Going Back to Review Previous Lessons

Carlos recommended staying on a lesson until you can read Gregg shorthand without a problem. With this in mind, the past few days I have returned to the first chapter of the Anniversary edition from the sixth chapter. I struggled to read Gregg notes quickly and easily. Now I can whiz through … the first chapter! Am I slow or normal?

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  1. I think that you may have gone through the chapters too quickly, but not to worry, now you know what to do. Now that you have the basic manual, you may want to also check the key, which contains additional practice material. It is posted here.

    One of the things about studying from the regular manual is that you should supplement it with other books, because the practice material is not sufficient enough to make sure that the student really knew the principles. The third edition of Gregg Speed Studies is an excellent book to have, as it provides additional material that is correlated with the units of the manual, so you can use it at the same time that you study the basic manual. The Fundamental Drills in Gregg Shorthand book is another good book that provides additional practice material for each chapter — there is a PDF in Andrew Owen's website.

    Lastly, we have posted some additional practice drills correlated with the chapters of the Anniversary manual in the blog. Below are some links:

    1. Drills on Chapters of the Anniversary Manual
    2. Drills on Manual Lessons
    3. Supplementary Lesson Drills

    1. Sufficient perhaps no — the goal after a first shorthand course is to be at a minimum of 60 wpm (if not better) — but after sufficient practice and exposure to shorthand, 120 wpm (and higher speeds) is achievable, more than likely after a second course. Concentrate now on learning the system well; those two books will help you reinforce the principles. Most of the slowness in speed in students is because they waste time thinking how to write a word because they don't know the principles of the system well — this causes hesitation in the writer. Shorthand writing should be automatic, as when you write longhand. The better you learn the principles, the faster you will reach those higher speeds you want. Break your long term goals into smaller goals and you'll get there.

  2. Right, I hear you. Learn the system and reinforce the principles with practice.

    By "shorthand course," do you mean going through all of the units or chapters in a book? And is one unit or chapter a week sufficient to get up to 100 wpm by the first year?

    1. Yes, that's what I mean by a shorthand course. In the past, shorthand courses were for the most part semester courses: typically 80 lessons/semester. Classes use to meet 5 days/week. The first semester was the principles, the second semester was a dictation/introductory transcription course which was designed to review the first semester and to improve your writing speed. The third & four semesters were a transcription course and a speed building course, respectively, although in some schools, the second year was all speed building. Each course had a specific book. Since you will not be working in an office to produce transcripts, but rather be transcribing the notes for your own use, the transcription course is less important than the speed building part in your case. You will see that if you go through the principles well, the dictation and speed building phases should go relatively faster.

      Below are two posts for a typical plan of study using the Anniversary manual. However, they were based on a one-year course in the principles, so if you want 80 lessons, just do two of the suggested assignments (you may even go faster, it depends on how fast and motivated you are in learning).

      1. Suggested Assignments for Anniversary Gregg

      2. Course of Study – Anniversary

      As to your last question, after a year of studying shorthand (principles & dictation book), you should be writing at 100 wpm with ease if you practice and know the principles well. As in any endeavor, your mileage may vary, of course. This assumes that you know all the brief forms, phrases, word endings, word beginnings, and rules backwards and forwards so that you can write words automatically on command without hesitation.

      I hope this helps.

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