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How to study effectively

The mark of a successful student is the mastery of knowing, not only what to study; but also how to study it– says Patricia Mulcahy

How to Study and Take Notes

Summarize to yourself or another learner

Read the relevant textbook chapters or articles or ppts, or judgements.

Self Study Mantra: Use a mind-map or diagram

A mind-map is a powerful graphic technique to draw the learnt topic into the brain- because that is how the brain works. It uses words, images, drawn diagrams, number, logic, colour- of the topic. The brain can then process it; and get you knowledge and insights that you have built for yourself. This improves thinking and creativity.

EXAMPLE 1: (all borrowed images)

Human Rights Example:

ADR example:

7 Steps to Making a MindMap

  1. Start in the CENTRE of a blank page turned sideways.

Inline image 1

Why? Because starting in the centre gives your Brain freedom to spread out in all directions and to express itself more freely and naturally.

  1. Use an IMAGE or PICTURE for your central idea.

Inline image 2

Why? Because an image is worth a thousand words and helps you use your Imagination. A central image is more interesting, keeps you focussed, helps you concentrate, and gives your Brain more of a buzz!


  1. Use COLOURS throughout.

Inline image 3

Why? Because colours are as exciting to your Brain as are images. Colour adds extra vibrancy and life to your Mind Map, adds tremendous energy to your Creative Thinking, and is fun!

  1. CONNECT your MAIN BRANCHES to the central image and connect your second- and third-level branches to the first and second levels, etc.

Inline image 4

Why? Because your Brain works by association. It likes to link two (or three, or four) things together. If you connect the branches, you will understand and remember a lot more easily.

  1. Make your branches CURVED rather than straight-lined.


Why? Because having nothing but straight lines is boring to your Brain.



Why?  Because single key words give your Mind Map more power and flexibility.

  1. Use IMAGES throughout.

Why Because each image, like the central image, is also worth a thousand words. So if you have only 10 images in your Mind Map, it’s already the equal of 10,000 words of notes!

Use this method & let me know….library@


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