Mind Mapping, Part II: Working Memory as Writing Challenge

I feel that working is the most interesting, most misunderstood, and most important to compensate for of all the executive functions. What working memory is is the ability to hold things in you mind and manipulate them. On a cognitive assessment that would likely be measured by number recall and reverse number recall. (The latter being the most interesting.) 

So, what does this have to do with writing a paper? Imagine a hypothetical student who is writing a 7 page history essay. That essay needs a thesis and a conclusion. But in between it need, say, 10 points to prove the thesis. To be a really good paper with a persuasive argument, those points need to be clearly articulated in a logical, linear fashion and transition from one another smoothly without redundancy. And, all of this needs to be done in the context of a well written piece that strongly proves the thesis. 

Essentially, what is being asked of the brain is to create language, make a good argument, and organize our thoughts. Without some sort of organizational preparation, we are asking our brains to do all of that at once! This is particularly difficult considering or lack of working memory. Consider trying to put those 10 points in order is you could, literally, only hold 5 of them in your head at a time. (Because that is exactly how our lack of working memory can/does manifest.) It would be nearly impossible. And, without the clarity that organization and structure provide, the writing process is frustrating, laborious, and excruciating. Not to mention the hours of avoiding it in the first place or the hot mess which is editing a totally disorganized paper.

Why Mind Mapping? Check back in the next few days for the next tantalizing installment…

My Blog Disclaimer: As a way to encourage myself to actually post entries, I have made a conscious decision not to go back and edit much, if at all. I do not apologize for any typos, grammatical errors, or things that could be better! Done & posted is always better than not done perfectly.

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