(Hand)Write About It!

  After reading “What’s lost as handwriting fades” I feel like I have a better understanding of the science behind why handwriting helps us learn better.  Even starting this semester I had at least two professors tell me that they prefer students to take notes because it has been scientifically proven that students learn better from handwritten notes.  I do feel more persuaded to believe that it is true that handwriting notes lead to better retention and learning of the presented material.  One of the ways that I personally study is repeatedly writing notes and it has been a very effective study method for me.  I thought that the article was persuasive because Maria Konnikova used scientific studies and statements from doctors to support her article.  I also thought that telling us how and why handwriting help us learn better for example when she quotes Dehaene stating that “when we write, a unique neural circuit is automatically activated” we are given more information about the subject.  I feel like it is more effective to explain why and how something is the way it is instead of simply telling someone something is the way it is simply because ‘it is the way it is.’  Another part of the article that stood out to me and supported handwriting was when she mentioned that handwriting is effective for learning because it allows us to “process a lectures contents and re-frame it.”  She explained that this was one of the ways that handwriting is more effective than typing.  As for changing my way of note taking, I’m already pretty on board for handwriting.  I use rewriting notes as a way to study, but I may focus more on “re-framing the lecture” as a way to study better and understand the material.  Putting it in my own word and creating my own diagrams may help my brain to learn better or more efficiently.  I also may incorporate more cursive in my everyday writing and note taking as the article stated it activated different parts of the brain.  It couldn’t hurt me to write in cursive now and again, right?

If I were to write a research paper on the effectiveness of handwriting for learning I would use this source in my paper.  The article is in “New York Times” which is a big-well known newspaper.  The article was written June 2014 which is less than 5 years ago and only a little over a year ago, which is generally considered relevant and not outdated as far as research goes.  She also uses people with authority in her article that establish ethos such as doctors and scientists with credentials.  I feel like the article also gives good evidence by explaining how it enhances learning which would make it relevant and help the purpose of a research paper.  I couldn’t find a bibliography or work cited page for her article but I might be able to if I searched her article on google or kept looking.  She gives credit to the people she quotes and states their credentials in the article.


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