I am a software engineer and recently got involved in a community project that aims to teach underprivileged kids. This got me thinking about the term 'explanation'. What I want to ask is- what in your understanding does the concept of explaining mean? And what are the characteristics of a good explanation?

PS: It's my first question and I am not completely sure if this question belongs to this site. If wrong, let me know. I'll migrate it to the appropriate site.


When I explain things, I try to put myself in the listener's situation. It is important to know the background of the listeners, their level of understanding the subject. Try to identify their misunderstandings. I think there is not a better way of understanding than confronting your own misconceptions. A good explanation is an explanation that is appropriate for the level of understanding of the listener and suited for the listener's way of learning. Try to add analogies and (mental) pictures in your explanations.


I find that the term explaination generally refers to the ability to transmit or exchange epistemic justification through narrative. Basically, explainations answer the question of "how" from the perspective of "why".

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