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Taking Lecture Notes
You can develop your own note taking system and study strategy:
Record * Reduce * Recite * Reflect * Review
Start Developing Your Own Strategy:
Get a good loose-leaf notebook:
This will enable you to add, delete, and re-sequence pages and materials. Begin each session's notes with a cover page for later summaries and test preparation.
Start with a header
  • Date
  • Class/subject or title or number (e.g. 3/34)
  • Guest speakers' names, including your fellow students' contributions
1.  Record/take notes here:
  • identify the main points
  • capture the main ideas
  • Use outlines or concept maps
  • Use words and pictures and graphs or whatever it takes to get the information down quickly. Avoid quoting unless it is very necessary
2.  Reduce; after class note:
  • key/cue words
  • phrases
  • questions
  • Link information from the text or other sources
3.  Recite:
  • Review from memory what you have learned
  • Using the left hand margin's key words and questions, talk through, or illustrate definitions, concepts, etc.
  • Create your own examples
4.  Reflect: Think over!
  • How does this relate to what you knew before?
  • Note the essay terms and find the best ones that refer to your studies: Apply, Compare, Diagram, Evaluate, etc.
  • Create your own examples
5.  Review the Notes You Took
  • At your next study session
  • Before reading new material
  • When studying for tests
Multiple pages of notes for one lecture:
  • summarize each page at its bottom,
  • Before reading new material
Adapted from Walter Pauk (1989) and the Cornell Notetaking System (Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH)
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