Note taking is an essential feature of a good student, however if they are not effective and purposeful then you are wasting your time as a note taker.
Meaningful notes are not simply copying slides or hastily writing verbatim a professors lecture. It is about taking notes that hold significance for *you*.
For some, these notes may be more extensive and include both book and lecture notes, while for others it could mean scratching out a rough outline of the course readings and lectures. Regardless of your note taking method, you should be able to go back to your notes in the days following a lecture and be able to recall the significant information. By working to explore these options and discovering which note taking method works best for you, your understanding of course material is likely to improve.
Quick Tips for Note Taking
Are you comfortable with taking notes, but are in need of some suggestions on how to refine these skills? Briefly read through some of these tips to help you become more effective in your efforts:
Note Taking Methods
It is often assumed that students know how to take notes, however, it is seldom something that is taught. If you are struggling with how to take notes, try out some common note taking methods:
Taking lecture notes is something that college students quickly accept as an expectation of attending class, however, is something that many students struggle to do with purpose and meaning.
Text Book Notes
Book notes are often overlooked by students, but effective book notes can greatly increase the amount of understanding in class and may be the difference between being a good student and an excellent student. New to the concept of book notes? Check out these links to assist you in this endeavor:
Alternatives to Note Taking
Some students’ learning may be hindered by note taking due to the concentration required to take notes. If you are an audio learner try foregoing the notes for a day and attempt to revisit the lecture a couple of days later. If you still accurately remember the lecture information, this may be the method for you. If not, stick to note taking, but learn to recognize and document only necessary information.
If you need further direction consider taking the Reading & Study Skills Course through TRIO/Student Support Services.