Note-taking skills is not only essential for us to survive classes, but it is also something that most of us will be continue doing for the rest of our lives.Since this semester is almost halfway, now it might be a good time to look back and review what you have learned so far. If your techniques are feeling a bit crowded recently, here we have summarized 3 simple tips to get you back on track.
1.Develop a note-taking method that works for you.
“Learn, compare, collect the facts.” – Ivan Petrovic Pavlov (1849 – 1936), Russian physiologist.
Fine-tune the structure and organization of your notes to increase your note-taking speed and comprehension later.
- Start each new lecture on a new page, and date and number each page. The sequence of material is important.
- Write on one side of the paper only. You can set them out side-by-side for easier reviewing when studying for an exam.
- Make your notes as brief as possible. “Never use a sentence when you can use a phrase, or a phrase when you can use a word” (Berkeley).
- Develop a system of abbreviations and symbols you can use wherever possible.
- Play close attention to content.
“There is a great difference between knowing a thing and understanding it.” – Charles Kettering (1876 – 1958), American electrical engineer and inventor
Knowing what and how much to write down is sometimes difficult. Rely on some of the following tips for what to include in your notes.
- Details, facts, or explanations that expand or explain the main points that are mentioned. Don’t forget examples.
- Definitions, word for word.
- Enumerations or lists of things that are discussed.
- Material written on the chalkboard or on a transparency, including drawings or charts.
- Information that is repeated or spelled out. (University of Texas at Austin)
- Review and edit your notes.
“Ideas won’t keep; something must be done about them.” – Alfred North Whitehead (1861 – 1947), English mathematician and philosopher
Academic skills centers and other authorities on effective study skills consider reviewing and editing class notes to be the most important part of note-taking and essential to increasing learning capacity.
- It is extremely important to review your notes within 24 hours.
- Edit for words and phrases that are illegible or don’t make sense. Write out abbreviated words that might be unclear later.
- Edit with a different colored pen to distinguish between what you wrote in class and what you filled in later.
- Fill in key words and questions in the left-hand column.
- Note anything you don’t understand by underlining or highlighting to remind you to ask the instructor.
- Compare your notes with the textbook reading and fill in important details in the blank spaces you left.
Consider rewriting or typing up your notes. (Ellis).
4. Last but not the least, have fun doing it!