March 7, 2010


I just purchased the book 61+ Ways to Write Faster: Speedbuilding Tips for Court Reporters and Students. I bought it from NCRA's online store for $14.95 (NCRA member price; NCRA non-member price is $18.95). Click here to enter NCRA's bookstore. Click here to enter and/or download the 2009 Best Sellers brochure from NCRA's bookstore. Although it's a bit dated (published in 1997), the info in here is pretty good. The Introduction is tedious (very wordy!), but after that hill, you get to the 61 mini articles given by court reporting instructors, well-known working court reporters, and speed champions. These mini articles vary in length from three pages long to one paragraph. The book is full of great but conflicting advice on how to build speed. The reason is everyone has their own, specific, personalized way for what helps them eventually write 225 wpm on the steno machine. So you really got to do what works for you! Still, there are lots of great suggestions in this book on how to do just that. Here's #11 of the 61+ Ways, "Make it Fun," written by Margaret Wakeman-Wells, CRI, from Bryan College in Los Angeles, California:
Save a variety of notes from classes and tapes: medical, technical, straight matter, testimony, congressional, "a little too fast," "falling off a log too slow." Always read from this variety. 1. Notes for Repetition: (Five to seven minutes of dictation, no drops.) Read one time daily for approximately 10 days, making no corrections or notations in the notes at any time. At the end of this time, you should be reading these notes at a speed significantly above your writing speed. 2. Notes for Speed Reading: (No more than five minutes of dictation.) Read once and time yourself. Read again and try to cut down the time. Read a third time and try to cut the time again. The idea is to read more quickly each time. Make no corrections or notations in the notes. 3. Notes for Listing Errors: Read the notes and circle (with a glaring color of ink) all errors, including the smallest of shadows. Hold up several folds at a time to see whether there are any patterns. (This is not to catch an isolated error on one word. It is meant to show patterns of errors.) Make a list of fingering errors and practice them. 4. Notes for General Practice: When you come to the first error, mentally or on your lap practice one of the following ways (making no corrections in the notes):
  • The word in front, the error and the word after.
  • The four or five words in front of the error with the error.
  • The error and the four or five words after it
Make corrections right in the notes and mentally set the new outline. When you finish reading a set of notes in any of the preceding patterns, read the set all the way through one last time without pausing to make or practice any corrections.

1 comment:

steno_diva225 said...

Great tips! Thanks for sharing. I'll have to check out the book myself. :)

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