Note taking and note making by Sohail Ahmed Solangi

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Note taking and note making by Sohail Ahmed Solangi

  1. 1. Note taking & Note making Sohail Ahmed M.A English Literature Introduction: Before thinking about how to make notes or take notes, it is important to reflect on WHY you would do this. There are many good reasons. The following are just some reasons. Taking an making notes may help you to concentrate; remember important information; process information; clarify learning material; stay awake; keep your brain active through multi-tasking (listening, watching, writing, paraphrasing); have material to discuss with other students; Page prepare for examinations and other tests; 1 gather material for assignments; Sohail Ahmed
  2. 2. Good notes are essential for effective learning and the development of understanding at university. If you have taken the time to make good notes you not only have a personal resource that you can use as you revise for terms tests and exams, but you are also more likely to have confidence in your knowledge of the topic. Making notes about a topic involves several stages. Stage 1) Preparing for lectures and labs Process Read the recommended readings before the lectures 2) Taking notes from single Record information from a sources such as a lecture, particular source (using a lab or the text book strategy that suits you). 3) Reviewing lecture notes Review notes made during the lectures (individually and/or in small group) by correcting, adding to, and summarizing notes 4) Making notes – Construct your knowledge Assembling more detailed about the topic, identify the information about a whole Structure of the topic, the topic from several main points or key ideas. lectures and labs and the text book 2 Summarise or synthesise your knowledge in ways that you can remember it Page 5) Constructing a working synthesis, précis or summary sheet Purpose Provides a general overview of topic and the areas that might be difficult to understand. Provides understanding of part of a topic - Making links with knowledge you already have – building on that knowledge. Aids further consolidation and understanding of notes made during the lecture, and provides a good basis for revision Helps in developing a network of sub-topics or parts and the links between them until you get a sense of the whole, and how the whole and the parts relate together to make meaning. Provides basis for revision in preparation for assignments and exams. Sohail Ahmed
  3. 3. The difference between note-taking and note-making: Taking notes is only the first stage in the note-making process. It often involves writing down information from different sources such as lectures, labs and your text book – other people’s knowledge. In contrast, note-making involves a process of personal understanding. When you make your own notes you are learning about the topic and so you are much more likely to remember it. This may sound time-consuming. Yet, it is much more efficient and effective in terms of learning than trying to sort out lecture notes and read text books in great haste before an important test or exam. It provides you with a well-prepared personal resource of information. Note-taking Summary of what you have read or heard Key points, main arguments and ideas Examples and evidence to support these Note-making Your own resource of information Compilation of different sources (lectures, readings, labs, etc) Note taking: Page Note taking is the practice of writing pieces of information, often in an informal or unstructured manner. Information presented in class often contains the central concepts of the course and the material most likely to be included on exams. Yet, students frequently do not realize the importance of note taking and listening. While many students view note taking as an activity conducted simply in lecture, solid note taking skills require preparation and reflection as well. 3 Note taking is the practice of recording information captured from a transient source, such as an oral discussion at a meeting, or a lecture (notes of a meeting are usually called minutes). Many different formats are used to structure information and make it easier to find and to understand, later. The format of the initial record may often be informal and/or unstructured. One common format for such notes is shorthand, which can allow large amounts of information to be put on paper very quickly. Notetaking is an important skill for students, especially at the college level. In some contexts, such as college lectures, the main purpose of taking notes may be to implant the material in the mind; the written notes themselves being of secondary importance. Sohail Ahmed
  4. 4. Making notes: Note-making is the process of compiling the notes you have taken from multiple sources, lectures, readings, etc. in an organised way. There are different ways to organise your material. The way you do this partly depends on the course you are doing. How to make notes? Organise your material so that it makes sense for you. For example, make links between ideas; use punctuation (such as exclamation marks), highlighting of certain words, underlining, capitals, etc; organise your material visually – sometimes pictures or diagrams are easier to remember; write a summary page for each topic (a bit like a contents page) and staple this to the front of the relevant notes. Some possible ways to make/organise notes What works for one students, may not always work for another. Some methods suit some learning styles better than others. Some common ways to make and organise notes are: Summaries Tables Mind Maps Concept maps Cause and effect diagrams Timelines Summaries can take different forms. Using lists of bullet points, or cues cards are just two common formats. Page 4 Tables are a good way to organise information that is clearly structured. Tables can be organised in different ways, e.g, in: • groupings • typologies • categories Sohail Ahmed
  5. 5. Mind Maps Mind Maps are good to capture a lot of information in a visual way. Mind Mapping was initially devised by Tony Buzan in the 1970s. Not everyone, however, finds it easy to make notes in this way. Other than using Mind Maps to integrate notes, Mind Maps can also be used in other ways, for example to: Sohail Ahmed Page How to make a Mind Map? • Put the main topic/idea in the middle of the page. • identify sub-topics and link them to the main topics. • Add as many sub (or sub sub) topics/branches as you need to put all the different aspects of the topic/idea on the map. • Add symbols, pictures, colours to make it more evocative and meaningful to you. 5 brainstorm ideas; take notes during a lecture (disadvantage: this can be difficult if you are not sure of the structure of the lecture); make notes during reading; revising before exams; getting over initial writer’s block or ‘blanks’, during exams or other situations
  6. 6. Concept Maps Concept Maps are very similar to Mind Maps. Sometimes these two names are used inter-changeably. Sometimes concept maps: changeably. are more structured; depict the structure of a ‘finite’ amount of data; less colourful with fewer, or no pictures. Example: Cause and effect diagrams Sohail Ahmed Page How to start a cause and effect diagram: write down the effect, event or problem that you want to map; identify the main categories that have impacted on the event/effect/problem; under each category identify as many causes as you can think of; some causes identify have sub-causes or sub sub causes. causes 6 Cause and effect diagrams (sometimes called “fishbone diagrams”) are good to map a complex variety of contributing causes to an effect, problem, or a particular situation or event. They can be used, for example, to chart problems, or events, or to seek contributing causes that result in a contributing diagnosis.
  7. 7. An example of Cause & effect diagrams: Time line Time lines are a great tool to organise your notes and information in subjects where events, or sequences, occur chronologically. Timelines can be two-dimensional (e.g. a date and the relevant event that took place), or can be more than two dimensional (e.g. a date, the relevant event that took place and events elsewhere or in a different context). Example : Event 1887 Birth 2002 Matric 2004 Intermediate 2005 Won the medal 2006 Graduation Sohail Ahmed Page 7 Date

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