When you take notes the goal is to extract important information from the author in a concise manner. But this approach limits learning. More important than taking notes is making good use of notes, which is why I’m suggesting that note-taking involves two important aspects: note review and note making.
Colorado State University has put together a wonderful site that helps you with identifying main ideas and tips for writing summaries beyond the summary note. Take a moment to test your ability to identify a concise summary statement http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/documents/standsum/pop5b.cfm
Then make sure to add this site to your favorites. I’m sure you’ll find a need for this resource.
Second Way to Make a Summary Note from Wormelli, R. (2005). Summarization in any subject: 50 techniques to improve student learning. ASCD, Virginia
Remove trivial information. Draw a line through flowery language like adjectives, examples that are similar, and transitional words that when removed do not change the meaning of the text.
Remove redundant information.
Replace specific language with general terms. For instance if the text lists, “football, basketball, and baseball” you might replace it with popular American sports.
Write a two part topic sentence. The topic sentence should include the subject and the author’s claim.
Third Way to Make a Summary Note from Wormelli, R. (2005). Summarization in any subject: 50 techniques to improve student learning. ASCD, Virginia
Use a T-Chart
Use these terms in your T-Chart
Cause and Effect
Claims and arguments for or against
Problems and solutions
Questions and Answers
Main Ideas Supporting Details Three reasons President Obama proposed health care legislation 1. 2. 3. Three reasons his opponents fought against the legislation. 1. 2. 3. Presidents who attempted health care reform 1. 2. 3.
There are many ways to create a summary. I have identified three ways in this presentation. I encourage you to try these and find others that are useful to you. The goal of the summary note is not to simply repeat information, rather it is a means to open your mind and help the content stick.
In this note making procedure you are expected to ask so what of the author. Quite often when reading material we ask why a given reading is important internally, however we seldom are question the author for all to hear. This note making technique not only forces you to critique the author, but it recognizes that good readers should be good questioners – even when it means questioning the authority. Note makers must determine why a is reading relevant to them and their world.
The Wikipedia entry describes Christopher Columbus thusly, Christopher Columbus (c. 1451 – 20 May 1506) was a navigator , colonizer , and explorer whose voyages across the Atlantic Ocean led to general European awareness of the American continents in the Western Hemisphere . With his four voyages of exploration and several attempts at establishing a settlement on the island of Hispaniola , all funded by Isabella I of Castile , he initiated the process of Spanish colonization which foreshadowed general European colonization of the " New World ".
Click the link below to read more
Read the entry on the right. Then use the following questions to guide your reading. Finally, make a critical note.
Whose perspective is the written from?
Whose perspective is excluded?
What language does the author use to describe Columbus.
Although the entry provides factual information on the exploits of Christopher Columbus some aspects have been excluded. Particularly the atrocities Native Americans suffered as a result of Columbus’ exploits.
This is one example of how text can provide one view point. The critical note provides you with an opportunity to expand your learning and to avoid taking the authors words at face value. There is merit in questioning the author.