University of Washington

INSTRUCTIONAL
CENTER

INSTRUCTIONAL
CENTER

INSTRUCTIONAL CENTER

UNIVERSITY  of  WASHINGTON

OFFICE  of  MINORITY AFFAIRS & DIVERSITY

INSTRUCTIONAL CENTER

UNIVERSITY of WASHINGTON

OFFICE of MINORITY AFFAIRS & DIVERSITY

INSTRUCTIONAL CENTER

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Strategies for taking good lecture notes

Take well-organized notes in outline form
This will help you to identify the main ideas. Start large, work down to details.

Take 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.

Separate 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.

Make your notes easy to read
It’s easier to study your notes if you can read them.

Be an aggressive note taker
Sit where you can hear and see the professor without straining. Stay alert.

Start 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.

Isolate and learn the specialized vocabulary
Write down and highlight difficult or new words. Write definitions, or look them up later.

Separate 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.

Develop 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 to you.

Include pictures, diagrams and other visuals
Copying diagrams or other visuals helps you to understand concepts later. We tend to think in terms of pictures.

Take notes on discussion
Take notes when meeting with your tutor. Use notes you’ve taken in lecture to generate discussion with your tutor group.

Always 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.

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Last Revised:
December 9, 2016
Last Revised:
December 9, 2016
Last Revised:
December 9, 2016
University of Washington

OFFICE  of  MINORITY AFFAIRS & DIVERSITY

OFFICE  of  MINORITY AFFAIRS & DIVERSITY

INSTRUCTIONAL CENTER

Last Revised:
December 9, 2016

INSTRUCTIONAL CENTER

Last Revised:
December 9, 2016