Here are two useful documents that I recommend you use each week when you are reading the textbook and taking notes. These templates also include note taking guidance when listening to lectures.

LINKS to WORD docs

Basics of Note-Making

Making notes can help you:

  • Improve your study habits
  • Remember important information
  • Develop skills in selecting important material and getting rid of unimportant material
  • Retain important information and data and develop an accurate means of organizing them.

Some note-making tips:

1.  Don’t write down everything that you read or hear.  Be alert and attentive to the main points.  Concentrate on the main points only; leave out unnecessary details.

2.  Notes should consist of key words or very short sentences.  If a speaker gets sidetracked it is often possible to go back and add further information.

3.  Take accurate notes.  You should usually use your own words, but try not to change the meaning.  If you quote directly from an author, quote correctly.

4.  Take notes that will be of real value to you when you look over them at a later date.

5.  Have a uniform system of listing and abbreviation that will make sense to you.  Use an outline format and show importance by indenting.  Leave some blank space for later additions.

6.  Omit descriptions and full explanations.  Keep your notes short and to the point.  Condense your material so you can grasp it rapidly. 

7.  Don’t worry about missing a point.

8.  Keep notes in order and in one place. 

9.  Shortly after making your notes, go back and rework (not redo) your notes by adding extra points and spelling out unclear items.  

10.  Review your notes regularly.  This is the only way to achieve lasting memory.

Note-Making Checklist

Name ______________________________                                     Date _________________

Key:   R: Rarely     S: Sometimes    A: Always    NA: Not Applicable    N: Never

Lecture notes

 Jot notes from the board and/or slides
 Ask questions
 Make connections to other topics
 Use lists or webs/maps

Notes from readings

 Write notes in own words
 Use headings
 Include drawings of a process
 Define new words in own words
 Can illustrate vocabulary
 Ask questions and find answers
 Map key concepts
 Know how to use double-column note-taking
 Can summarize a key section
 Make inferences