How to Practice


I’ve just begun shorthand (again), and I’m wondering: what kinds of things can I do to practice short hand.  I’m no where near ready for dictations, as I still need to practice writing in general.  What kinds of things do you recomend to do to practice writing?  Perhaps just write a story?  I dunno.

(by _pie_man_
for everyone)


14 comments Add yours
  1. A couple of ideas.  First reading.  You can go back and read what you've all ready studied.  You will read it faster and your mind will know the outline so when you do write it, you can write it quickly.    Another thing is to write the lesson out.    This is how I learned in an actual shorthand class with a teacher (okay it was Speedwriting, but it's still good idea).         I think we did and I still do this is write down the word in long hand, then 3-7 times in shorthand (about 4 is good).  Leave a space below that enough to write it about 4 more times.          Go to a new page and write down the entire reading & writing lesson down one column of the steno book.          Put the book aside (either mark the page or put it down where it's not easily referenced but you can get to it if you need to).          Then go back and copy what you wrote.  This way you've really learned the lesson.  I find that some words in the word drills I wrote complete wrong in shorthand because writing the lesson once helped reinforce the rules, this is why it's wrote in longhand first, because I would never make out the shorthand outline    Not only do these ways help reinforce the shorthand outline but it helps you read your own shorthand notes.  Oh we also had to transcribe all that we wrote (the letters part not the individual words).  So yes it was a lot of work. Debbi

  2. By lesson, do you mean write out the words that are written in longhand, or copying out practice readings?   Also, when learning shorthand, are you memorizing the outline for every word, or are you learning to spell fluently each word.  Basicly, do you think "Ilike pie" or do you think "ala pi"

  3. I'm not sure what you mean by the last question, but when I study shorthand, I study and visualize the outline.  So at that stage you memorize the outline.  When you transcribe, then you switch to written English and write down what makes sense.  So you do both, depending whether you are taking dictation or studying, or transcribing.

  4. Sure!  But only use it for word you've studied. Since you are learning the basics, don't try to make up new words until you've studied all the principles.   The dm (or tm) curve is longer than the tn (or dn) curve.

  5. I do have a question about the tn curve versus the dm curve… I noticed that in like every example, the tn just looks like a bigger over ith but the dm starts almost vertically and shoots off like you're making a big fancy curlecue. I.E. the difference between the th and nd is not so great as between the nd and md.

    Am I just being schizo and making things up or is this a good way to do it?

    Thanks 🙂

  6. So it is supposed to be precisely proportional like that? I just noticed that there are a few strokes in the manual where it looks like they just go for it and make the point of having it be huge instead of twice the size of the smaller counterpart, but it could just be an optical illusion. I notice this with def, gent, and dm. Not at all with md strangely enough.

    Do you see the same thing when you look through the Simplified manual? I'm starting to think I'm just seeing things…

  7. That is actually a good observation. The size is like this:

    over th: from bottom to 1/4 space
    tn (dn): from bottom to 1/2 space
    tm (dm): from bottom to top

    The strokes should be comparatively larger, so you should see differences between th and dn. It would help you if you think of them coming from a slanted oval.

  8. Pieman, I learned this tip from The Factors of Shorthand Speed. To wit:

    Take a sheet a paper, fold into halves, then into thirds. This will give you six sections on each side of the page.

    Write the symbols in section 1. Then transcribe these symbols in Section 2. Cover section 1, and re-write the symbols in Section 3.

    Then cover section 1 and 2, and re-transcribe the symbols in Section 4. Do this over and over, writing the symbols and then transcribing, until all 12 sections are filled.

    You'll be surprised at how well this trick works..

Leave a Reply