Study Skills

Study Skills

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How to structure your note-taking

There are a variety of note-taking techniques and strategies. You have to decide on which technique works best for you. Different note-taking strategies may work better for different classes.

1. Leave plenty of blank space on each page as your take notes.

You will use this space during and after class to add information, ask questions, and make connections. Some students find it helpful to draw a line dividing the page into two sections. In one section, you will write notes following the professor's lecture. In the second section, you will record your own summary statements, questions, or connections to other materials. These might occur to you as you take notes, but you will most likely develop these thoughts after class.

2. Do not become overly reliant on technology.

Instructor-provided slides are helpful as an organizing tool but are not a replacement for attending class or actively organizing the lecture information. Tape recording a lecture might be useful, but it is not a substitute for active attendance in class. Only record lectures if you feel that there might be something you miss that makes it worth your time to listen to the lecture again. If you can fill in gaps by talking to classmates or your professors, then recording is probably not helpful.

3. Use loose-leaf paper or a spiral binder from which you can remove the pages and place them into a three-ring binder.

This will allow you to rewrite notes or add material in sequence.

4. Date and number each page.

5. Write on only one side of the page.

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