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2.1.3 Concept cards

Another way to tackle unfamiliar words is to start a ‘concept card’ system, using index cards. When you meet a word which seems important, take a new card and write the word at the top, followed by any useful information you have found. File the cards alphabetically and add details as you come across new information. (It is worth getting an index card box anyway, then you can try out various ways of using it to organise your studies.)

Figure 1
Figure 1 Sample of a ‘concept card’

If, on the other hand, you prefer to use your computer, you could search online for index card software. Try, which reviews free software and provides download links. Just type ‘index card’ into the Search box. The example in Figure 2 is from PS CardFile Pegasus.

(Source: PinderSoft, 2004)
Figure 2 Sample of an electronic ‘concept card’

Of course, making concept cards is time consuming. You need to weigh up, as you go along, how much benefit you are getting and how much time is worth investing.


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