Author: Logan Beyer

Learning Styles 

Auditory Learners


Auditory learners need to talk and to listen. Reading notes aloud, listening carefully to lectures, discussing complex topics with friends, and even using audio books rather than traditional texts are all extremely useful strategies for students who perceive the world through their ears. 



Prewriting for Auditory Learners

Read the prompt, notes, and sources aloud


Reading the prompt, notes, and sources aloud is a useful prewriting tool for auditory learners. While reading, listen carefully for patterns. Try to synthesize the ideas from each source, in order to generate ideas of your own. Use this as a springboard - to pick a topic, and to begin considering possible organizational structures. 




Podcasting is another useful prewriting tool for auditory learners. Podcasting simply requires talking outloud, while recording using a phone or other device.  Discuss what you know about the topic, potential paper theses, and anything else that seems helpful in order to refine your ideas and prepare to write.


Brainstorm orally


A third useful prewriting strategy for auditory learners is brainstorming orally. By simply talking outloud about the topic, ideas will fall into place. Discuss what you know and what you're considering writing about, and when a rough plan emerges, stop and write everything down. You can then easily convert your brainstorming session into a well thought-out outline. 


Discuss ideas outloud



Finally, discussing ideas outloud can be an invaluable prewriting tool for auditory learners. Sit down with a friend or a writing tutor and brainstorm about the paper. Discuss what information you want to include, any arguments you want to make, and potential ways to organize all your ideas. At the end of the discussion, write everything down. You can then easily convert your ideas into an outline for the paper.


Drafting for Auditory Learners



For auditory learners, especially those with learning disabilities, speech-to-text assitive technology can be a godsend in the drafting process. Using a software like Dragon, which is available at Duke, you'll be able to write your paper simply by speaking into a microphone. The words appear automatically on the screen.


Describe organization orally


If you are an auditory learner and you find yourself stuck on where to go next in the middle of writing a draft, don't stagnate. Take a quick break and discuss your overall thesis and intended organizational structure outloud. This verbal refresher should  help you figure out what to write next, and prevent you from being stuck.


Speak as you write


Another drafting strategy for auditory learners is to speak outloud as you write. Even if you aren't using assitive technology to transcribe your words to paper automatically, hearing yourself write will help improve the clarity of your sentences and the flow of your overall paper. 



Revising for Auditory Learners



The first critical revision strategy for auditory learners is to read. Read the entire paper outloud - to yourself or to a friend - and make notes along the way. If something seems awkward, underdeveloped, or just "off," mark it. Then, go back and edit these areas. You can even read the new version outloud to check for improvements.




The second critical auditory revision strategy is to listen. Give a friend or a tutor a copy of you paper and ask them to read it outloud for you. Make notes as they do so, marking anything that sounds awkward or that needs improvement. Afterwards, you can go back and make changes to these areas, helping your draft to reach its final, polished form.