Ch. Four - learning lincoln on-line

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Chapter 4: Identifying and Learning from
Organizational Patterns
From this Chapter, you’ll learn
• how to identify seven common organizational
patterns.
• how to use the patterns to determine what you need
to remember and what you can safely forget.
• how you can use the patterns to take notes that will
help you review for exams.
• how recognizing patterns of organization can help
your store information in memory.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Pattern 1: Definition
The definition pattern is
• one of the most common patterns in
textbooks.
• one of the easiest patterns to recognize.
• frequently combined with other patterns
• almost always essential to your notes.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Definition:Key Characteristics
• usually opens with the word being defined.
• highlights that word in some way, i.e. bold
face, annotated, italicized etc.
• follows the word being defined with a
detailed definition.
• can include, in addition to the definition, the
word’s history, an example of how it’s used,or
a word with which it is commonly confused.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Definition: Example
• In marketing, the term cognitive dissonance refers to a
buyer’s doubts about a whether a purchase made was
the right decision. For instance, after purchasing a new
and more expensive cell phone, the buyer may wonder if
the added features were worth the additional expense
and feel guilty about buying the phone. Cognitive
dissonance is most likely to occur when a person has
bought an expensive product that lacks some of the
desirable features of competing brands. A buyer
experiencing cognitive dissonance may attempt to return
the product or seek positive information to justify
choosing it. (Adapted from Pride and Ferrell. Marketing, p.201)
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
A Word to the Wise
• Like all patterns of organization in writing,
the definition pattern does not have a
fixed format. The writer can, for instance,
delay the definition, telling the reader
about other possible definitions before
the writer introduces the actual definition
he or she has in mind.
• The main idea dictates how the
organizational pattern is used, not the
other way around. Writers may emphasize
or downplay different elements of a
pattern in order to better explain the main
idea.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Definition: Variation
• The term unconscious is a notoriously ambiguous
word. Some people think it refers to Freudian
repressed memories. Others think that it is what
happens during a coma, or after being hit on the
head, or drinking too much. None of these
definitions is what I have in mind. Instead, what I
mean by the term is the many things that the brain
does that are not available to consciousness. (Adapted
from LeDoux, The Synaptic Self, p.11)
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Definition: Note-Taking Tips
1. When you take notes on the definition
pattern of organization, your focus should be
on the definition and perhaps an example of
how it’s used. You can pretty much ignore
any information concerning what the word
doesn’t mean.
2. Definition patterns lend themselves nicely to
concept maps, which place the definition in
the center of the page. See page 178 of
Chapter 4 for an example.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Pattern 2: Process
The process pattern is
• especially common in business and science textbooks.
• the pattern used to explain how something functions or takes
place, in other words a process or procedure.
• heavily dependent on descriptions of individual steps or
stages.
• dependent on how the order of events took place in real time.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Process: Key Characteristics
• The first or second sentence is likely to announce the
process or procedure being explained.
• Most of the sentences in the paragraph will
introduce a new step or stage in the larger process.
• Transitions such as first, second, then, next and
finally are often used to highlight each individual
step or stage.
• The order of the steps or stages reproduces the
order in which they occur during real time.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Process: Example
According to the writer Elizabeth Kübler Ross, there are five stages in
confronting the prospect of death. The first of the five stages is
often denial, with the ailing person insisting he or she is fine.
Usually short-lived, denial is replaced by anger, with the person
facing death feeling unfairly targeted by fate. For those who are
religious, the third stage is bargaining with a higher power, and
requests are made for just a little more time in order to set things
right or see something happen, for instance, “ Let me live until my
children are grown.” Depression is, in many cases, the fourth stage.
This is the point at which people tell themselves nothing matters
because death is so close, why bother caring about anything. If it is
achieved, the final stage is acceptance, and the individual decides
to accept the reality of death while getting as much as possible out
of what’s left from life.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Process: Note-Taking Tips
1. Be sure to identify the larger process being explained.
2. Indicate the number of steps early on in your notes.
3. Make sure the steps follow the order of presentation in
the passage.
4. If the passage defines key terms while describing the
stages, your notes should define the terms as well.
5. Consider making a flow chart that highlights the
individual steps and shows the sequence. See the
chapter examples of flow charts on pages 185-186.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Pattern 3: Sequence of Dates and
Events
The sequence of dates and events pattern
• turns up most frequently in history and
government texts.
• is most likely to explain the individual events
that led up to a major cultural change or
describe specific events in the development of
an idea or a professional career.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Sequence of Dates and Events: Key Characteristics
• The topic sentence is likely to introduce a time
frame, e.g. “Between 1939 and 1941, Americans
watched in horror as Europe was engulfed by a
nightmare.”
• Dates are presented according to their
occurrence in real time and appear in numerous
sentences throughout the paragraph
• Transitions like “Right before the financial
meltdown,” “When the dust settled,” and “Soon
after the treaty was signed” frequently open
sentences.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Sequence of Dates and Events: Example
Born July 18th 1981, champion tennis player Esther Vergeer lost the
use of both legs in 1990 when she was nine years old. An operation
to relieve a brain hemorrhage had left her permanently paralyzed.
But if you think that stopped her ascent to fame and fortune, think
again. Vergeer, who had already shown an aptitude for sports went
on to play wheelchair basketball and tennis. In wheelchair tennis
she became a world champion, winning the United States World
Championship in 1998. By 2000, she had won a gold medal in
Australia’s paralympics. In 2002 and 2008, she won the Laureus
Sportsperson award for person with a disability and is currently
considered the most dominant person in her sports. In 2010, she
posed naked for ESPN magazine’s annual Body issue, becoming the
first person with a disability to appear in the Body issue.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Sequence of Dates and Events
:Note-Taking Tips:
1. In listing key dates and events, don’t lose
sight of the author’s overall point. Make sure
your notes answer the question: What do the
dates and events illustrate?
2. Arrange your notes so that the dates line up
underneath one another to quickly reveal
the time intervals covered in the passage.
3. Consider making a time line like the one
shown on page 188 of Chapter 4.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Pattern 4: Simple Listing
The simple listing pattern
• shows up in almost any type of textbook but is
especially popular in science texts.
• is used when the order of information is
irrelevant to the meaning.
• is typically used to identify characteristics, errors,
or situations associated with a topic, e.g. “Here
are five mistakes you don’t want to make in a job
interview,” “There are four good reasons to
televise the paralympics. “
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Simple Listing: Key Characteristics
• The topic sentences are likely to tell you, for instance,
five things you should never do on a first date or four
statements you need to include in a professional cover
letter.
• The supporting details offer specific pieces of
information about the topic.
• The pieces of information described in the details are
all connected by the topic but not necessarily
connected to one another.
• The order of the information is unimportant; details
could be readily switched around without obscuring,
or clouding, the point of the passage.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Simple Listing: Example
Because employers are making more and more use of social
networking sites to screen their employees, job hunters need to keep
several pointers in mind. First off, censor your online photographs.
Prospective employers are not inclined to hire people who have posted online
pictures of themselves chugging beer. (The same goes for sexually
revealing pictures). And whatever you do, don’t use the Web to complain about
your current job since potential employers will assume you’ll complain about them
too if you are displeased with their methods or procedures. Also, make sure that
your resumé and your social network page match. If your resumé says you went to
Harvard and your Facebook page says the University of Phoenix, your name is
likely to be eliminated from an employer’s interview list. Finally, understand and
use security settings to maintain your privacy on social networking sites. If you use
social networking to keep close friends apprised of your most private thoughts, make
sure those thoughts are really limited to your intimate circle.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Simple Listing: Note-Taking Tips
1. The hardest thing about most simple listing passages is
remembering the material, because the details have no
particular order and often contain information not tightly
connected in meaning. Consider making a concept map like
the one shown on page 196, so that your brain processes the
information in two ways, verbally and visually.
2. Be sure to paraphrase the supporting details. Paraphrasing
will etch them more deeply into your long-term memory.
3. Because order is not an important element in simple listing,
reverse the original order in your notes. Re-thinking the
order will give you another chance to process the
information at a deeper level of thinking than just copying
the original order allows.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Pattern 5: Classification
The Classification Pattern
• is heavily used in business and science texts.
• describes how some larger group can be
divided into a number of smaller, sub-groups.
• is typically used in informative writing, where
the author wants to explain rather than
persuade.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Classification: Key Characteristics
• The topic sentence describes how one larger group
can be broken down into smaller subgroups.
• The topic sentences in this pattern are likely to
include words like categories and subgroups.
• The topic sentences are also likely to use verbs like
broken down into, analyzed, classified, or divided.
• Words like categories, groups, and divisions are
common to this pattern.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Classification: Example
•
Bloggers can generally be divided into six different groups. The collaborative blog, for
instance, has several different authors and usually a common topic or theme that ties
their contributions together. An example of a collaborative blog would be
Mashable.com, which focuses on technology and social media issues, all of which are
addressed by different contributors. How-To blogs are more likely to be run by one
person. They take a good deal of time and effort to maintain because they offer step-bystep tutorials and require real expertise in the procedures explained. Blog-well.com, for
example, tries to teach people how to use common programming languages XML and
HTML. As their name implies, travel blogs describe great places to visit. The better travel
blogs include wonderful pictures along with tips on how to travel to specific locations.
Gadling.com would be a good example of this type. Personal blogs express the
perspective of a single person on any range of topics, with topics and themes varying
widely and often. Krautblog.com would be an excellent example of this category. Food
blogs can sometimes fall under the how-to category but not necessarily because a food
blog doesn’t always tell you how to cook a specific dish but rather where you can buy or
eat wonderful food. Sometimes all you will get is the recipe but no tips on how to go
about turning the recipe into your dinner. On Food-e-matters.com, though, you can get
all of the previous and more. Political and cultural blogs talk about current issues and
offer the blogger’s perspective on those issues. Dailykos.com is an example of a political
blog that has become widely known and influential among liberal voters.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Classification: Note-Taking Tips
1. Don’t get nervous if the classification pattern is long. The
organization is so predictable, you can usually pull the
information out fairly easily.
2. If there is a topic sentence—and there usually is—that
identifies the number of categories discussed, paraphrase it
and put it at the top of your notes.
3. Don’t forget the number of categories mentioned. That’s an
especially important detail. You can use it to check how well
you have recorded the major details of the passage.
4. Look for names of the categories and be sure to include
them if they are present. Be aware, though, the categories
aren’t always identified by name.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Pattern 6: Comparison and Contrast
The comparison and contrast pattern
• regularly makes an appearance in scientific
writing; it’s also common in writing on history.
• always addresses two different but somewhat
related topics.
• can deal with people, events, ideas, even past
and present versions of the same place or
idea.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Comparison and Contrast: Key Characteristics
1. The topic sentence is likely to announce how two topics
differ from or resemble one another; it can also insist that
one person, idea, or object is better or worse than another.
2. Comparison and contrast paragraphs often don’t include a
stated topic sentence. Instead, the author identifies specific
similarities and/or differences and lets them speak for
themselves.
3. The author is likely to use transitions such as similarly, in
contrast, in the same vein, and however.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Comparison and Contrast: Example
• An experiment with dogs suggests that our canine pals, much like ourselves,
differ in their attitude toward life: Some dogs are pessimists while others
appear to be optimists. In an experiment at a British veterinary school,
researchers placed bowls of food in a regular location and got dogs used to
finding their dinner there. The researchers then placed a consistently empty
bowl in a separate location with a second, food-filled bowl placed between the
two. Some dogs, when led to the empty bowl, would just give up if no food
was present. These were the pessimists. The optimists, however, having
experienced a reward on previous occasions, would keep looking and
eventually locate the bowl in the middle. The dogs labeled pessimistic also
grew anxious if separated from their owners. They would bark, chew things,
and urinate inappropriately. The optimistic dogs, however, tended to fall
asleep when left alone. They also greeted strangers as possible substitute
playmates. In contrast, the pessimistic dogs would react to strangers with fear
and aggression.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Comparison and Contrast: Note-Taking Tips
1. Don’t get so caught up in the similarities and differences
described that you leave out the main idea they develop.
Writers use similarities and differences to make a point. Make
sure your notes do the same.
2. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a visual learner, consider
making a diagram like the one shown on page 206 of Chapter
4. Diagrams can give your mind two ways to remember the
similarities and differences, the words themselves and the
visual image of how they look in a diagram. Doubling up the
way your brain records new information is a superb way of
making sure that the material you are learning stays with you
for a very long time.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Pattern 7: Cause and Effect
The cause and effect pattern
• appears frequently in just about every kind of
writing.
• explains how one event led to or produced another.
• can focus on causes and/or effects.
• often describes a chain reaction with an effect
becoming the cause of new and different
consequences.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Cause and Effect: Key Characteristics
1. The topic sentence explains how one event (the cause) led to
or produced another event (the effect).
2. Verbs such as produces, generates, induces, causes and
instigates are common.
3. The writer relies heavily on transition like as a result,
consequently, in response to, and therefore
4. Connectives* like because, as, due to, and since are common
in this pattern.
*Connectives are words that link together parts of sentences. They are
also called conjunctions.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Cause and Effect: Example
Bats in the Northeast are dying in catastrophic numbers. Biologists estimate
that only 10 percent of the region’s cave-dwelling bats are still alive. The
cause of the bats’ death seems to be a powdery white fungal infection
called “White Nose Syndrome, “ because bats suffering from the disease
look as if their noses were covered by a thin layer of white gauze. A number
of proposals are being circulated to prevent the disease from spreading, and
all of them have high price tags. But most states in the Northeast are taking
the threat seriously and are willing to spend the money in order to prevent
more bats from dying. Vermont, for instance, announced a 1.9
appropriation to study the prevention of White Nose Syndrome, which may
not be what actually kills the bats but which seems to weaken them to such
a degree that they can no longer hunt and die of starvation. Those who
think saving bats is not an important enough issue to spend huge sums of
money on need to think again. Bats kills insects. Without them, crops are
likely to suffer serious infestations of destructive bugs. Mosquitoes and
mosquito-borne illnesses could also prove a serious problem if bats
continue to die in huge numbers.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Note-Taking Tips
1. Make sure you accurately paraphrase the cause and
effect relationship described in the topic sentence.
2. Use arrows or even arrows and boxes to indicate a
chain of causes and effects, like the one shown on
page 211.
3. Make your notes reflect the proportions of the
paragraph. If the author’s emphasis is on causes
more than effects, your notes should show the
same emphasis or balance.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
A Word to the Wise
•Writers frequently combine patterns of organization to make their point.
Depending on the main idea, the patterns might be equal in importance or one
pattern might be primary, or more significant than the other pattern or patterns.
•For instance, this sentence, would seem to require just one pattern, sequence of
dates and events: “Russia’s Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, has had a long and
somewhat sinister career.” But what about this sentence: “Our brain requires that
a number of specific steps be completed in order to remember new information
for more than a few minutes”?
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Final Wrap: Identifying and Learning from Organizational
Patterns
Read each list of characteristics and decide which pattern the list fits.
1. These characteristics are typical of the ___________pattern.
a. The topic sentence explains how something functions, happens, or
develops.
b. Transitions like first, second, next, and finally often mark different
steps or stages.
c. The order of the supporting details is crucial.
2. These characteristics are typical of the ____________ pattern.
a. The similarities and/or differences between two topics are
discussed in detail.
b. The transitions used are likely to be words or phrases such as
in contrast, whereas, and similarly.
c. The main idea is very likely to be implied rather than stated.
copyright© Laraine Flemming
2012
Final Wrap: Identifying and Learning from
Organizational Patterns
3. These characteristics are typical of the ___________pattern.
a. The topic sentence introduces a key word or phrase that is followed by
a definition.
b. Often the key word or phrase is in italics or boldface.
c. The remainder of the paragraph might provide some history.
4. These characteristics are typical of the ___________ pattern.
a. There’s likely to be transitions such as by 1972, after the fall of 1941.
b. The pattern is likely to be accompanied by timelines and flow charts
c. The order in which events are presented is critical to the meaning.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Final Wrap: Identifying and Learning from
Organizational Patterns
5. These characteristics are typical of the _________ pattern.
a. The main idea describes how some larger group can be sub-divided into
smaller sub-groups.
b. The author names a number of categories.
c. The author specifically describes different categories belonging to the
larger group.
6. These characteristics are typical of the _________ pattern.
a. The topic sentence includes words such as symptoms, risks, and
characteristics.
b. The order of the supporting details can be completely reversed without
causing confusion.
c. The supporting details are related to the topic but not necessarily to
one another.
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Final Wrap: Identifying and Learning from
Organizational Patterns
7. These characteristics are typical of the ____________ pattern.
a. The topic sentence explains how one event produced or
caused another.
b. The author uses transitions such as as a result, in
consequence of that action, and in response to.
c. The author uses verbs like stimulates, causes, produces, and triggers.
8. What pattern (or patterns) would you expect to see used in a passage that
begins like this: “In the Netherlands, between 1904 and 1940, 12 different
bills banned various categories of married women from paid work”?
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Final Wrap: Identifying and Learning from Organizational
Patterns
9. What pattern or patterns would you expect to see used in a
passage that begins like this: “Scientists are concerned by
evidence that wild bumble bees may be following in the
footsteps of domestic honey bees, which are disappearing in
huge numbers”?
10. What pattern or patterns would you expect to see used in a
passage that begins like this: “Many media pundits have
claimed that the war in Afghanistan will mirror the war in Viet
Nam, but in fact, the two wars are very different in nature”?
copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
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