Taking Notes

Taking Notes Before, During, and After class can help you stay on track, retain more information, and make studying a lot easier as you move through your semester

Because we all learn and process information differently it is important that you develop a note taking system that makes sense to you.  If you need some tips and suggestions for good note taking, check out the information and resources on this page

Do you know...

                                                                  that if you don't take time to study and                                                                               process the new information that you are learning i.e. Textbook reading, and lecture, you will LOSE 50-80% of what you learned within just 24 hours??? 


The 5 types of note taking

The Forgetting Curve:

Simply put, the Forgetting Curve is a research based theory that explains how long we retain (remember) new information.  Watch this 3 min. video to learn more about the forgetting curve and how taking good notes can help you remember more of what you learned.


Textbook Note Taking Tips:

Using Post-it Notes

  • As you read, be sure to take pauses and write down quick summaries of what the paragraph is about (key facts, people, and overall idea).

  • This technique is beneficial for individuals who are renting their textbooks and cannot write or highlight with more than one color.

  • This can also be helpful for open book tests. If you create tabs and put in your own notes/summaries of the content, it will help make your testing or review experience more effective.

Writing in the Margin

  • This is a great way to test your comprehension of what you’re reading paragraph by paragraph. In the margin next to the paragraph, write a quick blurb about what the section is about.

  • ​It is very important to be able to make sure that you are understanding what you are reading and not just letting your eyes gloss over the pages. If you can see how the material connects to the other information in the book and also can paraphrase what the paragraph/chapter is about, it means that you are understanding the content.

  • Before you go to class, skim over your margin notes to jog your memory.

Using a Highlighting System

  • You want to make sure that the notes you are taking will work for you come study time. Do you feel like your pages become a sea of yellow highlighter?

  • Create a highlighting system for taking notes in your text or notebook notes, each color representing something different, and stay consistent.  This is going to allow you to organize the information you are learning and easily locate the important content when reviewing before class, finding info. for class discussions, and even for writing a paper about the reading.

Using Flash Cards

  • Write down key concepts/explanation, terms/definition, system/parts of the system, etc. for quick and continuous material to review.

  • By writing it down you review the material you need to learn in a different way and that can be easily reviewed anywhere.

  • Can be useful to have others quiz you on content, can be great for memorizing definitions and key facts, and for quick review before an exam. 

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