Have you ever had a chit chat with a person who loves to write? What exactly is it that allows them to become professional wordsmiths? For some, writing is a therapy that allows writers to express their views and feelings by getting their thoughts down on paper. For others, writing allows them to escape into another world. Whilst writing proves to be a rewarding experience, it has a significant benefit that is often overlooked. Writing helps you learn!
How does writing help one to learn?
Writing allows you to become more informed about everything that you read. When you conduct research on a topic to write, not only are you polishing your research skills but are in fact learning about new things along the way. Writers have minds that are rich in knowledge because they’ve used their minds to research and write about countless topics. They are natural critical-thinkers that use their minds a lot more than those who do not write. They have a sense of intellect that is widely appreciated and longed for. Through this article, we’ll provide you with an insight on how writing is beneficial in helping you grow and how you can start writing your way to success.
Write don’t type
Have you ever wondered why taking down notes helps you recall information faster? Writing helps you retain information better than if it was typed. When you think of something to write, the brain is processing the information before triggering your hand to write it. This process takes longer and proves to be effective since you’re doing all the thinking yourself. On the other hand, if you were typing, it would be likely that you would use the internet to inspire you and therefore, you won’t be thinking as much as you would when you wouldn’t be typing. Hence, the process of writing enables one to retain knowledge in the brain more effectively than typing it. It makes use of more senses and inspires creative thinking.
Try out an activity yourself to see the results:
- Think of an interesting topic that you would like to read about.
- Research and find a small article on the topic
- Whilst you read the article, WRITE down the key points of that article.
- Now do the same but choose a different article.
- Think of another interesting topic.
- Research and find a small article on that topic.
- Open a Microsoft Word document or notepad.
- TYPE notes relating to the key points of the article.
- Save the document.
Now close both articles and put your notes away. Take a ten minute break to refresh your mind. When you come back, try to recall information from both topics that you read. You will find that the topic for which you had written notes will be easier to recall as compared to the topic for which you had typed the notes. This is a good tip to keep in mind when revising for your exams. Don’t highlight or type the notes. Take a notepad and write your notes. Even if your notes are one-liners, they will prove to be effective in helping you retain the knowledge.
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Writing to learn (WTL)
Writing to learn or WTL is the term given to the process that enables individuals to learn through their writing. WTL is very important and is used in educational institutes around the world. To be able to learn through one’s writing proves to be invaluable. It will not just help you at the time but will prove to be significant in the future too. You’ll be triggering your mind to think critically and will be making the most of your knowledge without even trying.
WTL activities for you to try
There are some great WTL activities that you can try. These activities enable you to learn whilst you write and are a fun way to train your mind.
- Practice tests:
Generate your own questions and test your knowledge of something that you have just read. Through this process, you’ll be re-calling information and hence you’ll be learning through your writing session. This also works as a great revision strategy for an upcoming exam.
- The Believing and doubting Game:
For this game, you must write to support an idea or a concept. Then, whilst keeping the topic the same, they must write in opposition to the topic. Through this process of believing and then doubting or contradicting, you will be using their critical thinking skills and will learn along the way.
- Letter writing:
Letter writing is a great way to learn how you can convince someone. For this activity, write a letter or application persuading someone to provide you with a service or offer you the permission to do something. For instance, write a proposal letter to your university stating why they should accept your project idea.
- Taking notes:
This is the simplest and easiest way of writing to learn. You can read a book, watch a movie or documentary or read an interesting article. Do whatever floats your boat and take down notes on paper. You’ll notice how doing so will enable you to retain information in your mind for longer periods of time. It will also make it easier for you to recall that information later on.
Alongside learning, writing proves to be very therapeutic. You can write on anything and everything, the choice is yours. Write about things that make you happy or inspire you. Write to share your knowledge with the world and get your message across in a unique way. Your writing will say a lot about your personality and therefore you must add your personal touch. It doesn’t have to be boring or sound too professional. Just remember to keep your words polite and enable the reader to get something positive out of your content. Provided you keep these simple tips in mind, you’ll be able to make the most of writing and you’ll be adding to your knowledge too!