Outsmart Your Brain

I don’t have much experience reading textbooks. None of my teachers saw them as effective and efficient learning tools, Except for math textbooks. Still, those are procedures, examples, and problem things that can be memorized by thinking about and doing them. So will draw from other similar readings to textbooks like essays and encyclopedia reading. However, I will not deny I have gone through some arduous reading of texts that seem to go in one ear and out the other. So the ideas and methods are intriguing to me, especially SQ3R. I found an interesting strategy as I have done all the steps in some way or another but have yet to put them together. Except for asking questions before reading, naturally, the question will arise on looking at a title, but I have never gone beyond asking questions about what I have already read. One issue with SQ3r is that you need lots of time to develop good questions and summaries. SQ3R can make the dry reading of a particularly dense textbook or essay even more mind-numbing. Despite this, since it has been around since the 40s, I think it has a high chance of being effective.

Taking good notes is one of the most rewarding processes. At the end of a unit, having all the answers you need where you know they are in your notes is reassuring. Unfortunately, when writing notes, especially for English, I get sidetracked and write about ideas and concepts rather than characters and places. I suffered from this at the end of reading Candide. I was laser-focused on the arguments Voltaire was making; I did not write new characters’ names. This book brought up some interesting and more focused ideas for note-taking. I think all of the ideas he mentioned are at least worth a try. I think some will work better than others, but they seem to have stood the test of time.

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