Easy Ideas for Note Making

January 25, 2012 Category: College Tips

Starting college a few things change, many for the positive.  One important change is the improvement of how you study and your work habits.  Active listening kicks in when you are learning how to improve your effective note taking skills.

Developing note taking skills is very important.  Selecting important material and discarding unimportant material is crucial in taking notes in lectures and from your textbook.  It takes much practice to develop these skills, but if you keep at it, it helps you retain facts and data.  There are many note taking techniques and strategies.  Finding what works for you is the difficult part, but as soon as you got that practice, practice, practice.  Here are some hints on note making.

Do not write down everything.  Everything you hear or read may not be pertinent.  Stay alert and attentive to the main points of the topic.  It helps to have a small recording device for lecture so you can relook at your notes while adding more to them that you may have missed in the lecture.

Use keywords or short sentences.  Taking notes like this makes it more time efficient and helps you keep pace with the lecturer.  You can always go back and add further information.

Accuracy.  Using your own words without changing the meaning will help you remember the information better.  If you use quotes, be careful and quote correctly.

Think before you write.  It sometimes helps to think about the material before you start making notes.  The note you take should be of value to you when you later review them.  Writing down just any tid bit of information just to say you took notes and not review them is useless and counter-productive.

Leave plenty of white space.  Leaving this extra space allows you to make additions when more information is gathered.  Example being reading the assigned text or other reference material after the lecture and you come across information that augments your notes; you will have room to add it.

Omit descriptions and full explanations.  Condense the material you are writing down to encompass the main points rapidly.  This will keep your notes short and to the point.  Do not worry about missing a point with the extra white space you leave you can use common sense, questions, readings or a friend’s notes to later add more.

Do not use oddly shaped paper for your notes.  You want your notes kept orderly and in one place.  Using a three-ringed or spiral notebook is probably your best bet.

Go back and edit your notes.  You do not need to re-copy your notes, but by editing you can add extra points, clarify unclear items and more.  This is an important step in your note making to help you remember, thus helping you learn.  So, budget your time wisely.

Periodically review your notes.  Try reviewing your notes daily, weekly and just before a test.  This is one of the best ways to achieve lasting memory, which is for all intents and purposes, ideal!


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