Yesterday’s blog focused on paper planning for mathematical learners, and today I am going to tackle the task of paper planning and writing in a more visual, spatial manner.
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.
2. Visualize while you read.
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: