Jot This Down: How to Take Better Notes

lecture styles image

lecture styles image

Taking notes in class is underrated. If you find yourself scrawling illegibly on the page, or worse,find yourself dusting off your notebook come exam time, read on.

Most students write notes out in the classic outline format. If it works for you, stick to it, but your notes might come alive if you really paint a picture with them. Why not write out your notes so that they “match” the way your professor lectures? For instance, some lectures are clearly meant to compare and contrast themes or concepts. Listen for key words such as “on the contrary” or “resemble” to make an immediate connection with the subject at hand. Why not set up two columns where the similarities or differences can stand out for you?

If you are in a history class and have to remember key events, draw a timeline. Visual learners (students who like to write out lists or draw things out for themselves) might be able to visualize the timeline when they’re trying to “see” the events associated with certain years, etc. Auditory learners might recite from their lists later as a study technique.

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