Pattern and Repetition: What Numbers Can Teach Us About Writing
The following number sequence game will illustrate how difficult it is to keep random information in short term memory. Writers who understand how readers think will organize material in a way that will help the reader to grasp and hold the material.
- Click the "New Game" button to start program.
- Enter the number of digits you want in your first number. Click OK.
- A number with that many digits will appear for approximately one second for each digit. Store that number in your short term memory.
- At the end of the allotted time, the number will disappear. Type that number into the second text box.
- When you are finished typing the number, click the "Show Number" button to verify your accuracy.
- To begin a new game, click the "New Game" button.
Your best score will appear here.
Compare this to the ease of remembering a number such as this one:
This number has two features that make it much easier to remember than the numbers you have encountered in the game above, even though it is much longer than those numbers:
- The number has a pattern.
- The number involves repetition.
We can also use pattern and repetition in our writing to make it
- easier for the reader to follow, and
- easier for the reader to remember.