How to take notes


Many college students struggle with taking notes during class. This can be because of a lack of structure, time management issues, and the inability to keep up with their professors. Taking notes during class is, therefore, hard for many students.

Numerous methods can make taking notes easier; unfortunately, it varies depending on who you ask and what college culture they grew up in.

One way to improve note-taking skills is by using different note-taking methods that vary from pen and paper, taking pictures or videos, talking during lectures, or using an electronic device such as a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Methods of Note-taking

The Outline Method

The Outline Method is best suited for people who take notes during class and want to organize their notes in the future. All the information is written out in bullet points to be easily found when looking through them later.

This method makes it easy to keep up with what was taught and helps students find important information easily.

Along with this, it is also optimal for those taking notes on a computer because you can print out your bullet points without sitting in front of a laptop or even paper and pen all at once.

The Mapping Method

The Mapping Method is a type of psychotherapy in which the patient and therapist create a personal map of the patient’s experience. This process helps them better understand their past, present, and future problems.

During this process, the students will create everything from images to text descriptions. They will then use these maps to help them identify their feelings about certain situations.

The Mapping Method is best suited for students who need to organize their notes on an image or piece of paper. This type of method makes note-taking easier because you can draw relevant points on the image rather than writing out each point in your notebook.

Taking notes

The Cornell Method

The Cornell Method teaches students how to read and write. Walter Pauk, a professor at Cornell, developed that in the 1950s. The method begins with recognizing letters, then proceeds into using the word as an image that can be manipulated into different shapes or sounds, finally progressing to recognizing words themselves through sight and sound.

This system encourages visual thinking over reading skills traditionally learned through phonics, which are key components of this method. This method is beneficial for students who struggle with the more elderly readers of the text.

The Charting Method

The Charting Method was developed by the Ecumenical Institute around 1968. This method has been described as an alternative to the Cornell Method that is easier for many people.

The Charting Method was created to provide a different way of thinking about reading and writing, one that does not rely on phonics.

This method focuses more on how sight and sound are used together to help with learning, rather than just visualizing letters and words on their own.

The Charting Method encourages students to be more adaptive in order to process information and learn more about how they think. This method is helpful for students not specifically struggling but instead struggling with healthy thought patterns, which can often hinder their ability to read.

Taking notes

The Sentence Method

The Sentence Method was developed by Hermann Ebbinghaus in 1897. This method is a variation on the Charting Method, with similar intentions but different delivery and techniques.

The Sentence Method has many similarities with the Cornell and KWL methods, which include: viewing words as pictures or shapes, visualizing sentences rather than individual letters and words, and associating sentence structure with subjects of daily life.

The major difference between these two methods is that the coding of words is based more on relevant examples than on generalization. The Sentence Method is a good supplementary method to help older children who do not strictly struggle with language acquisition but instead may suffer from thought disorders such as dyslexia or attention deficit disorder.

Tips for Note-taking

Sit at the Front

A Note-taking technique that has circulated on the internet for quite some time is to sit up front at the very front of the class, so you are closer to your reading.

This can be useful if you find yourself constantly interrupting or not paying attention, but it isn’t necessarily beneficial in itself. Research confirms “that writing while standing reduces awareness of nonverbal messages and increases speed measured by electronic note-taking.”

Arousal typically makes for a greater degree of involvement in a task. In addition, when standing for note-taking, you are not only disrupting the speaker’s message but also much of what they are saying visually.

Decide on the Best Strategy (Paper or Digital) of the Class

While the paper is still preferable to digitized notes, digital can sometimes have advantages. Paper’s oblong shape provides an obvious container for organizing information by topics or names of speakers, while electronic storage offers the ability to save multiple versions.

Taking good quality notes in class helps record key points easily because you are moving very quickly through slides and making notations on them whilst “digitizing” your pages might lead to creating a hybrid of this and the speed at which you are able to make your notes.

With good note-taking strategies, it is easy for students to reproduce key messages and integrate them into their thinking style, finish off difficult sentences, or activate missing homophones.

Taking notes

Keep Your Notes Short

Keep your note-taking tips short. Don’t try to take in all the information at once. Instead, ensure that you write down key points and phrases for quick review when needed during lecture or class discussions.

Many lecture notes get out of control when they are expanded, detailed, and get lost between lectures. A good lecturer will provide ample opportunity for note-taking, which may be in the form of outlines or even casual questions, which can also help remember important information accurately.

If marking relies on students analyzing essay structure creatively, taking note of what information you pass on aids this process greatly because it ensures clear understanding by all members via accurate key messages and prompts.

Get Organized

There are a few ways to organize notes while taking a quiz or study session. One way is to use a notepad and list all the topics covered in the quiz. Another option would be to take notes on your hand, using your palm as an index. Some apps can help students organize their notes by color coding each topic.

Another way to organize your notes is if you use a notebook. Some students like writing in their notebooks, while others prefer taking notes on sticky notes or whiteboards; it doesn’t matter what type of physical structure the person uses for organization purposes as long as they do not get disorganized.

Use Space Meaningfully

Some students like to use space meaningfully for note-taking purposes. If the person is taking notes by hand, they can leave enough space between each sticky note so that it’s easier to read the notes later on.

Another option would be to leave just enough room between paragraphs or sentences so that it doesn’t look crowded and confusing. If the person is using a notepad, they should leave just enough space between the lines of the notes.

Lastly, if the person is making a list of key points shown and discussed in the lessons and tutorials online, they can ensure that there is enough space between them to ensure faster note-taking.

Use Abbreviations

There are different methods of taking notes in school. There are several helpful tips for note-taking. These include abbreviations, outlines, structure, and organization.

Some people use an outline to help them take notes by writing the topic headings at the top of their paper and then writing down all the information related to that topic in numbered paragraphs.

Others have a specific structure they write their notes in or organize them into topics, subtopics, findings, possible questions, or answers to the notes. Last but not least are students that take pains when writing their notes by using abbreviations for everything they write down in large amounts at once.

Highlight Key Points

Highlighting key points is not only helpful, but they are pivotal in note-taking because it aids both memory and comprehension. So, rather than simply copying down everything, students can color codes for what they think are important aspects of each lesson used in notes and tests.

Taking notes

Review Your Notes

Reviewing your notes for “note-taking tips” is very important; they are the only way you can juggle what was taught in class. Reviewing them will help you process all of that information into something that will be gone over again in the future when tests or exams roll around quickly.

When reviewing your notes, do not simply copy it exactly as it ended up on your paper; use revision skills to enhance and simplify questions. Rewriting what you have so far, even if it means altering your notes, will help to strengthen all of the information, making it easier to read and remember in the future.

Final Words

If you are taking notes in college, it is important to make sure that your notes are not redundant and do not duplicate the information that has already been covered. The best way to ensure this is by taking notes on a laptop or a computer.

It will be easy for you to take notes on a laptop or computer because of software such as Evernote, Microsoft OneNote, Google Keep, etc. This software will allow you to take notes in an easily accessible manner.

If taking written notes, you must be very organized in your note-taking process. When using a computer program or word processing system for outlining and organizing information, be sure to provide yourself with headers that tell what the subject of each paragraph is about when referring back to them later during class discussions or exams.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.