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Noting For Success – Success in the Classroom

There are many different methods of note taking that students can use to ensure their success in college. Different people utilize different forms of note taking that best suit their needs.

Noting For Success – Success in the Classroom

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There are many different methods of note taking that students can use to ensure their success in college. Different people utilize different forms of note taking that best suit their needs. However, note taking is a fundamental skill that must be utilized in order to perform well in class.

The Cornell Method of note taking is an efficient method taught to many college students today. Originally developed by Walter Pauk at Cornell University in the 1950′s, the Cornell Note Taking method is often taught to college level students today to increase their note taking skills. “The Cornell method provides a systematic format for condensing and organizing notes without laborious recopying.”(Notetaking).

To utilize this method students rule the page with a 2 1/2″ left margin. Information obtained during lecture and while reading is recorder on the right side of the paper with spaces in between points. There is very little structure set forth for the information on the right side and allows a student to quickly record information. This type of note taking is extremely useful when attending fast paced lectures. Later, the student goes back and outlines the main ideas on the left side of the paper; these main points are called cues.

The cues work as an index to allow a student to quickly find information during review. Also, the creation of the cues allows the student to critically think and reprocess the information before the notes are complete.

Another common note taking technique often taught to students is the outlining method. Outlining consists of utilizing indents in order to decipher between main ideas, sub-topics, and supporting ideas. While outlining creates a very organized system for storing information, it requires more time and energy during construction. Unlike the Cornell Note Taking Method, an outline requires a student to process the information and decide how it should be appropriately recorded. This time utilized to process and record ideas can be an obstacle in lecture since the professor will not often stop to allow a student time to produce the note.

The third note taking method commonly used by students is the sentence note taking method. This note taking method requires a student to construct complete sentences in order to summarize main ideas. This method can be useful for lectures that are fast paced and lack an organized structure (Notetaking).

Sentence note taking is the easiest method to use and allows the efficient use of time while recording. However, there are a lot of disadvantages to this process. The resulting notes will often lack organization and thus make it difficult to review the material without revising the notes. Having to revise the notes will simply make up for the time saved during construction.

It is up to each student to decide what method of note taking best suits their learning style. Some offer more advantages than others, but it is an absolute certainty that a student must take notes. Furthermore, learning to take effective notes will have a direct impact on the performance of each student.

Works Cited

“Notetaking Systems.” Notetaking Systems. California Polytechnic University. 30 May 2009

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