Apples Dry Cereal Sugar
Pork Chops Milk
Cottage Cheese Bananas Steel Wool Laundry Soap Peaches
MEATS AND FISH
VEGETABLES AND FRUITS
Bananas' Green Beans \ ^ Apples1
Lettuce Tomatoes Cucumbers
Bananas' Green Beans \ ^ Apples1
Here's another slash recall pattern, which has been a particularly helpful model for law students to use when they're taking notes on their cases.
Many of the best law students like to fit all their notes on a case on a single page. And of course, they want the material to be organized as efficiently as possible. Unfortunately, though, not every judge who writes an opinion is well organized or logical in presenting facts, principles of law and other points.
To remedy this problem, a slash recall pattern can help impose better organization on a difficult case than just writing down notes in the order in which the judge drafted his opinion.
YOUR OWN "MENTAL COMPUTER PRINTOUT" Model Slash Recall Pattern for Legal Cases
The linear pattern. This type resembles a traditional outline configuration more closely than any of the other recall patterns. Consequently, it's most useful when a text is very well organized or logical. Well-written scientific texts or lawbooks may lend themselves particularly well to this type of note-taking.
A number of people have found this approach to be most comfortable and familiar in making the transition from ordinary note-taking. But it may be harder to accommodate this pattern to complex or disorganized reading assignments. Also, students may find that it's harder to use all the space on the page with the linear method than with some of the more flexible patterns.
The radial pattern. This type of note-taking usually works best with material that has one or two main focuses. The branches that radiate out from the center can be used to describe or explain the main theme.
Students who are reading fiction often prefer this approach. For example, only one radial pattern may be used for short stories or relatively simple novels. The title might be placed in the center area, and then the main elements of the story—such as plot, characters and setting—can be entered on the main and subordinate branches.
With fiction that needs more extensive recalling, such as a massive novel like War and Peace, a separate radial pattern might be used for each of the main elements of the story. So you might have one pattern with characters as its organizing principle, another pattern for plot and still another one for setting.
The radial pattern also works well for journalistic articles that answer the five key questions, "Who? What? When? Where? How or why?" Again, one pattern might be used with the key questions indicated on the branches. Or a separate pattern can be employed for each of the main topics.
The pictorial pattern. Visually oriented people often have a lot of fun taking notes pictorially because the main idea is to draw a picture that represents the pertinent subject matter.
As you can see from the accompanying samples, a table might be used for a book or article called "How to Build a Table in Four Steps." Or a baseball bat may be appropriate for material that deals with hitting techniques.
A major advantage of pictorial patterns is that they are often very memorable. Try using this approach in your next note-taking effort, and see if the concepts aren't fixed more firmly in your mind after you put your books and notes away.
On the other hand, some people find it hard to come up with a good picture, and they seem to spend more time agonizing over their drawing than they do on the underlying subject matter. There may also be a tendency to make the picture too complicated—and complexity in this type of recall pattern will make note-taking much harder to do or remember.
In addition, you may come across important items in your reading that don't relate to the picture you've chosen. For example, suppose you're reading a book on Freudian psychology, and so you draw a picture of a person's head as your main note-taking focus.
But then the author shifts to a discussion of another psychological school. In that case, you might have to draw another pictorial recall pattern. Or it might have been advisable to use just one slash recall pattern for the entire reading assignment.
The random pattern. I've omitted a diagram of this approach because it's hard to include one general model or sample that's applicable in most situations. The main idea here is both to jot down facts, ideas and concepts at random, and to try to group them as you write in a way that imposes some sort of order on the whole.
In other words, suppose you're trying to draft a master recall pattern for an entire American literature course. In such a case, you might put Hawthorne in one corner of the paper, Poe in another corner, Hemingway in another part and so on.
Then, when you've recorded all your main topics, you might try relating them to one another with explanatory connecting lines. Or you might doodle for a while on this initial random pattern and eventually finalize your thoughts in a second draft.
The random pattern works best with extremely disorganized material or in situations where the student is trying to impose a single set of themes that weren't present or were unclear in the original notes. It may be just the tool to use when you need to impose order and relate disparate topics that have been covered in a course.
These are some of the most popular and efficient recall patterns that we've discovered in our research. But you may want to try something more creative. For example, you might use a combination of two or more of these patterns on a given assignment. Or you may even come up with completely different approaches that work better for your special needs.
If you're just beginning with the recall pattern concept, however, I'd suggest that you try the slash recall pattern first. To get some practice with this type of note-taking, preview the next chapter. Then close the book and draw a slash recall. Finally, read the chapter and add new information, as appropriate, to your original recall pattern.
J. A recall pattern is the most effective and memorable way to take notes.
2. Possible recall patterns include the slash, linear, radial, pictorial and random.
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