Use a note-taking system that works for you, such as highlighting or summarizing key points in your own words, and organize the notes by topic or chapter for easier reference later on.
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Note-taking is an essential skill for university students, as it allows them to retain and review information from readings more effectively. One effective note-taking system is to highlight or underline key points in the text, and then summarize them in your own words in a notebook or on your computer. This helps to reinforce the information in your mind and makes it easier to retrieve later on. You may also want to organize your notes by topic or chapter, so you can easily find the information you need when studying for exams or writing papers.
As writer Tim Ferriss said, “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.” In other words, taking notes may not always be the most comfortable or enjoyable task, but it is essential for success in university and beyond.
Here are some interesting facts about note-taking:
- Research suggests that taking handwritten notes is more effective than typing them, as it helps with memory retention and comprehension.
- There are many different note-taking systems, including the Cornell Method, the Outline Method, and the Mapping Method. Experiment with different systems to find the one that works best for you.
- Some note-taking apps, such as Evernote and OneNote, allow you to save and organize your notes electronically, making them easy to search and access from anywhere.
- Effective note-taking isn’t just about writing down information – it’s also about being actively engaged with the material and thinking critically about it.
To make it easier to understand different note-taking strategies, here is a table summarizing some of the most common methods:
|Cornell Method||Divide your note page into sections for cues, notes, and a summary.|
|Outline Method||Organize your notes hierarchically, using headings, subheadings, and bullet points.|
|Mapping Method||Create a visual map of the information, with key concepts at the center and related ideas branching out.|
|Charting Method||Create tables or charts to compare and contrast information.|
|Sentence Method||Copy down each sentence from the reading, focusing on the most important information.|
Overall, note-taking is a skill that takes time and practice to master, but it is well worth the effort. With effective note-taking, you can improve your academic performance, deepen your understanding of complex topics, and retain information more effectively.
Video response to “How do you take notes from readings in university?”
The video provides tips for taking effective notes in university, including using pen and paper for STEM-based courses and laptops/tablets for social sciences, utilizing note-taking programs like OneNote or Notion, and making notes concise and focused. It also recommends completing notes before lectures and supplementing with reading material after to help with understanding. In addition, the speaker emphasizes the importance of actively adding notes from reading material into pre-made lecture notes and ruthlessly editing notes at the end of the term. The main message is to work smarter, not harder, and find a note-taking method that works best for individual learning styles.
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- Write notes in your own words instead of copying down information from the book.
- Avoid over-highlighting.
- Wait until the end of a page to take notes so that you can better focus on what you are reading and so that you can try to summarize in your own words rather than copy.
Try reading short sections of your reading (likely a paragraph or two or up to a page) and pausing to think about what you just read—then take notes from your memory of what you just read. This will help you focus on the main points instead of getting caught up in details.
Many people find it effective to take notes in two stages. First writing down the main points. Then summarising, condensing and organising the notes so that they can be used when writing assignments or revising for exams. In general, your notes should be brief and to the point.
Synthesize notes from your reading and your lectures. For example, leave space after each section of notes from your reading to add related lecture notes. Give yourself time after each lecture to process and/or reorganize your notes. Work with the material when it’s fresh in your mind; most forgetting happens right after you learn new material.
How to take good notes while reading
- Different formats/strategies for notes There is no one right way to take notes while reading. The important thing is that you experiment with a few effective strategies, find some that work for you, and use them.
Steps For Taking Notes As You Read
- Always Start From The Beginning Start from the beginning of the chapter/assigned pages.
- Read One Section At A Time Instead of reading the whole chapter at once, take it one section at a time.
I’m sure you will be interested
- Sit at the Front of the Class.
- Decide on the Best Strategy (Paper or Digital)
- Keep Your Notes Short.
- Write Neatly.
- Get Organized.
- Minimize Distractions.
- Develop a System.
- Use Space Meaningfully.
- You can’t write down every word.
- Pay Attention.
- Underline, Highlight and Capitalise.
- Use Shorthand (Abbreviations)
- Put distractions away.
- Be Comfortable.
- Ask questions when confused.
- Share and compare notes with classmates.
- Don’t read every word.
- Do read summaries, heading and subheadings.
- Look at tables, diagrams, illustrations, etc.
- Read first sentences of paragraphs to see what they are about.
- If the material is useful or interesting, decide whether just some sections are relevant or whether you need to read it all.