Note-Taking

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Ask yourself:

  • Do I use complete sentences?
  • Do I use any form at all?
  • Are my notes clear or confusing?
  • Do I capture main points and all subpoints?
  • Do I streamline using abbreviations and shortcuts?

Six Important Reasons to Take Notes

  • Notes trigger memories of lecture/reading.
  • Your notes are often a source of valuable clues for what information the instructor thinks most important.
  • Notes create a resource for test preparation.
  • Notes inscribe information kinesthetically.
  • Taking notes helps you to concentrate in class.
  • Your notes often contain information that cannot be found elsewhere (i.e., in your
    textbook).

Guidelines for Note-Taking

  • Concentrate on the lecture or on the reading material.
  • Take notes consistently.
  • Take notes selectively. Do NOT try to write down every word. The average lecturer speaks approximately 125-140 words per minute, and the average note-taker writes at a rate of about 25 words per minute.
  • Translate ideas into your own words.
  • Organize notes into some sort of logical form.
  • Write legibly. Notes are useless if you cannot read them later!
  • Don′t be concerned with spelling and grammar.

Taken from Stanford University