Tools for effective note taking
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Tools for Effective Note-taking. Rosalyn Schiller Lakeside Study Center ’07-’08. Why take notes?. Know the Purpose of the Notes. To prepare the next class’ questions? To prepare the next class’ discussion? To participate? To lead? To prepare for a test? A quiz? An essay?

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Tools for Effective Note-taking

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Tools for Effective Note-taking

Rosalyn Schiller

Lakeside Study Center


Why take notes?

Know the Purpose of the Notes

  • To prepare the next class’ questions?

  • To prepare the next class’ discussion?

    • To participate? To lead?

  • To prepare for a test? A quiz? An essay?

  • To gather information for a research paper?

  • To reflect on larger ideas and themes?

Which could you use?

Here’s a System that Works

Start notes with:

  • the date

  • the source

  • the topic or title


    9/21/04 Pgs 11-16 Ch 1 Islam

Part 1: BasicTools as You Write

Two Aspects to consider

  • Form: The visual design or

    “how it looks”

    2.Content: The ideas or

    “what it means”

Form Tools

  • Space: Use lots!

    Use margins & modified outline

  • Abbreviations & Symbols

    relig. &

  • Highlight: Use underlines, circles, squiggles, CAPS, color (if available)


  • Telegraphic sentences

    • Omit low-meaning words (is, are, the, a, etc)

    • Skip punctuation

    • Abbreviate thoughts

      (but writefullideas, not just topics)

  • Paraphrase (use own words)

    Improves understanding and memory!

  • Pictures (maps, diagrams, flowcharts, drawings)

    They speak 1000 words (if labeled!!) Talent not necessary!

AND the most basic CONTENT of all…

  • Main Concepts and Supportive Details

    Do your notes have both?

Teacher and Course Focus

Do you know what the teacher thinks is important? How?

  • Teacher’s comments

  • Teacher’s guiding questions

  • Assignment sheet, e-mail or website

    Modern World History "Exchange”.

Then there’s YOU!

Use your own experience, background and knowledge to interact with the material

  • Connect: Make associations.

  • Respond: Do you agree? Disagree?

  • Question: Is this valid? Is this confusing?

  • Evaluate: Is this balanced? Fair? Biased?

  • Draw inferences: Where does this lead?

How are your notes?

  • Do you know why you’re taking these notes? (Purpose?)

  • Are they dated with description and title?

  • Do they need more… Spacing? Abbreviations? Symbols? Highlighting?

  • Do they have… Telegraphic sentences? Abbreviated full ideas? Paraphrasing? Maps, Pictures?

How are your notes?

  • Are they complete in content? Main concepts? Supportive details for each?

  • Do they reflect what the teacher counts as most important?

  • Do they include your reactions to the material?

  • TRUE TEST - Do they make sense 1 day later?

    1 week later?

    1 month later?

    In May?

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