This week, I have been focusing my blog posts on writing papers for the different learning styles. Today I will be focusing on interpersonal learners – those who learn best by conversation and relating to others. What are the implications for how they should write papers?
Even though paper writing is thought of as a solitary activity, it doesn’t need to be. The following are some ideas for social learners to get the most out of their paper writing assignments.
1. Get together with a friend to first discuss your writing and then write. Ask each other questions like:
“What are you focusing on in your paper?”
“What is your thesis statement?”
“Do these subtopics make sense within this paper?”
2. Read the assignment with other students from your class and get mult
iple opinions on what your professor is looking for in the paper. Someone else may have noticed something you missed.
3. Throughout the week or so during which you are working on the assignment, discuss the paper topic with others. You never know what ideas a friend or family member might contribute.
4. Hire a tutor. If you want someone to discuss your writing with you in depth, consider hiring a writing tutor. He or she will be more than happy to sit down with you and discuss ideas and ways to improve your writing.
Visual/spatial learners are artists, architects, and great parallel parkers. They can easily see how objects relate to one another in space. They may think in pictures rather than words, which can make it difficult to write papers effectively. They tend to learn things all at once, instead of in a sequential manner. Instead of using typical methods, they prefer to come up with their own answers to problems. These students learn best by grasping relationships between ideas.
So, what are the implications for how visual learners can best approach the paper writing process?
1. Plan visually.
Most people are taught to plan their writing by creating an outline. However, visual learners may benefit from laying their ideas out in a more spatial manner. Instead of writing in a list format, why not create an idea map for your paper? Below are two documents to help visual/spatial learners plan their papers in a different way. The first is a template, the second an example of how to fill in the template.
This is a skill that most readers do naturally, but when reading high level, academic texts, it is easy to stop visualizing. Try to see the concepts or ideas in your mind. Maybe even sketch a picture of your thoughts. This can help you ground yourself and understand your reading.
3. If you are unfamiliar with a topic, gain some background knowledge by watching educational videos or looking at books with pictures.
A key component to gaining deep understanding is connecting to background knowledge. If you don’t know enough about a topic, first fill your background knowledge bucket by watching a video on YouTube or finding some other visual way to become acquainted with your topic. A great paper shows that its writer is an expert on the topic.
Information on visual/spatial learners gathered from:
Yesterday, I wrote a blog post briefly outlining all of the intelligences and some paper writing ideas for each type of learner. For the next few days, I will go into more detail about each intelligence and list some ideas for tackling the paper writing process.
The mathematical/logical thinker is great at solving abstract problems. They can easily do math problems in their heads. They categorize things and wonder how things work. They are likely to become doctors, engineers, mathematicians, and accountants. Based on these career choices, these learners may not have to do as much paper writing as someone in the humanities, but who doesn’t have to take intro college English?
Some of my clients have told me they prefer math to writing because there is a specific set of steps and one solution at the end. Writing is a messier process, involving lots of differing ideas and ways of approaching them. However, I think that a similar approach can be taken with writing as with solving mathematical equations.
I’ll admit it – I am kind of a math geek myself. When I was in school, I loved plugging numbers into formulas. If you are mathematical thinker, look at your paper as a formula. A well written paper is a very logical piece of writing and should follow a basic pattern. Download the PDF below for the formula for a well-written paper.
Another way you can look at paper writing is that all of the ideas and sources are parts of the equation, and your thesis statement is the solution to that equation. Writing the paper is just like writing a mathematical equation, only now, the parts of the equation are words instead of numbers, and the solution is mentioned in the introduction and the conclusion.