Writing Made Basic With Index Cards

Index Cards are a fabulous way to help chunk an assessment into more manageable elements and to give structure for your final piece of writing. This is so easy that I am certain you will achieve success with this strategy!

Let’s assume my lecturer told the students they had to research a health problem and turn in an essay discussing the methods for treating that illness:

I am very concerned about depression since I have heard heaps about that disorder in the media of late. So I walk to the library and see if I can find out about depression and the ways in which it can be treated. I find some great textbooks and also browse for some websites on the world wide web. While I am browsing, I jot down some of the pertinent ideas on Index Cards like this:

Now that I have the major dot points for this topic written down on index cards, I am able to order them logically so that my writing will have a structure that makes sense. You probably know that a well-written assignment has an introduction (defining the topic and outlining the main points), a body (with each paragraph expanding on a main point) and a conclusion (the final paragraph that reminds the reader about the main points and reaches some kind of decision on the topic). With that in mind I would possibly order my index cards in this way:

Now that my cards are organized into a logical order, I can write the first draft of my assignment. The initial card will form the basis of my introduction. It will describe depression as a mental health condition and I will probably add a sentence about the two main treatment approaches. The rest of the cards then become a new paragraph in my essay: I simply expand on the points I have written on the cards and write the content in my own words as full sentences. Then, I outline a conclusion that summarizes the main points from my essay. I might also add a final sentence along these lines: “Depression is very treatable with medication and psychotherapy so people who are diagnosed do not have to suffer in silence.” This would draw my argument to a nice conclusion.

I hope this helps you to write some top scoring assignments!

Using index cards is just one way you can organize your thinking. I prefer a strategy called Mind Mapping for taking notes and organizing essays. You can find more details about Mind Mapping at Buzan’s Mind Mapping site.

StumbleUpon It!

Technorati Tags: , ,

No Comments

Leave a reply