Exorcising the Evil in Technical Texts
A few tidbits that may help rid the demons:
- Try to put things into your own words to test your understanding; including numbers and formulas.
- Can you gain some understanding by making a diagram or mind picture of a math problem? Try it.
- When you have a mathematical problem to solve, look at it and see if you can see a way to estimate what the answer should approach. Even a range is helpful. This may tell you whether you are in the ballpark when you go ahead and compute your answer.
- Think about the question. Can you see what is expected? What concepts are being called forth? What is pertinent?
- Try teaching someone else how to do that math sequence. That should show you just how well you know your stuff.
The more technical the material you are trying to absorb, the slower the process should be and the more determined it should be to absorb critical details. Remember that technical material builds on itself, so until you understand the concepts and how they apply on the pages you are currently studying you won't have much chance of understanding what is coming up twenty pages from where you are now. Diagrams, flash cards and any other methods that help should be in regular practice with technical material.
Last Updated: 08/20/2013