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— Sun Tzu

A Simple Explanation Yields Greater Understanding

A Simple Explanation

A simple explanation is the result of an enormous amount of understanding.

If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.

A. Einstein

We have all experienced that long-winded, complicated explanation. We did not understand it, and we perceived the concept as very difficult. When this happened we had two choices:

  1. we decided the topic was too complicated to pursue; or,
  2. we sought an explanation for another source.

As a student, your most important responsibility is to learn the presented material. The importance of this responsibility is not dependent upon your teacher. Also, in the "real world," the person responsible for your training might not be a great teacher. They might be excellent at performing the task but horrible at doing the job. Sometimes, those that can do, cannot teach, so do not count on always having a qualified teacher. Therefore, you must seek out an explanation that makes sense to you.

Seeking Further Explanation

When challenged with an unsatisfactory explanation there is hope for you. Begin with a simple search using Google or Bing. Enter the topic even if it is multiple words into the search box and hit or tap the enter key. A page that returns several results relevant to the subject should appear. I recommend that you open the top three results listed after the advertised results.

Sometimes you must go "old school" to find the best explanation.

Do Not Forget About The Library

All educational facilities and most communities have libraries. If you do not find a suitable explanation using an online search, you must go "old school." This method includes going to the library to find other textbooks on the subject. In most cases, you can use the table of contents or index to find the topic. After reading several explanations, the concept should become easier for you to understand. If you are college or university student, you might need to use research articles on the topic. If you find yourself in this situation, head to the campus library and ask to speak to a research librarian.

Test Your Understanding

Participating in a study group gives you the opportunity to test your understanding of the material. If you can explain the concept to your classmates and improve their understanding, you most likely have a strong grasp on the information

In summary, you must get yourself organized, have a study plan, and then be ready to seek out additional sources beyond your teacher and assigned texts/readings if more explanation is necessary. Then join or form a study group and test yourself while improving your overall understanding.

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