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Latex Versus Hand Writing

  1. Feb 9, 2014 #1
    Hello everyone,

    I take notes strictly with Latex, as I am able to get more done in a day by not taking hand written notes; and lately I have been contemplating using latex to write up solutions to problems for the same reason, that I might get more done in a day. My concern is, however, that it is believed that the process of writing aids in the remembrance of things. I am not sure if I believe this entirely, though. I am curious to know others sentiments regarding this. As I said, ever since I began college I have been taking notes on my computer, and heretofore I have been doing well in college and still remember, for the most part, things that I have taken notes of.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 10, 2014 #2


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    I'm not sure there is any research looking at the difference in retention between hand-written notes and keyboarding. But if you can use it taking notes with no problems, that's a good sign that it works for you.

    You must be super fast at it!
  4. Feb 10, 2014 #3


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    Most of the research of this suggests that hand writing leads to better retention. This is due to the way the brain processes information. You could always write and type.
  5. Feb 11, 2014 #4
    Thank you two for your opinions. I suppose I will try writing up my solutions purely with Latex and see how I fare in terms of memorization.
  6. Feb 11, 2014 #5


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    What type of notes are you taking, exactly?

    I can't see how this is an effective or efficient way to take notes if this is a physics class. Don't you have to make frequent sketches, and write complicated math equations? My notes, especially in E&M classes, are filled with sketches, arrows, lines, annotations, comments, and even multicolored inks just to produce clear and useful notes!

    This isn't a beauty contest, nor does it require that level of sophistication. All it requires is that the notes are clear, and useful to YOU. But it also should be inefficient, i.e. you should have to spend more time than you should to produce it. I don't see how writing your notes in LaTex can accomplish this.

  7. Feb 11, 2014 #6
    I'm sorry for the misconception, I don't take notes with Latex during lectures. When I use latex to take note is when I read my textbooks, or when I write up my homework. Also, another reason why I take notes on my computer is that, when I take hand notes, the papers pile up and I end up never looking at them anyways.
  8. Feb 11, 2014 #7


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    Yes, I noticed that writing even rewriting a textbook that I am reading I remember more of the details than if I am just reading in my head.
  9. Feb 11, 2014 #8


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    Underlining, highlighting, and writing equations in the margin of textbooks helped me in remembering. And "re-remembering" years later. :approve:
  10. Feb 20, 2014 #9
    Do you use latex or other latex-like tool ? such as Scientific Workplace( you can see the published format when you are writing, like MS Word ), which is more esay to use.
  11. Feb 22, 2014 #10
    freshman123, I use TeXstudio, and I am rather pleased with it.
  12. Feb 25, 2014 #11
    I think there's no thing as an answer to your dilemma, for some people it might work handwriting notes, for some others could be better to do a parallel process of the information to focussing harder (like write it on a text processor). I take no notes, I just solve problems and leave my memory to do the rest, works for me, and for me not taking any notes is as effective as taking notes for other people.
  13. Feb 27, 2014 #12
    If anyone is interested, I posed to this question to my professor, whether or not it was a bad idea to type up solutions to problems, rather than writing everything out by hand, and my professor said that, as long as you are thinking about the problem, it does my matter by which method you solve the problem.
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