This program is very systematic in its teaching. It was like having a step-by-step to do list. Where all other programs failed because they were too conceptual, this program worked because of the easy step-by-step process. My son is in high school now and his writing is acceptable. He’s not a natural writer, so I don’t think it will ever be exceptional, but it is good now. Even though Pattern Based Writing is intended for younger children, it is great for a remedial program at the middle school level. I just moved faster at the earliest stages. What I found was that the simple explanation of things makes this program wonderful for a child who is struggling with writing. You get the “Oh, that’s all you wanted” light bulb going off.
Adopting this “conversational” approach to note-taking will improve your analysis of the material by leading you to notice not just what the author says, but also how and why the author communicates his or her ideas. This strategy will also help you avoid the very common temptation of thinking that the author’s way of explaining something is much better than anything you could write. If you are tempted to borrow the author’s language, write your notes with the book closed to ensure that you are putting the ideas into your own words. If you’ve already taken a step away from the author’s words in your notes, you’ll find it easier to use your own words in the paper you write.
In order to do this, you need to map out what you will do and when you will do it. Consider the overall amount of time you have been given to complete your study, from start date to final product . Give an overview of when you are going to do each specific step of your project in order to collect your data. This does not need to be a day-to-day list, but it should give an overview biweekly or monthly of how you will meet your goals and demonstrate progress. Be sure to include time to review and synthesize your data or reflect on the overall study. You should include time to prepare the final research product as well.