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2.2.3 Doing

Finally, learning how to act or perform in particular ways is essential for the development of all kinds of intellectual and physical skills. For example, we need to be able to learn how to create a variety of kinds of written communication, or how to present complex information in a clear diagram, or to decide how a team will structure its work, and so on. No amount of explanation of how to compose a clear technical report, for example, would provide convincing proof that we could actually p
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2.2.1 Memorising

We sometimes have to remember words, names, symbols and other signs, simply because there is a convention that they will stand for some accepted meaning. This is the kind of learning we use, for example, when we memorise road signs, or the conversion of metric to imperial measures, or lists of words in a foreign language. However, very little of what you study in this unit will require this kind of rote learning. You may need it if you try to remember certain definitions, for example. You wil
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1.4 Defining reflection

Reflection is both an academic concept and also a word in common use, combining ideas of thinking, musing, pondering and so on. This everyday meaning is a good basis from which to start: reflection is very much to do with thinking. However, one of the most important things about reflection is that it enables us to think about our own thinking – about what it is that we know or have experienced. Such reflection might be summed up in the phrase, ‘the mind's conversation with itself’.

<
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1.3 Reflection and course study

Many of the units on the OpenLearn website include self-assessment questions and activities designed to require you to stop and think, sometimes to take action. This is also true of many Open University courses because Open University course teams typically want students to question what they read and to try out ideas for themselves. Every time you pause to do your own thinking in this way, you are reflecting on what you have learnt.

This unit includes several activities that are specif
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1.2 Learning beyond course study

Learning how to learn has become an important goal in higher education. There is a national context in which an emphasis on ability to learn has come to prominence. It is now widely asserted that an ability to learn is as important an outcome of university study as knowledge of a discipline. This is a view put forward strongly by employers, for example, who have an interest in the employability of graduates and the skills they bring into the work place. It is a view which has been reiterated
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3.4.4 Stress concentration at joint

Although it is known that a round hole in a flat sample will theoretically produce a stress concentration of about 3, the issue was decided experimentally. A tensile test at 25 °C was undertaken on an intact eye-bar-pin assembly from the bridge, being some 8 m long and from a lower part of the chain. It yielded at about 7 MN, and fractured in the shank at a stress of about 770 MPa. The yield stress in the shank was about 520 MPa, and the failed eye bar showed ductile behaviour with a reducti
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1.3 Environmental factors

I indicated earlier that many failures occur after a product has been in service for some time: such as the wear of a car tyre, or corrosion of the car body itself. It is also possible for components to fail because of a combination of a manufacturing defect with the applied loading or with the environmental conditions during use. Author(s): The Open University

References

Burroway, Janet (2003) Writing Fiction: a guide to narrative craft, 6th edition, Harlow: Longman.
Byatt, A.S. (2001) The Biographer's Tale, London: Vintage.
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1.1 Creating characters

Activity 1

Click on 'View document' below to read the first few paragraphs from Novakovich's chapter on ‘Character’.

8.4 Hinduism in eastern India: religion in Calcutta

The Hinduism of Bengal, as in other regions of India with their own languages and distinctive historical traditions, has absorbed and retained many local elements which make it peculiarly the Hinduism of Bengal. The city of Calcutta has exerted its own considerable influence upon the surrounding region. Calcutta, the capital of West Bengal, was founded in 1690 originally as a British trading post on the Hugli, a stretch of the Ganges (or Ganga), a river sacred to Hindus (see Author(s): The Open University

1.1 The Holocaust: a unique event?

World War I has a claim to being called the first industrialised war in the sense that, for the first time, the full power of industrial technology was deployed in concentrated ways on the battlefields. During the Second World War, what might be termed industrialised mass killing was employed for the first time – not on the battlefields but in specially designated areas behind the battle fronts. The perpetrators were directed by educated men, little different socially from the bureaucrats i
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Acknowledgements

This unit was written by Dr Sue Asbee

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence

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10 Comparing and contrasting

Often you will find that an assignment asks you to ‘compare and contrast’ poems. There's a very good reason for this, for often it is only by considering different treatments of similar subjects that we become aware of a range of possibilities, and begin to understand why particular choices have been made. You will have realised that often in the previous discussions I've used a similar strategy, showing, for example, how we can describe the rhyme scheme of ‘Love From the North’ as si
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1.7 Babylonian mathematical style

Not only should you have learnt through this exercise more about the Babylonian mathematical style, but also, on another level, you should have gained more experience in the endeavour of trying to understand past mathematics. The model that we have been trying out can be characterised thus: use any means, any symbolism or notation that occurs to you, to find your way into the problem, then check rigorously to see how much of your new understanding is more a projection backwards from your own
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1.3 The historical study of cuneiform

Now, how did historical study reach the stage where Neugebauer and Sachs could pick up a tablet in a library and translate it so as to provide a fair degree of understanding? As with Egyptian hieroglyphs, cuneiform studies date from the last century. Their equivalent of the Rosetta Stone—a trilingual inscription for which one of the languages could be partially understood—was a sheer rock-face at Behistun in south-western Iran into which a text was carved in three languages, Old Persian,
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1 Babylonian mathematics

In Mesopotamia, the scribes of Babylon and the other big cities were impressing on clay tablets economic and administrative records, literary, religious and scientific works, word-lists, and mathematical problems and tables. Nearly all of the texts that give us our fullest understanding of Babylonian mathematics—indeed, of any mathematics before the Greeks—date from about 1800—1600 BC. During this period, King Hammurabi unified Mesopotamia out of a rabble of small city-states into an em
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3 Britain in the 1790s

A problem that has exercised historians for many years is, put in its most concise form: why was there no revolution in Britain in the 1790s? The question is a significant one here, because religious factors have formed an important strand in the answers that have been given. The intellectual trend was set by the publication in 1913 of England in 1815, in which the French historian Elie Halévy (1870–1937) argued that the growth of Methodism in this period was a key factor in the Bri
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Acknowledgements

This unit was written by Dr Alex Barber

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3.3 Deism

In the readings you will often come across allusions to the contrast between revealed religion and natural religion (or deism). The distinction turns on what the nature of the evidence is for a particular religious outlook. Deism is a form of natural religion that was prevalent in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe.

The evidence underpinning revealed religion typically consists of a god supposedly revealing himself (or herself or itself) to an individual or small nu
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3.2 Empiricism

The Enlightenment is also known as the Age of Reason, but it was a very specific conception of reason that held sway. Seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe had seen a boom in knowledge brought about by the birth of modern science. This boom was accompanied by both optimism and a wish to identify what it was that investigators were suddenly getting right. What was it about science that made it so reasonable, and hence so successful?

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