A Method for Reading and Understanding Things Well Enough That You Can Write Simply and Accurately



Tips for Doing Any Term (Something brief—equivalent to 1/2 page handwritten—to explain)

Reminder of the goal for writing in this course: One of the most powerful ways to learn something is to try to teach it. If you follow the standards in the Evidence Checklist/Rubric and you try to understand what happened so you can teach it as simply but as accurately as you can, you will have something worth writing. If you then write in a common sense way as though you were teaching your cousin history that he or she needed to understand, you will succeed in these assignments.


What do you do for each term?

  1. Read with care and for accuracy.

Click the method for reading FOR evidence. If you prefer a face-to-face meeting or a phone conference, let me know.


  1. Think through 3 to 5 things that your smart cousin would need to know to understand.

  2. Write the things down but limit yourself to a word or two for each one.
    Example: Limit yourself to the number of words that would on a little kid’s palm if the kid had to give a speech using those words as reminders. The kid (my daughter) knew the content, but was scared that she would forget one of the four things or get them out of order.

  3. As you work, add the page numbers where you can find the content for the 3 to 5 things.
    Write nothing else down. No notes.

  4. You may subtract or add to the 3 to 5 things, but let your maximum be 5 worthwhile things you cousin must know and limit the words for those things to what would fit on a little kid’s palm.

  5. Practice aloud. Pretend to teach your cousin.

  6. When you cannot speak without stammering around, that means you do not understand.
    What do you do? Go read that section again.

  7. Do this until it you can explain it aloud in a common sense way—it often takes five practices. By using the list and practicing aloud, you will catch your own errors.
    Caution: Do not write your speech. Students who write the speech ahead believe their own errors.

  8. Put your lists in safe place.

  9. Just before the exam, practice again. If necessary, reread the things you cannot say.




Copyright C. J. Bibus, Ed.D. 2003-2013



WCJC Department:

History – Dr. Bibus

Contact Information:

281.239.1577 or bibusc@wcjc.edu

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