Get your Notebooks Organized with Cornell Notes by Noble Newman
Get your Notebooks Organized with Cornell Notes
By Noble Newman
Noble Newman Education Site
n How many times have you seen students shuffle through
countless papers just to pull up notes taken the other day?
n How many times have you seen a student come in
unprepared for an examination because they didn’t find their
n As educators, we have all been in those situations.
n In order to get the best out of your students, it is absolutely
vital that you establish a particular system how they can
utilize their notebooks in the most optimal way possible
n One particular system many educators utilize within the
classroom has been the Cornell Note note-taking system.
What are Cornell Notes
n The Cornell Notes system (also Cornell note-taking system
or Cornell method) is a note-taking system devised in the
1950s by Walter Pauk, an education professor at Cornell
University. Pauk advocated its use in his best-selling book
How to Study in College.
n The Cornell method provides a systematic format for
condensing and organizing notes.The student divides the
paper into two columns: the note-taking column (usually on
the right) is twice the size of the questions/key word column
(on the left).The student should leave five to seven lines, or
about two inches, at the bottom of the page.
Overview of Cornell Notes
n Notes from a lecture or teaching are written in the note-taking
n Notes usually consist of the main ideas of the text or lecture, and
long ideas are paraphrased.
n Long sentences are avoided; symbols or abbreviations are used
n To assist with future reviews, relevant questions (which should
be recorded as soon as possible so that the lecture and
questions will be fresh in the student's mind) or key words are
written in the key word column.
n These notes can be taken from any source of information, such
as fiction and nonfiction books, DVDs, lectures, text books, etc.
n The bottom section should be utilized for students to revise and
review the contents of the class through a brief summary in the
bottom five to seven lines of the page.
n This helps to increase understanding of the topic.When studying for
either a test or quiz, the student has a concise but detailed and
relevant record of previous classes.
How can you utilize this within
n With your lecture, make sure there is a systematic way in
which your students can follow your lesson and power point
n Some tips is to highlight important concepts in a different
color like ‘red’ for your students to take down.
n Make sure they practice this by taking notes on the right side of
n In addition encourage various questions (which will be taken
on the left side of the paper.
n Once your lesson is done, be sure to have a wrap up lesson
where your students writes a brief summary at the bottom of
n For many students, this type of process maybe foreign to
their style of thinking.
n While every student learns differently, it does not mean they
cannot utilize the same tools to absorb and internalize the
n To enhance ‘student accountability,’ make sure you grade
student notebooks (both for content and format)
n That grading factor will force many students to integrate the
note taking structure now than later.
To Learn More
n If you would like to learn more about other teacher tips or
education policy and reform news, please visit the following
n Noble Newman Education
n Noble Newman Career
n Noble Newman Entrepreneurship