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A seven-step guide to taking better notes

Revision of notes

Revision of notes, done right after the lecture, is a crucial step so that any missing lesson ideas can be filled using our short-term memory.

  • Hand-written notes are better than laptops as the latter can be distracting, with students checking email or playing games. It also distracts nearby students.

  • Laptop notes are inferior as they are verbatim and shallow.

  • Hand-written notes are well-thought-out, summarized and have a lot of graphic information that is missing from laptop notes.

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A seven-step guide to taking better notes

A seven-step guide to taking better notes

https://qz.com/1701631/how-to-take-better-notes/

qz.com

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Key Ideas

Note Taking

Students who take notes during a lecture or presentation achieve more than those who just passively listen.

Note-taking makes one's attention focused on the ideas being discussed, and also leads to a review of the lesson being taught. It is a good idea to take complete and detailed notes, as one study shows that the more note the students take, the higher is their achievement. Omitting details or examples is common among students, but is not advisable.

Note Taking Cues

When the instructor says 'this is important' or 'note this', or gives a non-verbal cue that the content being discussed is important, it can enhance the student's note-taking. They can also listen to the cues to help them organize their lessons.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Note Taking - Starter Tips

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.
  • M...
Outline Method

Taking a structured approach to note-taking is the best way. Put the outline notes by choosing four or five key points of the lecture, followed by in-depth sub-points. One way to review is to use the Cornell Method, which divides the note sheet into three sections:

  • Cues: It includes key questions and main points.
  • Notes: Which you write during the class using the outline method. 
  • Summary: Which you can write after class while reviewing.

The Mind Map

The mind map is a visual diagram of abstract concepts.

It works best in subjects like chemistry, history and philosophy, subjects having a neural network like interlocked and complex topics. 

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Laptops vs pen and paper

In an experiment, students were given Ted Talks to watch and were told to take notes, half with laptops, the other with pen and paper.

  • The students using a keyboard were more likely to ...
Recording lectures

Recording lectures to replay later has shown to have no added benefits compared to paying attention the first time without the possibility of watching it again.

  • The advantage of watching it again is that you don't have to worry about taking notes and can focus your full attention on it.
  • The benefit of taking notes is that it forces you to process the information and think about it before you can summarize it.
The Art of Note-Taking
The Art of Note-Taking

Even in an age where laptops rule, notetaking is still the tool of choice for highly successful students, entrepreneurs, and leaders.

Tim Ferris attributes his notetaking style as one o...

The Cornell Method

This simple and highly systematic note-taking method helps you to understand key ideas and relationships easily. Best used for:

  • Gathering information from a seminar or presentation.
  • Recording college lecture notes.
  • Studying literature or a textbook.
Cornell Method: How to take notes
  1. Write down the lecture name/seminar/reading topic at the top of the page.
  2. Write down notes in the largest section of the page (right-hand column). Transcribe only the facts using bulleted lists and abbreviations. Take notes of questions that arise.
    3. Create question cues in the left-hand column that you will use later as a study tool.
  3. At the bottom section of the page, summarize the main ideas of your notes. Ask yourself how you would explain this information to someone else. Keep it concise.

Read over your notes in the left-hand column and summary at the bottom as often as possible. Quiz yourself with the questions you've included in the left column. Repeat often to increase your recall and deepen your comprehension.

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