How to Take Lecture Notes Effectively
During your first year in university, you can see hundreds of students typing on their laptops, trying not to miss out a single word from the lecture. With time, more and more students switch to writing their notes on paper. When in university or college, your note-taking skills gradually evolve and you learn new approaches. In this article at College-Writers.Com blog, you can learn a few effective methods that will help you take notes effectively.
Why do you need to take notes? They can help you learn more and remember information better because you stay focused and listen to your professor carefully. Your notes can also serve as a guideline later so that you can return to the earlier material and quickly refresh your memory.
Pen and Paper
1. The Cornell method
This method enables you to make sure that all the information is properly organized and easy to understand. Start by splitting your paper into three sections: notes, cues, and summary. The first section is for any notes that you take during class. When class is over, read your notes and write down any important points or questions in the “Cues” section. When the two sections are completed, write a summary of the lesson so that you can come back to it and quickly remember what you need.
2. The mapping method
This is a visual approach that allows you to illustrate how different ideas relate to each other. Start by writing down the central idea of the lecture, and add subheadings as the class goes on, connecting them to the main idea and adding the necessary details beneath.
3. The sentence method
This is the simplest method. It gives you freedom but also allows you to organize your notes. Write down the main idea followed by a bulleted or numbered list of sentences with the key details.
We are used to writing notes using our laptops, tablets, or smartphones. Technology makes things go faster, however, it also may become a reason why you just try to type everything that you hear without understanding it. Nevertheless, most students choose laptops when they need to take notes. Here are some methods that will help you do this more effectively.
Don’t write down everything you hear but listen carefully and jot down the key ideas. It’s very easy to do if your professor illustrates the lecture with a PowerPoint presentation. However, even if there is a presentation, make sure that you don’t miss the important details that you hear — you may need this information for tests or assignments later.
If you’re allowed to record a lecture, don’t be afraid to do it. It doesn’t mean that you don’t need to write any notes but it will help you make sure that you didn’t miss anything.
3. Use mapping software
This approach might be especially helpful if you’re a visual learner. There are many kinds of software that enable you to create mind maps, highlighting ideas with different colors and connecting them logically to each other.
Don’t forget that the main secret of successful note-taking is paying attention in class. If you zone out, you will have to do much more work at home.