2.5 Mind mapping

The focus of this section has been on encouraging you to gather evidence about what qualities, knowledge and skills you have already. This is an important first step, especially if it helps you to realise that you have more than perhaps you realised. It is also an important step as it starts to make the case that it is important to value your qualities, knowledge and skills. If you value them, it is far more likely that other people will value them too.

However, it is also important to
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2.1 Introduction

This unit is about using learning to bring about personal change. This assumes that learning can help achieve such change. Section 2 aims to be the first step in showing you how this is possible. This section has three separate but related aspects:

  1. Section 2 looks at what the word ‘learning’ includes. This turns out to be a very wide ranging idea that suggests that human beings learn all the time. What we learn has impo
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1.6 Conclusion

At the start of this section, there was a list of what we hoped you would get from your study of this section. To save you looking back, the aims of the section were to:

  • provide you with a clear idea of what the unit is about and how it is structured
  • help you understand the importance of the word ‘skills’
  • start you thinking about your own learning.

It would be useful to think back over this list before moving on to section
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4.6 Line graphs

These are probably the graphs that you will be most used to seeing on an everyday basis. Line graphs are most suitable when you are just comparing one value as it changes with another value. They are less suitable when you want to look at several things at once; for example to study changes in oil prices and supermarket profits on petrol sales, the scales on the left-hand and right-hand sides of a graph would have to be different, and this can be very misleading (there is an example of this i
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4.3 Pie charts, bar charts, histograms and line graphs

These are all different ways of representing data and you are likely to be familiar with some, if not all of them. They usually provide a quick summary that gives you a visual image of the data being presented. Below, we have given a brief definition and some ideas of how each can be used, along with a corresponding activity. We suggest that you look out for similar examples in everyday life, and question the information that you see.


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2.6.3 Re-working Hansa's essay

Now we have looked at Philip's and Hansa's essays in such detail, what have we learned? Perhaps the best way to answer that is to write another version of the essay, building on all the things we have discussed. In fact, I have taken the basic content of Hansa's essay, tidied it up and shuffled it about a little to bring out her argument more strongly. (However this is not the only possible way of structuring an argument in answer to this question.) I have also woven in some of Ellis's terms,
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2.5.5 Writing style

As we have seen, Hansa tends to use whole clusters of words and constructions that are a bit over-formal rather than wrong. She seems to be trying to impress her reader. For example:

They therefore fled from the country in order to escape the restrictions and consequent boredom placed upon them by the very limited pastimes that a high ranking women in the eighteenth century was permitted to indulge.


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2.5.2 Punctuation

Some of the sentences we have looked at are harder to understand than they might be because they are not very well punctuated. Punctuation marks are the ‘stops’ in a sentence that divide it up into parts. They make it easier to follow the meaning of the words. For instance, it is easier to read this sentence of Philip's if we put a comma after ‘wealthy’:

With society becoming more wealthy, it was possible for t
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1.3 Developing your essay-writing ability

To develop your skill in writing essays you need to address two basic questions.

  • What does a good essay look like?

  • How do you set about producing one?

We will look at the first of these questions in this chapter and the second in the next.


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1.2 What is an essay?

The different arts and humanities subjects make their own particular demands on you. You may have to do various kinds of writing – diaries, logs, project reports, case-studies – or even write creatively. In this chapter, though, we are going to concentrate on the essay because that is by far the most common form of writing in arts and humanities subjects.

The word ‘essay’ originally meant ‘an attempt’ or try at something, but now it usually means a short piece of writing on
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1.1 Why write?

Of all aspects of studying, writing is probably the most challenging. That is because when you write down an account of your ideas for other people to read you have to explain yourself particularly carefully. You can't make the mental leaps you do when you are in conversation with others or thinking about something for yourself. To make your meaning clear, using only words on a page, you have to work out exactly what you think about the subject. You come to understand it for yourself i
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should:

  • be able to discuss why writing is so important;

  • have an understanding of and be able to use critically the main criteria of good essay-writing;

  • be aware of the basic technical and stylistic considerations involved in writing.


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Introduction

When you write down an account of your ideas for other people to read, you have to explain yourself particularly carefully. You cannot make the mental leaps you do when you talk with others or think about things by yourself. This makes writing probably the most challenging aspect of studying. This unit will help you to develop the basic skills and confidence required for writing by explaining what is involved in good writing and why it is so important.

This unit is an adapted extract fr
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3.3.1 Mapmaking for the twenty-first century

In early mapmaking history, maps were compiled from travellers’ tales, sailors’ logs and other maps. Information could, therefore, come from various sources and different dates. By the nineteenth century, maps were being made by more technically and scientifically rigorous procedures. Recently, mapmaking has benefited from developments in electronic surveillance techniques and computer programming. The Ordnance Surveys are now using aerial photography coupled with detailed checking on the
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • identify some of the important characteristics of maps in relation to their value to social science;

  • recognise and give examples of how maps can influence our “view” of the world;

  • describe the relationship between data and space as represented on a map.


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7.2 Reorganizing notes

The technique of re-reading completed notes and supplementing them with comments and queries is a useful way of processing ideas. Another way of processing ideas is to reorganize notes around a set of questions or thematic headings. This is particularly useful for those notes that you will be drawing upon for planning and writing assignments. They can be reworked and key concepts and ideas can thus be applied to different types of questions and issues.

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1.2 Disentangling sounds

If you are still feeling aggrieved about the shortcomings of evolution, then you might take heart from the remarkable way in which the auditory system has evolved so as to avoid a serious potential problem. Unlike our eyes, our ears cannot be directed so as to avoid registering material that we wish to ignore; whatever sounds are present in the environment, we must inevitably be exposed to them. In a busy setting such as a party we are swamped by simultaneous sounds – people in different pa
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1 Performance management

Figure 1

1.6.5 RSS

RSS (‘Really Simple Syndication’ or ‘Rich Site Summary’) newsfeeds supply headlines, links, and article summaries from various websites. By using RSS ‘feedreader’ software you can gather together a range of feeds and read them in one place: they come to you, rather than you having to go out and look for breaking news. The range of RSS feeds on offer is growing daily. There is probably a feed to cover all aspects of your life where you might need the latest information, and you may
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1.5.8 Bibliographic software

If you are considering taking your studies further you might like to consider using bibliographic software. Bibliographic software can be used to sort references, annotate them, manage quotations or create reading lists.

There are several software packages on the market. Some are listed below.