Strategies for taking good lecture notes
well-organized notes in outline form
This will help you to identify the main ideas. Start large, work
down to details.
notes in complete thoughts, but abbreviate, reduce, and simplify
Don’t try to write the profs lecture word for word. You
will fall behind and miss something important. Don’t copy
overheads unless the professor gives you time to do so.
and label the notes for each class
Start a new set of notes for each day, clearly separated from
the day before; it makes your notes easier to study.
your notes easy to read
It’s easier to study your notes if you can read them.
an aggressive note taker
Sit where you can hear and see the professor without straining.
taking notes when the professor starts talking
Don’t wait for a big thought to strike you. You could
easily become distracted and miss the big thought.
and learn the specialized vocabulary
Write down and highlight difficult or new words. Write definitions,
or look them up later.
facts from opinion and add your own ideas
Note what is fact and what is the professor’s opinion.
Add your own thoughts; write notes directly to yourself.
your own set of symbols. Use them to identify or emphasize
various items in your notes.
Use circles, underlines, or other symbols that will be meaningful
pictures, diagrams and other visuals
Copying diagrams or other visuals helps you to understand concepts
later. We tend to think in terms of pictures.
notes on discussion
Take notes when meeting with your tutor. Use notes you’ve
taken in lecture to generate discussion with your tutor group.
attend lectures to develop a complete set of notes.
Think of your lecture notes as chapters in a book, and strive
to have all the chapters.