Monday, July 28, 2014

Cheat Sheet or Quick Reference Guide? Part I

Before the Internet, high school students would sometimes pick up notes that gave a summary of a book. Instead of reading for hours, they would base their report on the facts in these brief, but thorough, evaluations. Teachers hated them and could usually spot when a student used a "cheat sheet."

There's a saying that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. (Author unknown to me.) The problem with getting by on as little as possible becomes apparent when we hit a snag.

A lot of writers learn the buzz words and just enough to get by. They may even score publication. What happens though when the problems they face go beyond their "cheat sheet?"

It's important to learn as much as we can about our chosen profession. When we understand the underlying principles, we can find solutions to the inevitable roadblocks we encounter in our works in progress.

Writers:  Please share what steps you take to increase your knowledge?

Readers:  In your chosen profession, how do you improve your skills?

Photo Credit:  bredmaker


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan - I often need two bites at the cherry - I quite often go to an exhibition and then go back again for a better overview. And I'm glad our film society gives me overviews of the film they will be showing - at least I have the background and can and do enjoy the film .... but when I read a classic in the future - I shall be reading the blurb first - so I sort of understand before I start reading.

Re research ... I check out Wikipedia - depending what I'm writing about and use some of their info - but I always use my common sense and knowledge as to whether it's completely what I think - particularly from a British point of view ... and I use other resources .. both net and here ...

Plagiarising is being totally lazy! Not thinking things up similarly ...

I try and be creative in my posting ...

Cheers Hilary

quietspirit said...

Susan: just taking a few minutes to pop in here. If we don't research we don't gain the knowledge we need to write about a topic we are given.