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
your notes as soon as possible after you've taken them. Make any organizational
- 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
- Make flash
cards for unfamiliar vocabulary, ideas or concepts.
- Work with your
classmates. Share notes to fill in gaps or discuss ideas.