• Ann Spence

Effective Note-Taking Part One




Note Taking Area: Record notes as fully and as meaningfully as possible.

Summaries: Sum up each page of your notes in a sentence or two.


This format provides the perfect opportunity for following through with the 5 R's of note-taking:

  • Record During the class or reading a text, record in the main column as many meaningful facts and ideas as you can. Write legibly.

  • ReduceWant to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon. As soon after as possible, summarize these facts and ideas concisely in a column on the page . Summarizing clarifies meanings and relationships, reinforces continuity, and strengthens memory.

  • Recite Cover the Note Taking Area, using only your jottings in the Cue Column, say over the facts and ideas of the class as fully as you can, not mechanically, but in your own words. Then, verify what you have said.

  • Reflect Draw out opinions from your notes and use them as a starting point for your own reflections on the course and how it relates to your other courses. Reflection will help prevent ideas from being inert and soon forgotten.

  • Review Spend 10 minutes every week in quick review of your notes, and you will retain most of what you have learned.


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