Probably, many people have heard a saying that we all know but do not understand. Really, every learning process consists of memorizing a bunch of facts not connected with each other. Such system is very hard to combine with the practical usage of gained knowledge.
Thus, the ability to use theoretical knowledge is exactly a sign of a highly developed intellect. The ability to get to the point of a written text is far more important than the mechanical memorizing. Today we are going to show certain methods that allow you to improve the level of your understanding of text.
Learn to See the Main Points
It is known that our brain can perceive 7 (±2) units of information simultaneously. This puts some limits on its ability to process the data. The first reason why people can’t be informed about too complicated multifactored schemes is their limit of a “random access memory” they possess.
So, they often need to simplify things. In fact, there are a few scientific theories that describe the reality with an absolute precision. They operate with approximate models that allow to understand the process in the same way. People choose the most important characteristics that influence the overall result seriously. This is how a human receives the possibility to keep a simple system easy to deal with in his or her memory.
So, in order to understand anything well, you need to know how to get valuable data from the overall mass of information. How to learn that? Try generalizing each period of text in one sentence while reading. Combine several periods to unite them into one small chapter. Bear in mind the way this information reveals the topic, helps to answer your questions and influences the result.
Ask Right Questions
As a child, you were learning to understand the world through asking endless questions. A degree of human’s curiosity decreases with time, and this is sad. Researches show that students who ask themselves and their groupmates questions in the process of studying have a higher level of text understanding. Questions stimulate thinking, direct you, make you dig deeper and deal with all the details of the problem.
There are some general questions that can be used in almost any field. Changing them a bit when needed is welcome. These questions stimulate you to use various skills: from analysis and counter-argumentation to applying theory in practice.
Some examples of such questions:
- What is the difference between …?
- How to use … in life?
- What will happen, if …?
- What are examples of …?
- What counterargument can be brought for …?
- What are pros and cons of …?
- What ways to solve the problem exist?
- What is the reason of … and why?
- How does … influence on …?
- Explain why …
- Which way is better and why?
- What does … look like?
- What do you already know about …?
Use Graphic Representation
Mostly, people perceive information visually. They deal with something more easily when it is presented as an image. What can help you understand the text is the use of graphs, schemes, tables and diagrams. Such instruments display the structure of the text quite well and show connection between different facts. There are many methods to do that, and you can find some of them here below:
- Mind Mapping: the world-famous invention of Tony Busan. It became one of the most widespread intellectual instruments. Mind maps fit perfectly to represent any kind of text graphically, give a clear structure and teach you how to distinguish the main points.
- Flowcharts – an excellent way to show texts that describe action sequences or algorithms. They allow you to see certain circumstances making this or that step possible.
- Tables are comfortable to compare and estimate certain data. Dividing big amounts of information into smaller parts makes them easy to be processed.
- To memorize the information better and use it in practice you need to understand it.
- For better understanding, you should simplify the data and distinguish the main facts. Make notes to do that effectively.
- By asking questions and answering them you improve the quality of understanding texts.
- Visual and graphic representation is an important parts of data processing. Use mind mapping, flowcharts and tables to do that.