Tips on Taking NotesUse the text style of identify important points:
Taking notes while reading
- Become familiar with the font, symbols, borders, graphics, colors and layout that highlight main ideas or terms
- Be alert to the writer’s goal: highlight ideas/references/opinions that seem significant.
Review textbook notes
- Include headings, key terms and graphics
- Take down only the important ideas: be brief but clear
- Summarize in your owns words
- Use symbols to highlight for review
- Use textbook review questions to develop study questions
Taking notes during a lecture
- Identify main ideas
- Fill in details for better understanding
- Identify unclear information and/or questions
- Delete unnecessary information
- Review note organization; add symbols and rewrite notes
- Write a summary
Why take notes?
- Listen actively—think before you write, and keep it brief
- Be open-minded. Don’t let arguing affect your note taking
- Keep notes in a large notebook and use a clear format
- Listen for cues and key words
- If it’s on the board . . . Write it down!
- Have a consistent system for taking notes
Use a note taking system like Cornell Notes System that provides space for you to ask questions while you take notes and to summarize your notes each evening.Take notes as you normally would on the right side of the page.Leave room on the left side to ask questionsWrite a summary of each day’s notes on the bottom of the page.Format for Cornell NotesTop of PageName Date/ClassTopic or lesson title*Step 1: Note taking sideRecord Place notes, explanations, problems, diagrams like you have always taken them on this side of your paper.Recite Cover the note taking column and then look at your questions to quiz yourself.Reflect Ask yourself questions about the information taken in your notes. What’s the significance? Why is this important? This will give the information more meaning.Review the previous days notes each night for at least 10 minutes.Step 2:Review notes and write questions:Questions based on the notes taken go on this side of the page.Main points that are added after class as you review notes are added here as well.Use this side as a study tool. Cover the right side, look at this side and recite.Write you summary of the days information at the end of all your notes. This is done once per day for all of your notes—it is not done for every page of notes.
- Good notes will stimulate critical thinking and engage you.
- Note taking helps you remember what happens in class.
- Good notes can make studying easier.