There are many options for taking notes. This guest post by Sandra Larson shares some of her insights on the subjects with my comments.
Why do you need to take a note? A skill of taking notes is needed to avoid failure at school or college as it will help you stay alert and focus. The person makes brief records of facts, emphasizes one, skipping the other, subconsciously memorizing the third. In other words, he reduces source material without changing the essence. The act of crafting a summary is a working method; it will be useful to you both in the university and in life.
In order to keep a good note, you need to concentrate on what the teacher is talking about. Write only what you think is necessary. Try to catch the essence of what was said, and write down basic thoughts of the lecture thesis. Now when you’ve understood the importance of taking brief records of facts, we will show you a simple way how to become an expert in this field. When you took the notebook, keep in mind these few simple starting points.
If in doubt, it is better to write more than less. Do not skip facts. Do not skip your own thoughts either. You can use the margins of your notebook to write them down. If you are writing things that you hear, I suggest using a notepad. Doodling improves retention x2. When reading, you may prefer computer application: Google Docs or Evernote.
- Think of where to write
The first thing you should do before writing is choosing where to write. Some students prefer having one big notebook or folder with lots of dividers for many subjects. Of course, it is more convenient than having a copy-book for each subject as it saves place and there won’t be a chance you leave it at home. Besides, you have them with you, thus you can study any subject you need wherever and whenever you wish.
- Relax and concentrate
Take a deep breath and calm down. When people are hurrying their handwriting becomes a mess. One of the surveys shows that in 60% of students cannot understand what they have written down into their notebooks. In this case, an abstract loses its meaning. Don’t forget that you can always find an essay writing help here if you can’t decipher what you have written in your notes.
- Point it out if you are not sure what you have written
If you are unclear about any concept you have written, then write it in brackets, or ask a question mark beside it. You will easily find it when you’ve got an opportunity to ask your teacher. Your notes must prove that you understand everything as you may then find yourself in a situation when you have learned something that is wrong.
- Make it brief
During teacher’s explanation, it is not easy to keep the required speed. Besides, you can not ask him to repeat, because it’s not a dictation! Try to use abbreviations. The best thing in this case, if you do not want to miss a line of explanation – to use conventional abbreviations, or to invent your own cuts. Here are examples of common abbreviations:> means more; <means less; NB means – pay attention.
- A proper structure matters
Do not clutter up your page; leave plenty of free space to add other notes then. Besides, if your page is written from up till down, this makes your note a mess. A proper structure will help you to find the necessary information and perceive it faster.
- Highlighting is essential
Many scientists have proven that colors help to memorize the information faster and more efficient. Thus if you wish to remember something, try this small tip. Select the most important things with color pens and markers, namely the topic of the lecture (necessarily), definitions, formulas, theses. To provide correct notes underline the keywords, use the CAPITAL letters and write most necessary phrases in the framework.
The format of the text is a form of visual marking that will help you find the right information both in your notepad and in your memory. You do not have to highlight in class. Probably it is best to highlight when you review the notes afterward.
- Include samples
When crafting a note, some students completely forget about mentioning samples. They are the fundament of any information, and by learning them, you can recollect the information you need easily. Thus do not forget to indicate them in your notes.
- Choose the right place
This point is not connected with writing, although it is still vital for your notes. You have to choose a seat wisely as you have to hear your professor clearly in order to produce great notes. Of course, the best place is the first desk, however, if you do not like to be close, you can take the seat in the middle. It is proven that those who sit on the last desks do not have high academic success, but you do not do this, right?
The strongest factor contributing to academic success is attendance…
Writing notes, you are engaged in a complex business: you have to simultaneously listen, analyze, choose and write. You have not only to understand basic ideas from the teacher’s explanation and keep an entire explanation in mind while writing down heard the material. By the way, you have to understand what you have written down and restore everything in your memory after work at the classroom. Thus, do not underestimate its power.
Sandra Larson is a freelance writer with many years of writing experience, a homeschooling teacher and mother of two children. She is passionate about writing and loves sharing useful tips with readers. Her hobbies are photography and traveling, and Sandra perfectly combines leisure time with her work that she loves.