on TV. This was before the live statistics on TV really kicked off.

An over in cricket is 6 balls. Calculating those averages every 6th ball ensured that I became really good at knowing the various fractions of 6—⅙ to ⅚—in decimal, and at quickly manipulating them within themselves and with other non-3-x numbers.

I don’t really follow cricket anymore. But some of this skill has stayed with me even all these years later :)

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