Note-Taking Tips


·         Read the assignment before class. 

·         Review your notes before class. 

·         Sit in the front of the room. 

·         Participate in class discussions.

·         Ask questions.

·         Watch for clues, such as: 

-       Repetition of information.

-       Interest level of instructor in material. 



·         Find a note taking method that works for you. 

-       Cornell Method—Draw a vertical line 1½ inches from the left edge of the paper.  Write your notes to the right of the line.  Use the left side to write down key words and sample questions. 

-       Mind maps—Write the main concept of the lecture in the middle of the paper.  Draw lines from the main concept outward and use key words to indicate related concepts. 

-       Outline—Use a Roman numeral outline or a free-form outline to organize notes. 

-       Paragraphs—Write material out in brief, paragraph form.  Focus more on key words and less on complete sentences. 

·         Write down material written on the board. 

·         Note points that have introductory, concluding, or transitional words or phrases in them. 

·         Write on one side of the paper. 

·         Place notes in a three-ring binder. 

·         Use 3×5 cards—one card per new concept. 

·         Label, number, and date all notes. 

·         Create a symbol to indicate when you missed part of a lecture or are confused about something. 

·         Leave plenty of blank space in notes. 

·         Use a tape recorder. 

·         Take notes in different colors. 



·         Review notes within 24 hours to retain more information. 

·         Edit notes for clarification during first review. 

·         Write key words along margins. 

·         Spend an hour per subject per week reviewing lecture and lab notes. 


Info from: UI Tutoring and Academic Assistance Programs