Strategies for taking Good Notes
1. Come to class prepared: Bring ALL materials! Pencil, paper, binder or notebook, and book to class
2. Start a new page for each class: Put the date at the top of each page. This makes it
easier for you to access notes when you miss a class.
3. Develop a note taking system that works for you: There are several ways to take notes
such as outlining, charting or mapping. Attached is an example of one system, the Cornell
note-taking system. Use can use various colors to distinguish between concepts.
4. Don’t try to write down every word the teacher says: Make sure you listen, write and
ask questions as needed.
5. Write down the major ideas: Listen for facts, connections and main ideas. This can be
difficult so don’t get frustrated. Ask the teacher to slow down if needed.
6. Leave enough space between notes: When writing leave a lot of space between ideas.
Your notes will be easier to read and add to when needed.
7. Use graphic organizers or pictures: Sometimes it is helpful to draw pictures that make
connections between ideas, sequences or events.
8. Write down page numbers from your textbook: This makes it easier to gather
information for assignments quizzes or tests.
9. REVIEW YOUR NOTES: This is important!!!! Make sure you take the time to look through
your notes and develop questions or rephrase them so they make sense to you!!!! Write
down any questions you have and ask at the beginning of the next class.
10. GET NOTES FROM MISSED CLASSES: Create a partnership with another student that
you can rely on and also can rely on you for notes when a class is missed. If not you may
need to schedule time after school to do this with your teacher.
http://resources.chuh.org/Literacy/notetaking.lasso - Link to Cornell note taking templates
Taking Notes on Reading
Taking notes on class readings can be as important as taking notes on class lectures. Not everyone can
remember or understand something they only read once, so if you can take efficient notes on readings, you
can save yourself a lot of time and effort when you need to review readings for quizzes and tests!
Here are some general tips to follow when taking notes on readings.
1. Budget enough time for taking notes. The time you spend taking clear, efficient notes initially, will
save you review time and increase your knowledge retention.
2. Date your notes, and write full bibliographic information next to the date, including author, title,
publication, date of publication, city, publisher, and volume number for journal articles. Do this so you
don’t waste time later writing a paper or other assignment that may call for proper citation.
3. Compose your notes in a concise and legible fashion. If you can’t read your notes you are either
writing too much or may need to consider using a computer. Use short and meaningful phrases, and
abbreviate when necessary. Don’t use abbreviations that you won’t recognize later.
4. Create a system of note-taking that allows YOU to write quickly and get down basic concepts, but
which will also allow you to quickly find information in your notes later. Consider using an outline format,
for example, or clearly separating your notes into different sections (or columns if you are using a steno
pad or a computer).
5. Use the structure of the book (or article) as the structure of your notes. For instance, chapters
correspond to major headings, chapter sections to subheadings. You also may want to include page
numbers in case you need to refer back to the text at a later time.
6. Note anything that is pertinent to the author's argument. Important points tend to come in
introductory and concluding paragraphs, where details and more complete explanations or arguments are
located in the body of the text.
7. Distinguish facts from opinions, and quotations from summaries, in a way that will make it
clear which is which when you review your notes.
8. Review your reading notes the next day, and do it again a few days later. This is a time-efficient way of
retaining the material.
9. Record any comments or questions you may have in your notes. Asking clarifying questions of your
teacher will not only help you understand the text, but it will also show your teacher that you are taking
ownership of your own learning!
N/A, "How To Take Reading Notes." eHow. N/A. 16 Jul 2009
Identifying main idea game