The Cornell Method

The Cornell Method

The Cornell note taking method helps organize class notes into easily digestible summaries.

How?

  • The paper is divided into 3 sections: a 2.5” margin to the left, a 2” summary section on the bottom, and a main 6” in-class note section.
  • Use the main notes section to take notes during class.
  • Use the cues section to review your notes. After class, write down things you’ll need to remember and a prompt for each. You can also use this section for vocabulary words and study questions.
  • In the summary segment at the bottom, write a summary of your notes. This is where you will highlight the main points.

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How To Take Study Notes: 5 Effective Note Taking Methods

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The Charting Method

Charting note taking method uses columns to organize information. This method is useful for lessons that cover a lot of facts or relationships between topics.

How?

  • The page is divided into columns labeled by category. The details of each category are filled out in the rows below.
  • When information about a category is mentioned, jot it down underneath the proper column.
  • When the next topic begins move down one row and begin again.

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The Outlining Method

The Outlining note taking method uses headings and bullet points to organize topics. This method is most useful when learning about topics that include a lot of detail.

How?

  • Each section starts with a heading of the main topic. Each subtopic and supporting fact is written underneath the proper heading.
  • During a lesson, begin your notes with a single bullet point and write the main topic.
  • Place the first subtopic below and indented slightly to the right.
  • List any details below your heading and slightly to the right.

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The Sentence Method

The Sentence note taking method is simply writing down each topic as a jot note sentence. This method works well for fast paced lessons where a lot of information is being covered.

How?

  • Each line on the page is a new and separate topic. To organize your notes even more, you can use headings for each main topic.
  • Write down important information the teacher has emphasized. This can be in sentence form or point form.
  • Start a new sentence or point for each new detail.
  • Use headings to organize points by main topics.

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The Sentence Method

The Sentence note taking method is simply writing down each topic as a jot note sentence. This method works well for fast paced lessons where a lot of information is being covered.

How?

  • Each line on the page is a new and separate topic. To organize your notes even more, you can use headings for each main topic.
  • Write down important information the teacher has emphasized. This can be in sentence form or point form.
  • Start a new sentence or point for each new detail.
  • Use headings to organize points by main topics.

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The Mapping note taking method is a more visual way to organize your class notes. This technique is useful when learning about relationships between topics.

How?

  • The page is organized by topic. The main topics branch out into subtopics with detailed information about each.
  • While in class, begin the map with the main topic.
  • Branching off the main topic, write a heading for each of the subtopics.
  • Write any important notes underneath each subtopic.
  • Continue the pattern.

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TAKE NOTES EFFECTIVELY

If your in-class notes are messy, unorganized, and unclear at first glance, you’re not going to get much use out of them. This has nothing to do with how neat your handwriting is — it’s all about how your notes are structured.

One of the most effective ways to remember (and understand) what you are learning in class is to take effective notes in the classroom.

  • Ensures you are actively listening to what the teacher is saying
  • Requires you to think about what you are writing
  • Helps you make connections between topics
  • Serves as quality review material for after class

Using different note taking strategies is important, especially as you progress through high school and transition to college or university. There are several note taking techniques you can use to start taking better notes in class.

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The Cornell Method

Divide your paper into three sections: a 2.5” margin to the left, a 2” summary section on the bottom, and a main 6” section.

  • The main 6" section is used for note-taking during class.
  • The 2.5" margin to the left is the cues section. Use this space to write down ideas you'll need to remember. Add a prompt for each. Include vocabulary words and study questions here.
  • The 2" summary section at the bottom is where you'll highlight the main points.

The advantages of this method are notes that are neatly organized and summarized.

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How To Take Study Notes: 5 Effective Note Taking Methods

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Preparation steps before a note-taking session:

  • Try to get familiar with the topic that is going to be discussed, beforehand. This leads to better understanding.
  • Make sure you have adequate notepaper and writing material.
  • Stay hydrated and consume caffeine moderately.
  • Don't go in hungry, opting for a wholesome snack.
  • Have a positive attitude, and a willingness to pay attention.
  • If something is getting repeated in class or is indicated to be important, pay attention.

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How to Take Better Notes: The 6 Best Note-Taking Systems

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