Note Taking

Tips for taking notes from reading material:

  • Finish reading before taking notes. Read small sections at a time, and pull out the main ideas.
  • Be selective about what you write down. Write down only the main concepts and important details. Recall what the instructor emphasized in class.
  • Write things in your own words. Putting things in your own words will help when you need to recall the information later, say for a test.
  • Read, think, write, and move on. Taking notes does not need to take all day.
  • Review, review, review. Daily or weekly review of notes is essential in a study routine.

Tips for taking notes during a lecture:

  • Before you get to class, develop a mindset geared toward listening.
  • Try to determine the structure of the information being given in the lecture.
  • Pay attention to the lecturer’s verbal and visual cues to help establish which points he/she is trying to emphasize.
  • Ask questions and be engaged.
  • Use textbooks or other class materials to fill in missing details or for clarification.

Related Links & Handouts

Taking Notes
A System for Effective Listening and Note-Taking