Brett van Zuiden

State your main point first

When writing long-form informational content, state your main point first and then reinforce it with additional detail and arguments. Neither you nor your readers should need a “tl;dr”.

In newspaper journalism, this is referred to as the “lede”: the opening sentence or paragraph of a news article, summarizing the most important aspects of the story. If people read just that, they’ve at least seen the main point - they may not understand it as well as if they had read the whole piece, but they’ve at least seen it.

On this site, I hold myself to this principle by not adding a separate “summary” field to posts: on the main Posts page and RSS, I simply display the first paragraph of the post. As long as I state the main point first, that first paragraph serves as a nice summary of the content that follows.