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Based on the following presentations: Taking Effective Notes Dr. Idna M. Corbett Learning Assistance and Resource Center West Chester University AND Cornell.

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Presentation on theme: "Based on the following presentations: Taking Effective Notes Dr. Idna M. Corbett Learning Assistance and Resource Center West Chester University AND Cornell."— Presentation transcript:

1 Based on the following presentations: Taking Effective Notes Dr. Idna M. Corbett Learning Assistance and Resource Center West Chester University AND Cornell Notes Paul Bullock and Anne Maben Making Notes Cornell Style: a classroom exercise

2 Designed by Paul Bullock Senior Program Specialist & Anne Maben AP Science Coach

3 Get your notebook ready to take notes: You will take timed notes on this powerpoint presentation. Total time = 35 minutes You will only have 1 MINUTE per text slide to copy your notes down (examples and pictures do not count) Then you will get into small groups and compare your notes together. Identify: Questions and Gaps in your notes.

4 Notes are crucial to success! Learning to take notes effectively helps students to improve study and work habits and to remember important information. Often, students are deceived into thinking that because they understand everything that is said in class they will therefore remember it. This is dead wrong! Write it down.

5 The secret to developing this skill is practice. Students should strive to improve this skill constantly. Effective notes allow students to achieve higher levels of learning!

6 1. KNOWLEDGE: recalling information 2. COMPREHENSION: understanding meaning 3. APPLICATION: using learning in new situations 4. ANALYSIS: ability to see parts & relationships 5. SYNTHESIS: Use parts to create a new whole 6. EVALUATION: judgment based on criteria

7 Cornell note taking stimulates critical thinking skills. Note taking helps students remember what is said in class. A good set of notes can help students work on assignments and prepare for tests outside of the classroom.

8 Good notes allow students to help each other problem solve. Good Notes help students organize and process data and information. Helps student recall by getting them to process their notes 3 times. Writing is a great tool for learning!

9 (Overview: quickly scan) (Establish a purpose) (to answer questions) (answers to questions with the book closed) (Take notes!) (at short intervals)

10 Notes and your memory: Taking notes forces students to listen carefully and test their understanding of the material. When students are reviewing, notes provide a gauge to what is important in the text. Personal notes are usually easier to remember than the text.

11 The writing down of important points helps students to remember then even before they have studied the material formally. Notes enable them to retain important facts and data and to develop an accurate means of arranging necessary information. Chunking is important for learning!

12 Chunking: We only have space for 7 pieces of info in our brains! Chunking is associating things so that they take up less space and become one unit of info as opposed to many! Ex. Steps to driving a car

13 Know your learning style: To enable students the best method of note taking, they should determine their learning styles first. Students also need to determine the primary means their instructor will be delivering information. Using these two items to develop a note-making style will ensure their best possible outcome!

14 Instructors usually give clues to what is important Some of the more common clues are: Material written on the blackboard Repetition Emphasis Emphasis can be judged by tone of voice and gesture. Emphasis can be judged by the amount of time the instructor spends on points and the number of examples he or she uses. Word signals (e.g. "There are two points of view on…" "The third reason is…" " In conclusion…" ) Summaries given at the end of class. Reviews given at the beginning of class.


16 Developed in 1949 at Cornell University by Walter Pauk. Designed in response to frustration over student test scores. Meant to be easily used as a test study guide. Adopted by most major law schools as the preferred note taking method.

17 Cornell System of Note-Making The Cornell Method of note making is a 2-column system of making notes. Making notes, as distinguished from taking notes, is the active process you engage in to think about the information you are describing. 3 steps (before, during, & after class) 6 Rs (tools used to study notes)

18 The 6 R's of the Cornell Method Record Reduce Recite Reflect Review Recapitulate

19 Step One: Before Class (prepare) Use a large loose-leaf notebook on which you will have ample room to take notes. Draw a vertical line down the left side of the page 2 1/2" form the left margin. This is the Recall Column. Notes will be recorded to the right of this line and key words and phrases will be written on the left. Leave 2" at the bottom of the page to record questions to ask your instructor and possible test questions.

20 First & Last Name Class Title Period Date Topic Questions, Subtitles, Headings, Etc. Class Notes 2 1/2 3 to 4 sentence summary across the bottom of the last page of the days notes


22 Concept maps can be another effective tool in making notes They are more visual Help organize thoughts Are good for instructors that skip around from topic to topic When should they be used?



25 Summary is added at the end of ALL note pages on the subject (not page) Summary added AFTER questions are finished Summary should answer the problem stated in the subject.

26 (Diagram copied during lecture ) (Questions about it ) How do the ticks find the cattle? Why dont the ticks usually kill their host? How could tick infestations in cattle impact humans?

27 Example

28 Step Two: During the Class Date your notes. Number the pages. Record your notes in your customary style. Your object is to make your notes complete and clear enough so they will have meaning for you weeks later. Skip lines to show the end of one idea and the beginning of the next. Write as legibly as possible.

29 Don't write down everything that you read or hear. Be alert and attentive to the main points. Concentrate on the "meat" of the subject and forget the trimmings. Make notes brief. Never use a sentence where you can use a phrase. Never use a phrase where you can use a word. Use abbreviations and symbols, but be consistent. Have a uniform system of punctuation and abbreviation that will make sense to you.

30 You should usually use your own words, but try not to change the meaning. If you quote directly from an author, quote correctly. The following should be noted exactly: formulas, definitions, and specific facts. Use outline form and/or a numbering system. Indention helps you distinguish major from minor points. Leave lots of white space for later additions. If you miss a statement, write key words, skip a few spaces, and get the information later.

31 Don't try to use every space on the page. Leave room for coordinating your notes with the text after the lecture. List key terms in the margin or make a summary of the contents of the page. Omit descriptions and full explanations. Keep your notes short and to the point. Condense your material so you can grasp it rapidly.

32 Anthropods Example

33 Step Three: After the Class Since the most forgetting occurs immediately after learning, try to consolidate your notes as soon after class as possible. Reduce the notes to key words and phrases as soon after the lecture as possible. During your study session, reread your notes and rethink the entire lecture. Then reduce each fact and idea in your notes to the key words and phrases used. Formulate a question that your notes answer. In the margin to the left, write the key words or the question opposite the facts in your notes. These notations in the margin will act as triggers to your memory when you study.

34 Recite the lecture by covering your notes and using only the key words/questions column. Say each fact or idea in your notes aloud and from memory. Recite aloud and in your own words the full facts and ideas brought to mind by the cue or trigger words or question. Then check your answer. Correct yourself if necessary and repeat until you can recall the information.

35 Reflect on the material by adding your own ideas and opinions. Reflection has to do with thinking about the information you are learning. One way to reflect is the look for connections with your own personal experiences and observations; and other facts and ideas discussed in the course. Another way to reflect is to ask questions like How do the main ideas of this lecture fit together into a "bigger picture"? What is the significance? How do these ideas fit in with the previous lecture(s)? What ideas do I agree with? What ideas do I disagree with? Which ideas are clear? Which ideas are confusing? What new questions does the information in this lecture raise? What principles are applicable? What are some possible applications of the key points of this lecture? How does this fit with what you already know?

36 Recapitulate or write a summary. Leave blank one inch at the bottom of each page of notes. Later you may use this space to write a summary of the contents of each page in that reserved space. This will give you a space to recapitulate or summarize the entire lecture for quick, easy reference. Two kinds of summary are suitable for lecture notes. Choose the one that works best for you: Write a summary of each page of lecture notes in the Summary Area at the bottom of each note-sheet. Write a summary of the whole lecture on the last note sheet.

37 Dont forget the sixth R! Review your notes every evening, before you settle down to study. Try to review at least 10 minutes to assure retention of the material. Short, fact and frequent reviews will produce far better understanding than studying all night. Two benefits of review stand out: You are able to connect the new material with previously learned information. You are better prepared for tests and exams. Constant review means you do not have to cram before exams, suffer less from test anxiety, and have better recall of information learned during tests.

38 Saving time on note-taking Some students say that they plan to rewrite or type their notes later. To do so is to use a double amount of time: once to take the original notes and a second to rewrite them. The advice is simple: DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

39 Should you use shorthand? There are some students who attempt to take notes in shorthand. Though shorthand is a valuable tool for a secretary, it is almost worthless for a student doing academic work. Here's why. Notes in shorthand cannot be studied in that form. They must first be transcribed. The act of transcribing notes takes an inordinate amount of time and energy but does not significantly contribute to their mastery. It is far better to have taken the notes originally in regular writing and then spend the time after that in direct study and recitation of the notes.

40 Tape recording notes The lecture on tape precludes flexibility. The lecture on tape has to be listened to in its entirety including the worthwhile points as well as the "fillers." A student who takes the easy way out - recording the lecture on tape as he or she sits back doing nothing - will box him or herself into inflexibility.

41 Whereas, handwritten notes may be studied selectively. Immediately after taking notes a person can study them in five minutes before the next class as s/he walks toward the next building, as s/he drinks his/her coffee, or whatever. This student, in looking over his/her notes, may decide that the notes contain only four worthwhile ideas which s/he can highlight, relegating the rest of the lecture to obscurity.

42 Speaker says: Hippocrates, a Greek who is considered to be the Father of modern medicine, was Born on the island of Cos in 460 B.C. Notes say: Hippocrates (Gr.) Father of med. B. Cos 460BC

43 Use discussion topics/questions organize your notes Use symbols for important ideas Include your own responses in notes Develop questions to review later Add references to other material as they come to mind

44 Cover the right side of your notes; review and answer study questions from the left using the right side as an answer key Quiz yourself out loud Cover the right side with blank paper; write out answers to the left column study questions Look over notes frequently to keep information and questions still unanswered fresh in mind Recite information from notes Study in a group Make use of the format

45 Write summaries of the most important material in the summary/reflection section Write a quiz for others using notes; exchange and correct Write anticipated test questions beyond those already in the left-hand column and write answers Rewrite notes if necessary Keep notes neat and legible Write!

46 For the remainder of the class: Compare notes with a partner. Talk about what you wrote and why. Look for gaps & missed info. Both partners should feel free to add to their notes.

47 With your partner(s), create questions in the left hand column. These questions should elicit critical thinking skills. –Levels 3 through 6 in Blooms Taxonomy.

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