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.