Note Taking should be Note Making
Note Making is a process that helps you to memorize what you write because you have spent time to make sense out of the notes for yourself.
You’ll find that your most effective notes will result from listening, concentrating, and reacting to the teacher’s information.
It helps to know some of the material BEFORE the class begins. Look ahead in the book.
Start developing your own abbreviations or WRITING SHORT CUTS. See the other side of this page for examples. Then create some of your own.
DATE and LABEL your notes every time you take them!
When taking notes in your spiral, leave a blank page or part of a page after each lecture. When you study your notes that night (GET IT? STUDY YOUR NOTES ON A DAILY BASIS!) use that space to clarify what you wrote down so that it makes sense to you. Use this same process when you take notes first. Leave a space for the lecture so that you can add the teacher’s explanations to your notes.
Always concentrate on what the teacher MEANT by what s/he said. Once you understand the concept, RESTATE IT IN YOUR OWN WORDS.
Begin to learn the TEACHER’S CUES that give emphasis to points you should know. For example:
Changes in her/his tone of voice.
Points that are raised and/or noted on the chalkboard.
Phrases like - “The 4 major concepts are…” “Please note the following…” “In brief…” and “Remember that…” etc.
Points that are repeated.
Question asked by the teacher of one or all of the class.
Remember, LISTEN – THINK – THEN WRITE
Try to jot only KEY POINTS. Spend any additional time connecting the information that you’ve remembered later OR read the text to fill in the details later when you are studying your notes. (GET IT? STUDYING YOUR NOTES LATER THAT DAY!)
If you are confused, ASK QUESTIONS. Everyone would benefit from the teacher’s explanations. The others may have the same question as you do.
Be sure to copy down all diagrams, graphs, and illustrations. You may end up seeing the information on your next test.
Underline, bracket or place asterisks (*) by the point the teacher stresses.
If the teacher goes by the book, don’t get bored. Ask questions to clarify points that you noted in your reading.
Use question and answer periods to verbally summarize and re-check thoughts with your instructor.
Don’t spend time re-writing notes unless you use this as a studying tool.