The Center for Academic Success and Advisement would like to thank students, staff, and faculty for their firm commitment to social responsibility during this global challenge. Our staff remains ready to provide remote academic support and advisement to current and future students.
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.
- use key words
- use abbreviations - but remember what your abbreviations mean!
- use pictures and diagrams
- write notes in paragraphs if you are unsure how to organize them
- copy material from the board, Powerpoints, and overhead projector
- use 3 x 5 index cards
- label, number, and date all notes
- leave blank space in your notes to fill in sections you may have missed
- take notes in different colors
- common note-taking methods include the Cornell, Outlining, Mapping, Charting, and Sentence methods
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.