Note-Taking Techniques Different methods of making meaningful notes

Why do you take notes?

What's the difference between note-taking and note-making?

Taking Notes
  • A record from readings, lectures and other media
  • Apply specific reading technique to find relevant information if not provided by your teacher in advance.

Reading Notes

  • Many different ways to take notes while reading a text
  • Each style has strengthes and weaknesses
  • Develop shorthand script/abbreviations for note-taking.
Running notes, written down the page, prompt both a record of the page number (essential!) and critical analysis.
From GoodNotes. 9th May 2018. https://medium.goodnotes.com/the-best-note-taking-methods-for-college-students-451f412e264e
Making Notes
The weakest ink is stronger than the strongest memory.

Making notes is about developing knowledge and meaning for you, and being able to understand what you've built in the future. It's not what you do as you read or as you listen. It's what you do with those notes later.

Note-Making Process - The Five R's

  1. Record (take notes)
  2. Reduce
  3. Recite
  4. Reflect
  5. Review

The Outline ('Cornell') Method

  • Useful for texts or lectures with a clear structure.
  • Not useful for subjects whcih use a lot of formulae or charts.
  • Good for organising ideas and writing essay plans.
  • Saves time reviewing later
  • Start on the far left using bullet points or indents

Concept Mapping

  • Is a working document - add to it as you progress in the course or topic.
  • Use colours, shapes and other features which help you remember.
  • great for 'putting it all together' when writing essays or preparing for exams
  • Organise notes from heavy lectures.
  • Great for science and other theorietical subjects, especially when learning processes, theories or abstract concepts.

Matrix Notes/Charting

  • Lay out different ideas on the same topic
  • Useful for research essay planning
  • Helps to establish the relationship between different ideas
  • Good for summarise breadth of theories, arguments and ideas regarding a debate or controversial idea.
  • Can be adapted to help record and learn formulae or building summary lists.
  • Is time consuming so don't attempt this before an exam. Work on it through the course.
Created By
David William Andersen


Created with images by Engin_Akyurt - "laptop coffee computer" • Jen Theodore - "Gold and white polka dot notebook or journal sits on a white wooden desk with pencil and small planted succulent." • ActionVance - "untitled image"