Need help formulating questions

BroMania's Avatar


27 Feb, 2014 09:04 AM

I've come across this page and skimmed some of it: and I notice that I've not followed to minimal information principle on some of my cards. And I'm not sure how I could change them and split the questions into smaller cards.

Here is one card, I am quite embarrassed actually, the answer part is absurdly long and wordy.

Front - Causes of France revolution

Back -
- Poor (because of war during the American revolution and seven years war) - People starving (weren't producing enough grains, people couldn't get food etc.. - Third estate jealous of other estates. - Talk about enlightenment (inspired by American revolution).

Examples of how to make smaller cards would be appreciated.

Here is another wordy card:

Front - What were the conditions England possessed that prepared the industrial revolution

Back - Through having the strongest colonial power.
- Stimulation of entrepreneurship. - Access to labor. (roughly translated, I wrote this card in Swedish.)

A third card:
Front - Why did the industrial revolution contribute to the dominance of the western world?

Back - It contribued to
- A stronger economy - Better communication and - Simplified transport of people and goods.

I've been thinking about separating them in numbers, like this:
1. Stronger economy
2. Better communication
3. Simplified transport of people and good

And the front would look like this: Reason no. X for why the industrial rev... you get it.

Would this work? Help appreciated :)

  1. 1 Posted by brachioradialis on 27 Feb, 2014 10:19 AM

    brachioradialis's Avatar

    Lists in general are tough to remember, as Wozniak points out in that article. I think you're on to the right idea, but I would suggest making them overlapping cloze deletions. So you might have three cards like this, each with one item in the list blanked out:

    The industrial revolution's contributions to the dominance of the West:
    1. Stronger economy
    2. [...]
    3. Simplified transport of people and goods

    And if you're going to be tested in a way that asks you to list the reasons, you might want to create a fourth card that requires you to list them all. Coming up with a little mnemonic device can help a lot too, and you can put it in at the bottom of that card. For example, "Strong men communicate better and more simply" or something like that. :) I find that sort of thing especially helps if there more than 3-4 items in the list.

  2. 2 Posted by Aleksej on 27 Feb, 2014 10:32 AM

    Aleksej's Avatar

    I've come across this page and skimmed some of it: and I notice that I've not followed to minimal information principle on some of my cards.

    There is a deck for it:

  3. 3 Posted by Elsa on 27 Feb, 2014 01:12 PM

    Elsa's Avatar

    I have been doing what brachioradialis said for a few months, and haven't had any issues with cards being "too easy" and useless in practice, in case that worries you. On the contrary, I can recite them easily outside of Anki, while I never managed to do that with my old cards (I would always forget a few items). Clozes are also much faster to create than traditional cards, and more pleasant to answer.

    Numbers can be confusing and add to the total of information you need to remember - not only do you have to remember the items, but also their assigned number. In addition, if you answer n°1 instead of n°2, you have to mark the card as failed when you may have remembered n°2 correctly had you not got the numbers mixed up.

  4. 4 Posted by BroMania on 27 Feb, 2014 06:45 PM

    BroMania's Avatar

    Yes, I also thought that I might get the numbers mixed up if I were to simply list them. I guess I’ll try “clozeing” the cards. Thanks for your help! And thanks Aleksej also, for linking to the deck!

  5. 5 Posted by Gus on 05 Mar, 2014 01:57 PM

    Gus's Avatar

    Brachioradialis is on the right track. What I do for enumerations is cloze out every list item (which will create a note for every list item), then create another card that has the entire list, and then another card for an acronym to remember the list. It might be beneficial to skip the card with the whole list until you see all the clozed notes first.

    In general though, you should avoid enumerations if at all possible, because they require rote memorization and they don't really contribute to understanding. Sometimes you just can't avoid them though.

  6. 6 Posted by BroMania on 05 Mar, 2014 08:50 PM

    BroMania's Avatar

    I did just that, and it seems to work! I understand it's better to get an understanding off anything through a more "deductive reasoning way" instead of simply memorizing without going through the events which connects "why" this is because that. But I guess high-school education doesn't go in-depth enough to allow me to do that.

    Thanks for you help anyway!

  7. System closed this discussion on 22 Feb, 2016 11:50 PM.

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