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Note-taking and Participating in Class

Observe, Record, and Review

OBSERVE.  Focus your attention on the details, then tap your creative energy to discover patterns.  Set the stage by:

  • completing outside assignments (READ the text before class!)
  • bringing the right materials like pencil, calculator, and a notebook
  • keep yourself in the moment and avoid daydreaming
  • participate in class activities
  • be alert to repetition
  • highlight the obvious clues

RECORD.  The format and structure of your notes are more important than how fast you write or how good your handwriting is.

REVIEW.  Consider the reviewing process as an important part of note-taking rather than an added task.

  • review your notes within 24 hours in an effort to transfer the information from short-term to long-term memory
  • edit your notes - for example, rewrite words that are illegible
  • fill in key words in the left-hand column
  • use your key words as cues to recite
  • consider typing up your notes
  • create mind map summaries

Retrieved from Ellis, D.  (2006).  Becoming a master student (11th ed.).  Boston: Houghton-Mifflin.