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Western Reserve Public Media

Test Quest
Taking Notes

Meet The Questers
Learning Styles
Study Habits / Time Management
Test Taking Skills
Taking Notes
Active Listening
Improving Your Memory
Test Quest Teacher Guide & Handouts
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Western Reserve Public Media

Organized notes help you identify the important ideas in a lecture or in an article. They help you understand the organization and the purpose of the lecture or assignment. Use these tips to help you to become a better note-taker.

  • Collect all the notes for each course in a separate place. Either have a separate notebook or a separate section for each class.

  • Write notes on one side of the page only. It's easier to organize your notes at a later date.

  • Write the name and the date at the top of each day's notes.

  • Don't doodle or do other activities that will distract you from the task at hand.

  • Use abbreviations.

    Watch for signal words. These include statements like "There are three reason why..."; "First... Second... Third... "; "Most important is ..."; and "A major development ..."

  • Mark ideas for emphasis with a symbol like an arrow or a star. Underline main points.

  • Review your notes as soon as possible after you've taken them. Make any organizational improvements.

  • Box assignments so you can identify them quickly.

  • Do not try to write every word. Write the main ideas.

  • Write notes in outline form rather than in paragraph form.

  • Leave space between ideas so that you can add information as needed.

  • Provide examples when helpful.

  • Make flash cards for unfamiliar vocabulary, ideas or concepts.

  • Work with your classmates. Share notes to fill in gaps or discuss ideas.




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