Choosing the order of markers to represent text

The right order of structuring markers represents the right order in which we remember information. Building proper relationships between various details requires logical understanding of the text. The student may choose simply linking the visual markers, creating mind- mapping trees, or creating more complex visualization. In any case, the student should be prepared to correct the visualization if the original analysis was wrong: inserting new visual markers or removing invalid visual markers.

When recalling markers, should I be trying to recall them in the order I memorized them? This would seem logical especially when reading literature such as novels which make sense in a particular order. If so, are there any techniques to achieve this?

  • Well, this is a very good question. When we compare the training required for handling complex data structures in one’s brain vs the benefit, the mind-mapping methodology became compelling. So the short answer is: use mind-mapping tools. Below is a long answer.

    The most advanced structure I use is directional graph, something like internet, where everything is linked to everything via some sort of hyperlinks, see e.g. This is equivalent to reading 2000wpm in structural complexity.

    The simplest approach is a linked list, like a story, the order in which the subjects are mentioned. This is equivalent to reading 400wpm in structural complexity.

    For the person that graduates from this course, I originally suggested a tree-like structure, where you have markers for each granularity (the whole article, per section in sequence of sections, per paragraph in section and per important fact within paragraph). The linking of the markers should be bi-directional on each level, so you can “walk through” the markers in the original and in the inverse order. This is equivalent to reading 1000wpm in structural complexity.For a simple text this method becomes very similar to mind-mapping. And thus the short answer in the first paragraph.

  • Just to add a personal testimony, as I said in the lectures I struggle a little bit with mind-maps, and so I tend to replay markers back in logical strings. These are roughly in order they were created, but sometimes, if the logic is more clear to me in another order, I’ll change it up.

    For example, in a scientific paper where they state assumptions, then methodology, then findings, I may play back assumptions and then replay the markers of findings, because to me, this is more logical. Then I’ll play back the methodologies.

  • but doesn’t mind-mapping by its geometrical definition involve adopting a top-down approach rather than the bottom-top (details -> concepts) approach that’s been emphasized? Its starting point is a broad topic that then ‘branches’ out into details, right?

  • Basically you need to be able to go both bottom-up and top-down. Here is an “ideal” approach expected at the end of the course:

    First you go top down, when you prepare the structure of the document in your head. Then you add up details in bottom-up fashion, correcting missing “branches” as you go. Finally after reading the document you consolidate your knowledge by going top-down and verifying the details you remembered.

    In real life I work with connected graphs and Jonathan works with some personalized variation of linked lists, so the mindmapping approach is not really a strong recommendation.

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