Teaching and Learning with Technology would like to acknowledge Janice Smith for revising the content of this module.
Assembling a good set of notes is an essential component of successful learning in college. Far too often, students have the experience of reviewing worthless notes. Unless you have an extraordinary memory, effective note-taking will be very valuable to you throughout your college and professional careers.
Part of the challenge in taking good notes is that teaching styles vary from instructor to instructor—as do lecturing styles. Some instructors are well organized and some wander; some are storytellers who leave it up to the student to determine the significance of the story. It is essential for you to determine an instructor's lecture style and the method he or she uses to divulge important ideas. This will help you determine what information should be included in notes taken during a lecture.
Goals and Objectives
This tutorial addresses academic survival skills and requires active use of writing, speaking, and other forms of self-expression. The tutorial also provides opportunities for information gathering, synthesis, and analysis in solving problems and in critical thinking. When you finish this tutorial, you should be able to:
- Listen carefully and critically to what is being communicated.
- Increase your comprehension and retention of material through accurate and meaningful notes.
- Clarify ideas and embellish the material presented.
- Develop excellent review and reusable resources.
Read about the basics of taking notes and complete the included activities.
- Preparing for Taking Notes
- Your Notebook and "Good" Notes
- Activity 1: Note-Taking Strategies
- Listening and Taking Notes
- Activity 2: Effective Listening Strategies
- Reviewing Your Notes
- The 5 Rs of Note-Taking
- Activity 3: The Five Rs
- A Note-Taking Checklist
Note: All external links in this tutorial will open in a new window or tab.