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- Dictionaries: Always be certain of the meaning of the words that you and others use. Keep at least one dictionary open whenever reading or writing; if in doubt whatsoever look up the words you are not sure about. Whatever we do gets easier: if you practice using dictionaries, you will become excellent at using dictionaries; if you choose to be too lazy or too rushed to be sure of the words you and other use–then you’ll become ‘good’ at being lazy, rushed, etc.
- Writing: always pre-write: outlines, diagrams etc–then, if needed, confine the writing to something more linear.
- Writing for online: Compose first, then submit: create first in a text doc on your own device, then uploaded to the website. Otherwise, if you type it out on the website first, and your internet dies or the website has some glitch, you could lose all that you typed!
- Reading: scan chapter index; choose the most relevant chapters; scan subheadings and determine topic-sentences (key ideas).
- Reading online: scan section headings–top to bottom; keep in mind which seem most relevant; read only those sections. Move on to another source (exception: read surrounding paragraphs of sections with significant points). Compare and contrast subsequent sources.
- Verbal notes: when brain-storming, sometimes try speaking the ideas out first (especially if you can record and listen back). Then, whether listening to a recorder or just recalling what you said, focus on keywords and key phrases only. It takes some practice to do this effectively, but saves a lot of time once you get good at it–and that saved time can go into examining other info.