We remember and understand ideas best when we grasp them as part of networks or stories rather than in isolation, and with concrete examples rather than abstractions.
Try imagining a key idea as a postcard.
- The front of the card provides a specific, concrete example of the idea. This may be a visual image or a memorable, verbal example or turn of phrase. (This example should help us see or hear the idea, to experience it with our senses.)
- The back of the card elaborates the idea in three ways:
1. it identifies the source of the idea (who said it, to whom, as part of what debate or critical effort, in what field of study, as published or supported by some organization)
2. defines a key term in a transformative way
3. places that idea in the context of other ideas (debates, differences, cause and effects, comparisons, narratives)