How to Explore a New Topic Efficiently - Deepstash

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How to Explore a New Topic Efficiently

When learning any new topic efficiently, we need to learn the most useful, basic and broadly applicable ideas first.

After that, we can move onto the obscure, advanced or specialized.

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  • Depth-first. This is where we pick one area and drill down.
  • Breadth-first works by first exploring your surroundings. If that doesn't work, pick one direction and fan out again.

If the area you're exploring is bounded...

  • Master a few basic phrases using any source to give you something to play around with.
  • Use the language in the setting you care about, or substitute real conversations with mock discussions using a dictionary.
  • Pay attention to any ...

The learning space for an academic subject is composed of papers, books, and courses, linked via citations.

  • Start with a course or textbook. It will provide an easy entry-point.
  • For more specific topics, use literature reviews and meta-analyses

A project can help guide you if you're learning to do or make something.

  • Pick something you'd like to make.
  • Learn anything you need to build it. This will help you with a rough understanding and is not intended for mastery.
  • ...

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Research is open-ended

There's always something more to read that can potentially give you more insight. There is seldom a point that will tell you you're done.

Because research is open-ended, it can be hard to keep up It is helpful to decide upfront how much time you want to commit to r...

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Art of Doing Research

A major problem while doing research is that we tend to forget what we've read or where did you read it. 

  1. Some people use Zettlekasten which is a note-taking system.
  2. Another system is Caplan's approach, where you highlight the sections...

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The best routine for studying

It is often unhelpful to hear that the perfect routine is the one you can stick to to help you reach your goals. As everyone is different in personality, constraints, and preferences, the ideal method will differ.

Instead of outlining an exact routine, look at the essential parts of a rout...

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