- Thread Starter
Last edited by aem157; 3 weeks ago at 19:27.
I am a great fan of highlighting specific points in textbooks and annotating from them in my own words. I try to summarise paragraphs in my own words and then it means when I go back to it, I have a personalised understanding. What do you think?
(Original post by aem157)
Summarizing is good but you can often fool yourself that you have a personalized understanding, however if it works for you I can't really advise you further.
What I do when I read is convert everything to Q and A format. I have tried many methods and this seems to be the most effective. By converting everything to this format, you have better access to your knowledge in the future because answering a question is the natural way we use our knowledge (think about past papers and why they are useful, it's all about retrieval). It also separates the various pieces of knowledge contained in a text, so that they are no longer heaped together in paragraphs and chapters but everything is clear and separate. This allows you to more easily reject things you don't need.
I'll give an example. This is from the Wikipedia page on Isaac Newton.
"Sir Isaac Newton PRS (/ˈnjuːtən/; 25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726/27) was an English mathematician, astronomer, and physicist(described in his own day as a "natural philosopher" who is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time and a key figure in the scientific revolution. His book Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica ("Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy", first published in 1687, laid the foundations of classical mechanics. Newton also made pathbreaking contributions to optics, and he shares credit with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz for developing the infinitesimal calculus."
Here is my question and answer version:
Q. What country was he from?
Q. What was he?
A. A mathematician, astronomer, physicist
Q. What was this described as in his day?
A. Natural philosophy
Q. What part did he play in history
A. Influential scientist, especially in the scientific revolution
Q. What what his book on mechanics called in Latin?
A. Pholophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica
Q. In English?
A. Mathematical principles of natural philosophy
Q. What was its function in science?
A. Laid the foundations of classical mechanics
Q. What other branch did he contribute to?
A. Optics: he made goundbreaking discoveries in this field. Also developed infinitesimal Calculus
Q. Who shared this honour with him?
This is an exaggeration - I wouldn't usually separate into so many questions. However I would use more than I need and then remove the ones I don't need, so that I am left with a basic summary of only the ones I want to remember. I would then write these questions on a page, and on the other side of the page I would write the answers. I would then periodically review this sheet of Q and A to keep the answers fresh in my mind.
You may be more comfortable making your questions more details so as to have less questions. It doesn't matter, either way you will take the same amount of time answering them since shorter questions are much quicker (and easier) to answer. It depends on what you prefer.
I believe I have already gone into enough detail. I would be happy to explain further, but your question is not specific enough.