Reading information that is not in words
This is taken from
South Bank University's Study Skills Online
Robertson, S. and Smith, D. 1987
Non-verbal information, such as
may be an important part of your study.
Such illustrations in books can help you
understand the words by reinforcing, clarifying or summarising information
already in the text. Sometimes the illustrations are more important than
You need to take an
to non-verbal data. You must interrogate the information.
In dealing with a
for example, you might ask, "What pattern
emerges from these comparisons?" From a
you might ask, "What
accounts for the differences illustrated?"
These principles may apply equally to
and even to
are some other general principles which can be applied to the
interpretation of non-verbal information.
- Study the title and any text explaining the illustration to find out
the basis on which the information has been compiled.
- Identify the variables being represented.
- Take careful note of the scale where appropriate.
- See if you can relate the information in the illustration to the
subject matter of the text.
- See if you can express the information in some other way - either
orally or in writing.
- Note the purpose for which you are studying the information. Are you
concerned to establish:
- Decide on the conclusions to be drawn, being careful not to jump to
conclusions too readily.