How to take notes

By Mark Törőcsik

Note taking is actually hard to do right. Notes are important because they are the only thing that remain after a class. I will now introduce a special note-taking method invented in Cornell University to take effective notes in lectures, which in our school could be helpful during history, Hungarian literature, or other similar classes.

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The idea is simple, although it will take a little effort outside of class too. The paper (or notebook page) should be divided into 3 parts. The largest part of the paper is the notes. I suppose you already have a way of writing down what you hear. The largest part of the paper (see the figure) is for these notes, and you do this during class.

           

The next part is for Cues. This can be done during class or after class. If you continuously need to listen and take notes, I suggest after class, but if you have a little time, you can do it during class. Cues consist of a column of bullet points. Key words and phrases should be listed here. It’s really useful when looking through the notes before tests. This should be on the side part of the paper (as you can see on the pictures).

           

The last part is the Summary, which should be done when you are reviewing. This will take some of your own time, but you need to study for a test anyway, right? The summary should be brief and get to the main point of the notes right away.

           

This method is certainly great, but needs a little additional effort. It makes your notes as organized as possible, although I have to warn you, it is probably not good for math and similar classes.  

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