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Old 13.05.2019, 12:45
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Getting thoughts written down

Hey everyone!


Not sure if it's in the right forum but here goes:
I'd like to continue my education but at times I find that there is a huge barrier between my thoughts and the screen/paper.
Does any of you have any idea how to break that barrier down?
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Old 13.05.2019, 12:56
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Re: Getting thoughts written down

I pilfered (and developed) a technique my son is taught in school to make up a "mind map" where you write ideas down on a sort of spikey diagram.

I developed it further just by writing all the random thoughts too and trawling through them to see if they are also useful.
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Old 13.05.2019, 12:59
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Re: Getting thoughts written down

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Hey everyone!


Not sure if it's in the right forum but here goes:
I'd like to continue my education but at times I find that there is a huge barrier between my thoughts and the screen/paper.
Does any of you have any idea how to break that barrier down?
What works for me is simply to have a Notebook, one made of that stuff called: "Paper" and a one-bit analog Stylus, they used to call them "penns" or "penzils" not too sure on how they used to pronounce them but they work without needing a charge. Then simply write down your thoughts the Moment they careen through your skull. These thoughts don´t have to make sense or even be coherent, just mind-bites. Then when you have a bit of a mind free you can bring them into form.
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Old 13.05.2019, 13:00
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Re: Getting thoughts written down

Explain it to someone who knows nothing about it a few times.
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Old 13.05.2019, 13:29
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Re: Getting thoughts written down

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Explain it to someone who knows nothing about it a few times.

now that you mention this, getting thoughts out of the mouth is about as difficult as on paper.
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Old 13.05.2019, 13:46
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Re: Getting thoughts written down

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now that you mention this, getting thoughts out of the mouth is about as difficult as on paper.
Once you have written it in your Computer have it read it back to you via text to speech.
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Old 13.05.2019, 13:57
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Re: Getting thoughts written down

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I pilfered (and developed) a technique my son is taught in school to make up a "mind map" where you write ideas down on a sort of spikey diagram.

I developed it further just by writing all the random thoughts too and trawling through them to see if they are also useful.
Freemind is quite a useful (and free) piece of software for creating mind-maps.

Of course you can do them with a pen and paper but with Freemind, you can make them very large with collapsible branches.
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Old 13.05.2019, 14:33
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Re: Getting thoughts written down

Make the simplest statement you can about the subject - no more than 10 words.

Take a look at that sentence - there will be something about it which is incomplete, open to interpretation, unclear, or misleading. Write down the points which would be needed to fix those shortcomings.

Expand those points into sentences and paragraphs.
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Old 13.05.2019, 17:45
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Re: Getting thoughts written down

In addition to the mindmap, if your brain prefers lists rather than a kind of starburst, get everything down in any order then use coloured pens /different symbols to group the points together. This will help build pararaphs. Then you can order your groups.

State things as plainly as possible. Don't get bogged down in fussy language, it can always be gussied up later.

Last edited by RufusB; 13.05.2019 at 18:38. Reason: Typo
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Old 13.05.2019, 20:59
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Re: Getting thoughts written down

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Hey everyone!


Not sure if it's in the right forum but here goes:
I'd like to continue my education but at times I find that there is a huge barrier between my thoughts and the screen/paper.
Does any of you have any idea how to break that barrier down?
Do you have “writer’s block” or similar? I’m not clear in the connection to continuing your education.
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Old 13.05.2019, 22:09
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Re: Getting thoughts written down

I find EF is the perfect vehicle for sharing random drivel in written form
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Old 13.05.2019, 22:38
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Re: Getting thoughts written down

I hope I am getting it right: you want to 'say' something, the idea is clear, but finding the right words is a struggle. When you, say, write it down, it just doesn't look like what was in your head?
If that's the case, I draw. I use a pen or pencil and a sketchbook. Nothing fancy or time-consuming. And when I look at the drawing after some time, I remember exactly what the thought had been.
If I show them to my OH or close people, they get it - no words needed.

Of course, it all depends on what your ultimate goal is.

PS: just reread your post, don't think my idea would be relevant to your situation, but will keep it here... Who knows, you may want to become a trailblazer: writing a thesis WITH drawings in it...

Last edited by VenusC; 13.05.2019 at 22:45. Reason: Bad reading skills
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Old 14.05.2019, 10:16
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Re: Getting thoughts written down

Good ideas all of them - thank you
Not sure if it's writer's block, I thought that's when you don't have any ideas? (Or not... I'm not a writer, for obvious reasons :P)

Whereas for me it's getting the ideas out - an example, with one ex-gf, she was sitting next to me and shouting in my ear thinking that I was ignoring her, while I was trying to concentrate through her hurricane trying to formulate an answer. (Yeah, that didn't last...)


And how it is education-related: I have made the experience so far that as education goes up, you need to write more and more. Case studies, papers, etc. and for me it's a pain in the.. neck when after weeks and weeks of work, the feedback is "good first draft. needs to be fleshed out."


Really great ideas, thank you!
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Old 14.05.2019, 12:12
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Re: Getting thoughts written down

Squeeez... is it that you're having difficulty building on your intiial ideas in order to produce further drafts? What kinds of notes are you getting? More supported arguments needed, pr points need developing further etc?

Are you writing discursive essays, or reports or something else? Don't need details it's just that while connected they require slightly different skills.

Like so many things, the unhelpful but true answer is that it's graft and practice.
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Old 14.05.2019, 13:19
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Re: Getting thoughts written down

Read more. A lot. Talk about what you've read with people who share your reading list.

And kudos for this thread.
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Old 14.05.2019, 19:38
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Re: Getting thoughts written down

Other than for creative texts, I've found that going to the library helps.

Even with complex topics, start in the children's section. It's remarkable how their non-fiction books manage to distill the essence of a topic. That can give you the vocabulary for the basic branches of your mindmap, or help to narrow down the focus within a field. At this level, simply read every book or chapter they have on the topic. That'll take you over the grand sweep of the central points ahalf-a-dozen times in less than an hour. And at that level, pause to imagine teaching what you've just learnt.

Once we'd got the framework jotted down, we moved up to books for teens, which often add the unknowns and the disputes or opposing hypotheses. Again, pause to visualise teaching this.

Next the academic literature.... and it's easier to write, by then, for having confidently gained enough of the basics to explain the matter.

Together with others at high-school and undergrad level, we've used this springboard technique very effectively to get from almost zero knowledge to a good essay for such diverse topics as super-volcanoes, the renaissance, dental surgery, epistemology and vintage car restoration.
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Old 15.05.2019, 09:28
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Re: Getting thoughts written down

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Explain it to someone who knows nothing about it a few times.
So that's what the EF is for?
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Old 15.05.2019, 09:35
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Re: Getting thoughts written down

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Hey everyone!


Not sure if it's in the right forum but here goes:
I'd like to continue my education but at times I find that there is a huge barrier between my thoughts and the screen/paper.
Does any of you have any idea how to break that barrier down?
At school we are taught that a proper essay should have an introduction, a main part and a conclusion. ideally. the introduction should open with something catchy, something that pulls the reader in, that kindles his or her interest.

All that is probably good practice. But it puts the bar so high that it puts many people off writing altogether. How are you going to write a good introduction if you don't really know what is going to follow?

The solution in my view is to forget structure and just write down what comes into your mind. If need be starting in the middle or at the end and without having a clue where you are heading or what the overall purpose or objective of your writing is, or what is important and what isn't.

Once you have a load of random text fragments, collected over many months or years even, possibly nonsensical, possibly repetitive, possibly overlapping, possibly totally disconnecetd or even contradictory, you can start the process of sorting and arranging them, and maybe re-writing the ones that matter once you know what they actually mean in context.

Even some of the greatest authors of our time did this, leaving behind stacks of notebooks full of disconnected mind dump.
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Old 15.05.2019, 09:53
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Re: Getting thoughts written down

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... get everything down in any order then use coloured pens /different symbols to group the points together.
I have quite a collection of highlighter pens for this very purpose. They help me to find patterns and groups (as you said). I have a strong visual bias, so my mind maps are strong key words with associated Google images, kind of a cross between mind map and pinterest, which then evolves into a storyboard.

To the OP, are you aware that you have one of the main learning biases?
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Old 15.05.2019, 10:56
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Re: Getting thoughts written down

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I have quite a collection of highlighter pens for this very purpose. They help me to find patterns and groups (as you said). I have a strong visual bias, so my mind maps are strong key words with associated Google images, kind of a cross between mind map and pinterest, which then evolves into a storyboard.
Sounds pretty!

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To the OP, are you aware that you have one of the main learning biases?
How do you mean?
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