Study Skills

Study Skills

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The Cornell System

This system was designed for lecture notetaking, but fits equally well in taking notes from the text. Its greatest benefit will be to aid the student in the recall process.

---Underline from each section of the text several key words or phrases.

---Summarize the concepts represented by the key words and list them in the book margins or at the bottoms of pages. (If the students are using borrowed or library books, then the key words must be written on note cards keyed to the appropriate page numbers). Avoid listing anything that might be an answer to a question.

---Recite the ideas associated with the key words, especially those you weren't able to recall.

To illustrate Cornell: Suppose a student is reading a textbook on psychology in which he finds a section on the famous psychologist Erik Erikson. Erikson is remembered in his field for his theoretical model of the eight stages of psychosocial development, which most people must pass through as they move from infancy to late adulthood. Erikson represents each stage by two conflicting terms such as in stage one,"Basic Trust vs. Mistrust," or in stage eight, "Ego Integrity vs. Despair."

---The student may choose to underline the names and characteristics of the eight stages.

---The student would then list in the margin or on a note-card the words,"Erikson's 8 stages?"

---Upon reviewing, the student should cover the printed text, and using the phrase,"Erikson's 8 stages," recite all he/she can recall about the eight stages with their important characteristics and age ranges. If he/she can recall only five of the eight stages, he/she knows exactly which ones he/she needs to review and also which ones he/she need not waste time to go over again.

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