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Taking Notes – Tips & Tricks

Taking Notes – Tips & Tricks

takingnotes

Taking notes is a wonderful way to help implement what you learn. Academically there is hundreds of studies that show the impact taking notes has on your ability to pay attention, to stay focused on what is being taught and to learn even better than just listening alone. Taking notes is a skill that can be improved.  The goal of note taking is not to record all information because notes are a reference to information that is located in books, videos, websites, etc.  The goal of your note taking should be to relate, process, understand and interact with the information.  Even if you are just taking information down initially, you should make a goal to relate and process it as quickly as possible after the initial information gathering.

Below you will find a list of note taking methods and what subject areas they may work best for.  I encourage you to experiment with all of the methods until you find a method that works best for you.

Concept Cards

Subject matter it is used for:

Definitions, characteristics, examples

Method:

Write the word and a sentence that introduces the word on one side of the card.  Write the definition, characteristics, or examples on the other side of the card

Example: Click here for example

Cornell Notes

Subject matter it is used for:

Very efficient for many different materials.

Method:

Draw a line to separate the bottom 1/3 of the paper.  Divide the upper 2/3 with a vertical line on the Right side.  Take traditional notes on the upper right side of the paper.  Review the notes and pull out key concepts to write on the left.  Summarize the notes on the bottom.

Example: Click here for example

Double Entry

Subject Matter it is used for:

Offering your opinion on the material or understand it at a deeper level.

Method:

Divide your paper into 3 columns.  The first column should be small and is used for referencing the source of the material.  The second column is for a summary or quote of the material.  The third column is for your thoughts and interactions with the text.

Example: Click here for example

Outline

Subject matter it is used for:

Sequenced material, Structured material

Method:

Break main concepts into smaller concepts and details.  See example for how this can be done.

Example: Click here for example

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