Oh wow, are you really excited yet? As much as
you may think you know how to take notes, the content below may just
help you improve your skills. What do you have to lose?
Only those who have the
do simple things perfectly
ever acquire the skill to do difficult things easily.
Adequate notes are
Adequate notes are a necessary element to
efficient study and learning. Think over the following suggestions
and improve your note-taking system where needed.
if possible THINK before you write
but don't get behind.
- Be open-minded about points you disagree on.
- Don't let arguing interfere with your
- Raise questions if appropriate.
- Don't do it simply to hear yourself talk; do
it for understanding and clarification.
Develop and use a standard method of note-taking
including punctuation, abbreviations, margins, class, date, and
Take notes in a large
notebook | Top
- Take and keep notes in a large
notebook. The only merit to a small notebook is ease of carrying
and that is not your main objective.
- A large notebook allows you to
adequately indent and use an outline
Leave a few spaces
- Leave a few spaces blank as you move from one
point to the next so that you can fill in additional points later
- Your objective is to take helpful notes, not
to save paper.
Spend more time
- Do not try to take down everything that the
- It is impossible in the first place and
unnecessary in the second place because not everything is of equal
- Spend more time listening and attempt to take
down the main points.
- If you are writing as fast as you can, you
cannot be as discriminating a listener.
- There may be some times, however, when it is
more important to write than to think.
Listen for cues
Listen for cues as to important points:
transitions from one point to the next, repetition of points for
emphasis, changes in voice inflections, enumeration of a series of
system | Top
- Note-Taking Area: Record lecture as fully and
as meaningfully as possible.
- Cue Column: As you're taking notes, keep cue
column empty. Soon after the lecture, reduce your notes to concise
jottings as clues for Reciting, Reviewing, and
- Summaries: Sum up each page of your notes in a
sentence or two.
5 R's of the Cornell
This format provides the perfect opportunity for
following through with the 5 R's of note-taking:
- Record - During the lecture, record in
the main column as many meaningful facts and ideas as you can.
- Reduce - As soon after as possible,
summarize these facts and ideas concisely in the Cue Column.
Summarizing clarifies meanings and relationships, reinforces
continuity, and strengthens memory.
- Recite - Cover the Note Taking Area,
using only your jottings in the Cue Column, say over the facts and
ideas of the lecture as fully as you can, not mechanically, but in
your own words. Then, verify what you have said.
- Reflect - Draw out opinions from your
notes and use them as a starting point for your own reflections on
the course and how it relates to your other courses. Reflection
will help prevent ideas from being inert and soon forgotten.
- Review - Spend 10 minutes every week in
quick review of your notes, and you will retain most of what you
"Education is not received.
It is achieved."
Map | Quotes
Organizers | Rules
of Thumb | On-Line
Resources | WriteDesign
| Co-Teachers - Doug
E-Mail Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Melissa at email@example.com
Melissa and I would like to
making a commitment to
education and WriteDesign.