Learning Skills

Study Guides Part One


Web Resources for This Assignment

For General Education 110

Mesopotamia: A Learning Module

Information Tornadoes   We're going to begin the long road in managing information. In every college level-course, you're going to be inundated with information. Tons of information. Tornadoes of information. Some textbooks can cram the world into a page, while others might say one or two things while gabbing at you for pages and pages. Some textbooks will put this piece of information in a box, and that piece of information in the text, and some more garbage in a chart. What do you do with all that? What if the information doesn't seem related? What if the information is contradictory?
   This, in large part, is the primary learning skill that we'll be dealing with: how to organize information. Organizing information is a two step process: attention and reorganization. When you sit in class and take notes, for instance, that is attention (an artificial form of attention). When you sit down with your notes and underline key concepts in them, that is reorganization. That latter step is what I'm going to teach you how to do.


Thinking in Topics   There are several complex steps to the process of reorganizing information and I'm going to talk about them one by one with you. The most important step in reorganizing information is thinking about the information in terms of topics. Once you've established a set of topics, you can then reorganize information under these topics and better relate pieces of information to one another. These topics, of course, are derived from the nature of the information itself. Once you've determined the topics, you can then affiliate information with these topics. One way would be to have separate headings for each topic and range information under those headings; a more fruitful strategy, however, is write out information according to its importance and indicate in parentheses what general topic it's related to.



Assignment

For General Education 110

   Mesopotamian Topics. This exercise is very simple. I want you to review the textbook readings on Mesopotamia and simply list the central topics. After each entry, write a short sentence describing why you think this is a central topic. That's all. This will be your first study guide of the season. There are many more to come.


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1997, Richard Hooker
Updated 9-14-97