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Topic in SuperMemo is an article, its part, or a sentence that you want to learn. They can also have a form of a picture, a video, a piece of music, etc. Unlike items, topics do not test your knowledge. They are for passive reading, watching or listening only. Short text topics are used to generate cloze deletions. Topics take part in the incremental learning process. Once they are converted to items, they are often dismissed (i.e. ignored in learning) or done (i.e. deleted from learning altogether). Both Done and Dismiss must be executed by the user (i.e. they are not automatic).

using topics

Elements marked with a green T icon are topics. Topics may be very long (entire articles) or very short (single sentences). This is how you work with topics:

  • read the topic from the top
  • if you find some interesting information, extract it (e.g. with Alt+X); the extract will form a new independent topic; the new topic will be shorter and will be handled in the same way as all other topics
  • decide how far you want to go into reading the topic depending on its priority and available time (e.g. interrupt fast, if you are in a hurry, or read it all, if the topic is of top importance)
  • if you finish reading the topic, execute Done (e.g. Ctrl+Shift+Enter); this will delete the topic without deleting the material that it produced
  • only if the topic is as short as a single sentence, create cloze deletions (e.g. with Alt+Z)
  • return to reading the topic next time it comes for review

On longer topics you read and extract, on very short topics you generate cloze deletions.

see also: Glossary