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Teach Yourselves Shorthand

March 2019


Who needs shorthand?” Let’s face it, hand-written notes can be slow – your longhand writing speed may be around 30 words a minute – but people tend to speak at more than 150 words a minute. In the classroom you need to make meaningful notes while trying to follow the speaker’s thoughts; how do you cope?

 The most effective and versatile method of note-taking in the classroom (or office) is to write down the significant words you hear using pen and paper. Your written notes are then easily read back afterwards – and the act of writing helps to impress the important facts you have heard on your memory.

 The simplest method of shorthand is Troab Basic speed-writing; this is easy to learn and fast to write at more than double your normal longhand speed. It is so simple that you can teach yourself.

Better still, form a Student Tutorial Group in your class or office.

Three like-minded students can teach themselves in a few hours. This teaching / learning can be spread over six 30 minute sessions. Each student takes turn to lead a session, preparing the ‘lesson’ using the Student Tutorial notes; these set out the method in simple terms. The ‘learning’ process is shared through collaborative discussion and practice in writing. The lead student guides the practical work in the session.

 There are only three primary rules of word abbreviation to learn. You use your own familiar script (longhand) letters, but, in order to gain writing speed four ‘core’ letters, D, T, N, S, are introduced; these are the contracted script forms used at the Troab Professional level.

 You will soon find that the ‘core’ letters occur so frequently that they quickly become normal to you. They are fast to write and join easily with other longhand letters.

 The primary rule of word abbreviation follows your intuitive way of shortening words – “Write the significant sounded letters of a word”, e.g. gv = give, ml= mile. The sound of R is indicated by writing the preceding consonant double-size (a capital letter), e.g. C = car.

 Most vowels can be omitted from words written in context, but when needed a vowel indicator may be inserted.

 A small number of words occur particularly frequently and these are abbreviated using the first letter of the word or its dominant sound, e.g. c = can,  b= be.


Student Tutorial Groups use the Introductory Tutorial (download) and a guide to the preferred teaching/learning sequence, when preparing their study sessions.


Troab Basic is one level of the integrated Troab shorthand method; if need arises to write faster than 80/100 words a minute, students can move easily to the Professional level – the word abbreviation rules are common at both levels.


With this new writing skill you can make better classroom notes – and get better grades; “Yes, you can do it!”

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