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Is diagramming just for learning the processes?

Calgary77321Calgary77321 Alum Member
in General 42 karma
Okay, I tried searching, but couldn't find anything. It's a pretty basic question. I found diagramming at first fairly challenging, yet have gotten much better. I find it helpful when doing the blind review to confirm my answer. However, on actual timed PTs, I find there just isn't enough time. Often the arguments have far too many wordy concepts that are difficult to diagram, and I end up just confused between terms. I find, more often than not, diagramming eats up a lot of my time, and I am getting better and better at just seeing the answer by reading the questions. Although I still diagram the questions that have many conditional statements and are very simple sentences, anything that is very complex, I find diagramming under the time pressure doesn't help me. Is it fair to say that diagramming LR questions (e.g. parallel, PF, and especially SA questions) is mostly for just learning the conditional statements, and strengthening the learning so that it becomes somewhat intrinsic? It seems to be working for me so far since I have had significant improvements, but just wanted a second opinion on this.


  • loosekanenloosekanen Alum Member
    138 karma
    There are usually only 2 or 3 questions per section that have some pretty intense lawgic in my opinion. I tend to skip them, do the other questions, and use my last ~5-8 minutes on those questions. I usually get through them with enough time even though I do diagram them. I also will diagram when I want to check a parallel flaw/method question against two answers I think may be acceptable or if I've eliminated four and I really have a problem with the fifth answer. I've found some ancillary benefit to skipping those questions as well. Usually when I finish one of them my brain feels legitimately used/tired. By saving them to the end I have the short break between sections to center with some breathing and not risk a tough, diagram question influencing a following, easier question because of fatigue.
  • SamiSami Alum Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
    10721 karma

    @Calgary77321 said:
    I am getting better and better at just seeing the answer by reading the questions.
    It's definitely fair to say you don't have to diagram if you can see the answer just by reading it. I know a lot of high scorers who have practiced diagramming and argument forms so much that they can just see what's missing without even having to draw it. This gives them speed as well.

    However, if you do miss a question that requires diagramming I would work on understanding in Blind Review what about the question gave you difficulty. Was it logic? Was it not being able to shorten ideas so they are easily diagrammable? or was it grammar?

    So I think the answer to your question is definitely depends. Like you said, you are getting them correct, in this way its fine to not diagram them. But if you get them wrong, definitely take your time to learn it and see how in future you would act if you encounter a similar question.
  • Calgary77321Calgary77321 Alum Member
    42 karma
    Great, thanks for the help guys! I tend to only get the occasional diagramming question wrong now, however, it's usually the same one's that I can't figure out how to diagram in the time conditions. I will work on improving those.
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