2 Purposes of Note taking Strategies To correctly record information and use it at a later time, it must be done in an organized manner.Note taking strategies, then, are designed to improve one's ability to take more accurate, more complete, and more organized notes.Advantages of Note taking StrategiesNote taking skills help one to pay better attention to an oral presentation or written document because they keep the individual active.In school, good note taking skills aid in understanding of material, effective preparation for exams, and completion of assignments. They also improve reading comprehension.Note taking strategies are broadly applicable to a variety of tasks and subjects. Once they are introduced and mastered, the strategies often become "second nature" to the individual and therefore don't require repeated work to use, unlike some the memory strategiesContent Page 2
3 Learning Problems and Note Taking Learning Problems can impact note takingMethods to accommodate note taking problems might include:Audio recorderLaptop computer and word processing programVolunteer note takerNotes supplied by professorContent Page 2
4 Attention and Listening Good listening skills are vital in classGood listening skills require that one attend to basic health needs, eliminate internal and external distractions, and maintain a positive self-image.PreparationPreparation before each note taking task has many advantages.It makes the material more familiar, so that one is not hearing or seeing it for the first time. Familiarity, in turn, aids in understanding and helps one pay better attention.Preparation helps one identify the most important points to be recorded and to distinguish main ideas from supporting details.It aids in retention of the new material.Preparation can include completing assigned readings, reviewing previous notes, completing homework or lab problems, and bringing the appropriate supplies.Content Page 2Adapted from
5 Knowing What to Write Key Words Key words signal that the information itself or the information to follow is important and should be recorded. Key words may be content-related, directional, or clue words.Content-related key words come directly from the subject matteroften appear in bold or italic print in textbooks,and they may be listed in the summary sections at the ends of chapters in most textbooks.Directional key words are words or statements that relate to specific things the student is expected to do. They are often action verbs. For example, the words "due" and "turn to" are directional key words in the following statements: "The paper is due Thursday" and "Turn to page 45 in the book."Clue words indicate that important information is forthcoming. Examples of clue words are above all, next, in addition to, most importantly, advantages, disadvantages, difference, similarities, reasons, and types.Content Page 2Adapted from
6 Knowing What to Write Key Points There are several ways of identifying main ideas or key points in a lecture. Assigned readings and supplemental material provided by the instructor offer two alternatives.The text book is an excellent sources of ideas. The key points in a lecture often correspond to the major headings in a chapter. Bring a list of these headings to class and listen for them during the lecture. The first page of a chapter often contains an outline of the material. Make a copy of the outline and use it as a guideline for taking notes.Review questions at the end of each chapter encompass the main ideas of the chapter. They may appear as key points in a lecture.Some instructors write outlines for each lecture on the board or overhead projector. The key points of the lecture will appear as major headings in the outline. Listen for that material during the lecture.Adapted from
7 Knowing What to Write Cues and Clues Listening and looking for cues and clues helps one to identify important information thatshould be included in the notes. The strategy aids in attending and enhances the accuracyand completeness of lecture or meeting notes.Listen for changes in the instructor's voice. When important information is being presented,the instructor's voice often becomes higher in pitch and/or the speed of speaking may increase.Gestural cues are important indicators of the importance of information. These might be walking closer to the students, moving from behind the podium, moving from behind the desk, eye contact with students, leaning forward, or standing up from a seated position.Writing on the board or overhead projector are obvious clues.Adapted from
8 Cornell Notetaking System RecordQuestionReciteReflectReviewSummarizeContent Page 1
9 Cornell Notetaking System DocumentationWrite the following information at the top of each page: student name, course, date,and page number.Record NotesDuring lecture, record the main ideas and concepts on the right side of the page.This is the notes column.Rephrase the information in your own words before writing it down.Skip one line between ideas and several lines between topics.Avoid writing in complete sentences; use symbols and abbreviations instead.The format or style of the notes can vary, but avoid using a formal outline.Suggestions for organizing the notes are:Paragraph Style: For unstructured information, record notes in paragraph style with short,telegraphic sentences and phrases.Topic and Ideas Style: For expanded topic information, record topics and ideas.Sentence Style: For ideas and concepts, record notes in short sentences.Definition Style: For main topics and features, record definitions and explanations of wordsin short phrases.
10 Cornell Notetaking System Review and ClarifyAs soon after class as possible, review the notes in the right column and clarify any ambiguous information.Compare the information with the book and/or other students' notes.Then pull the main ideas, concepts, terms, places, dates, and people from the right column and record themin the left-hand recall column.SummarizePrepare a summary of the lecture material and record it at the end of the notes.The summary may be in sentences or short phrases. It should include only the main ideas from the lecture.StudyUse both sections of the notes to prepare for quizzes and exams.Content Page 1
11 Cornell Note-Taking Format Example 1Cornell Note-Taking FormatContent Page 2Adapted from
12 Cornell Note-Taking Format Example 2Cornell Note-Taking FormatContent Page 2
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