How to Take Notes in College

Student taking notes

Whether you are willing to start learning more effectively or gain overall success in college, the ability to take clear notes during lectures is a valuable skill which will surely be helpful not only in a process of a study in college but at your future employment as well. The knowledge of how to take good notes in college and how to take lecture notes in college will help you collect, remember, reproduce, and recall the information. In other words, while you take notes in college you create a skeleton of a lecture, thus, build your own college homework helper.

How to Take Notes in College: 6 Approaches to Take Notes Productively

Notes on a laptop

The main point of taking notes in college is to draw the material received during classes with your own words (except specific terms). There are some common popular strategies of how to take notes in college from a textbook and how to take lecture notes in college.

  1. Classical linear notebook combined with the method of sentences. The idea is quite clear — you take notes of everything you hear during the lecture while fixing each new sentence from the new line and giving them numbers in sequence, 1, 2, 3, etc. Consecutive numeration helps to easily make references from one point of your notes to the other, keeping the workbook clear, simple, yet precise.
  2. Cornell technique. This method of how to take effective notes in college was developed in the middle of the last century. You will need to divide a sheet into three sections with one vertical line in the center and one bottom horizontal line. The right section of the column will respond for general text. Left side is to be briefly filled with the main thesis, including the most important notes, such as the main ideas, data, names, dates. The bottom section is used for a summary of your lecture notes. This technique of taking notes in college is quite popular since it is believed to motivate students to review and fill up their notes.
  3. Another way of how to take great notes in college is known as a Bill Gates technique. Bill Gates, among other things, is famous for taking handwritten notes. A sheet is divided into squares, therefore each box is filled with information of a specific theme. For instance, a box with questions which appear during the lecture.
  4. Mind-mapping is a trendy method of how to take notes in college lectures. The main subject of your notes is to be put in the center of the sheet. During the lecture, you will add so-called branches with the keywords and core ideas. Mind-map is a complex approach to create an expanded scheme rather than take traditional notes in college.
  5. A so-called timeline is a useful technique to take notes when new material is full of dates. You draw a horizontal line in the middle of the sheet, fill it with dates and add corresponding facts and historical events above or below the main line.
  6. Flow method of how to take notes in college is considered to be the most abstract one. You write down the main ideas of the lecture, however, the core of your notes is your own ideas and comments.

How to Take Notes in College: Tips and Techniques

In order to successfully obtain the new material in college, it is important to update the lecture notes and know how to take notes from a textbook. Review the text before you start taking notes, highlight the keywords and facts. Then read it more carefully from the very beginning. When you start taking notes, don’t simply copy the sentences given in the college textbook, but rather paraphrase them and take notes in your own words.

Here are some effective tips on how to take better notes in college and how to take notes in college with a laptop.

  1. Abbreviate. Either you use common abbreviations, for instance, by initial letters or create your own system of abbreviation when you take notes in college. Besides, strive to write down in short — use brief phrases and create lists, since you are taking notes rather than writing an essay.
  2. Highlight the keywords, dates, names, facts. Preferably highlight in color in order to simplify yourself the process of reviewing of the college notes.
  3. Always leave some space when you take notes in college lectures. There is a chance you will get back to the material later and will need to add some important information.
  4. Use notebooks with margins. This will help you add some notes, specific data or important marks, and, at the same time, keep the college notes perfectly clear and neat.
  5. In order to learn how to successfully take notes on a laptop in college, don’t submit the material in the form of continuous text. Better divide the notes into paragraphs or create a numbered list. Finally, there are dozens of programs aimed to help learn how to effectively take notes in college with a laptop. Discover the matter and choose the approach which will suit you the best.

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