People have two phases of learning:
- Learning to Write
- Writing to Learn
Do you remember carefully printing simple sentences onto your first grade dotted paper? Not only were you practicing your letters, but you were laying the foundation for your language skills. Sentences have naming parts and telling parts. There are asking sentences and telling sentences. Sometimes there are commanding or surprising sentences!
Then, sometime in third grade, you began to write to learn. Remember looking for answers to questions in your science book? Did you have to answer them in complete sentences? How many reports on U.S. presidents did you have to write? Oh, and why did you have to copy all those notes from the chalkboard? Why all that writing?
Physically writing complete thoughts onto paper:
- Facilitates a better memory of the information.
- Allows your brain to process the material in a different way than hearing or seeing it did.
- Exercises your critical thinking muscles. (How does this change what I’ve always been taught about the four food groups? What kind of conclusions can a I draw from what I just wrote about global warming?)
However, did you know that you still write to learn as an adult?
- When you write reports for your business, don’t you have to do a little research for it?
- Or, even if you know all the facts, doesn’t writing them down help to cohere the information in a way that you hadn’t seen before?
- When you write articles for your website, do you ever do a little Googling to back up your own information? How does that enhance what you already knew? What do you learn from writing the article?
I learned this information by writing notes in one of my Education classes in college. Of course, it stuck in my brain and heart by putting it to action as a teacher. Now, I continue to learn new things when I write for my own business, as well as for my clients.
What have you learned while writing as an adult?