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THE CORNELL NOTE TAKING SYSTEMSEVEN STEPS TO TAKING USEFUL LECTURE NOTES
NOTE TAKING CHECKLIST:Attend all course lectures and labsUse a loose leaf binder for notesUse a separate binder for each courseSit as close to the instructor as possibleLook over the previous lecture’s notes before each classPlace the course title, lecturer’s name, date, and page number on each note pageWrite lecture notes only on one side of the sheetTry to write notes in short sentencesRecord lecturer’s keywordsNumber main ideasRecord both facts and ideasSkip lines between main pointsRecord the lecturer’s examplesDo not doodle or draw non-lecture related images
THE CORNELL NOTE TAKING SYSTEM’S SHEET:• Write notes in the wide 6 inch column. Write questions/cues in the left narrow column. Write a summary in the space at the bottom of the note sheet.• Divide your paper in this manner:
STEP ONE• Capture the Lecturer’s Facts and Ideas in the six inch column area • Don’t give up. Some is better than none. • Use abbreviations and the telegraphic style. • Full sentence directly from lecture: • “A top speed of over 70 miles per hour makes the cheetah the world’s fastest animal.” • Telegraphic sentence: • Cheetah – world’s fastest animal – 70mph • Leave gaps, you can fill in the information later.
STEP TWO• Overview - read over your notes in the next available free time. Experiments have shown that unrehearsed information is sometimes forgotten in as little as twenty seconds. So, fill in the gaps while you can still visualize the lecturer and remember the words and ideas. • Mentally visualize the lecture • Fill in the gaps based on reflection and course reading • Make letters and words more legible • Write out any abbreviations you may forget later
STEP THREE• Write Questions – 1. Find the main idea 2. Formulate a question that the main idea answers 3. Write the brief question in the Question Column• Why questions – • Questions are powerful devices. Formulating questions keeps you honest because to form a question, you must fully understand the main idea you are working on. • By formulating questions, you are preparing for future exams.
STEP FOUR• Recite – Reciting is the most powerful and dependable memory enhancing technique know to the science of learning• To recite follow this technique: • Cover your notes exposing only the questions. • Read the question • Provide an answer • Check to see if correct • Recite until you get it right
STEP FIVE• Summarize – at the bottom of each sheet of notes write an “in-a-nutshell” version of the information on just that sheet • Write this summary section only after you have reviewed and recited the material • The summary should be in your own words and should be as concise/brief as possible
STEP SIX• Globalize – integrate facts and ideas • An assemblage of unconnected facts and ideas is not helpful • You need to end up with a view of the whole because the more unified your facts and ideas, the better your chances of warding off forgetting • One way to keep these facts and ideas connected is to review previous lecture notes before starting today’s lecture notes. The lectures will become a connected series, not isolated islands in a sea of information
STEP SEVEN• Reflect – reflection is the thinking you privately do to make facts, principles, and ideas a permanent part of your knowledge• Link your notes to previous knowledge by asking: • What is the significance of these facts and ideas • What principles are they based on? • How can I apply them to what I already know? • How do these facts and ideas fit into my scheme of things? • What do these facts and ideas imply? • What’s beyond them?• Just try to stretch your thinking and imagination – it makes you a better critical thinker