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Note Taking: Cornell Method

Note Taking - Page's Left Side

On the left side of the page, you can add to or clarify your lecture notes with comments regarding key concepts or questions.

Save at least one third of the left-side page for a question column. You should make up and record questions that pertain to the information in your notes. Asking questions will help you focus on the material and enable you to test yourself before class tests. It also helps you listen actively and stay awake.

Use your questions in your study-group or in your weekly review. Cover up the notes, read the questions, recall and recite the answers. Check the notes to see whether your answers are correct. After the first test, compare your questions to the test questions. How many were helpful? Review your questioning skill.

The margin of the left-side page may be used for checking off questions, or indicating areas where you need to ask for help. You may want to use this space to record where lecture content can be found in your textbook.

What Is The Cornell Method?

A note taking system that is frequently recommended for university students is the Cornell method, which was developed by Dr. Walter Pauk of Cornell University. The Cornell method is an excellent study system for organizing and reviewing your lecture notes to increase your comprehension and critical thinking of course material, which typically results in improved test scores.

Taking Cornell Notes

Notes Taking - Page's Right Side

1. Each lecture should be dated and titled

2. Course name should be recorded, unless you are using a separate notebook for each course.

3. The bulk of the  right side should be used to record your lecture notes. This should be done in simple phrases. How you do this depends on your own style and your instructor's  teaching style.  Indent less important material in order to separate these points from the major ideas. Dashes, numbers and letters help. Be consistent in your style and write legibly.

4. Leave plenty of blank spaces in order to correct spelling or add information.