How to Study and Learn


To study well and learn any subject is to learn how to think with discipline within that subject. It is to learn to think within its logic, to:

- raise vital questions and problems within it, formulating them clearly and precisely
- gather and assess information, using ideas to interpret that information insightfully
- come to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards
- adopt the point of view of the discipline, recognizing and assessing, as needs be, its assumptions, implications, and practical consequences
- communicate effectively with others using the language of the discipline and that of educated public discourse
- relate what one is learning in the subject to other subjects and to what is significant in human life

To become a skilled learner is to become a self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinker, who has given assent to rigorous standards of thought and mindful command of their use. Skilled learning of a discipline requires that one respect the power of it, as well as its, and one’s own, historical and human limitations.

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