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Image of hand taking notes.

Think about how you take notes during class. Do you use a specific system? Do you feel that system is working for you? What could be improved? How might taking notes during a lecture, section, or seminar be different online versus in the classroom? 

Adjust how you take notes during synchronous vs. asynchronous learning (slightly) . 

First, let’s distinguish between  synchronous  and  asynchronous  instruction. Synchronous classes are live with the instructor and students together, and asynchronous instruction is material recorded by the professor for viewing by students at another time. Sometimes asynchronous instruction may include a recording of a live Zoom session with the instructor and students. 

With this distinction in mind,  here are some tips on how to take notes during both types of instruction:

Taking notes during live classes (synchronous instruction).

Taking notes when watching recorded classes (asynchronous instruction)., check in with yourself., if available, annotate lecture slides during lecture., consider writing notes by hand., review your notes., write down questions..

Below are some common and effective note-taking techniques: 

Cornell Notes

If you are looking for help with using some of the tips and techniques described above, come to the ARC’s note-taking workshop, offered several times every semester.

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How to Take Better Notes During Lectures, Discussions, and Interviews

Tried-and-True Methods and Tips From Expert Note-Takers

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Note-taking is the practice of writing down or otherwise recording key points of information. It's an important part of the research process. Notes taken on class lectures or discussions may serve as study aids, while notes taken during an interview may provide material for an essay , article , or book. "Taking notes doesn't simply mean scribbling down or marking up the things that strike your fancy," say Walter Pauk and Ross J.Q. Owens in their book, "How to Study in College." "It means using a proven system and then effectively recording information before tying everything together."

Cognitive Benefits of Note-Taking

Note-taking involves certain cognitive behavior; writing notes engages your brain in specific and beneficial ways that help you grasp and retain information. Note-taking can result in broader learning than simply mastering course content because it helps you to process information and make connections between ideas, allowing you to apply your new knowledge to novel contexts, according to Michael C. Friedman, in his paper, "Notes on Note-Taking: Review of Research and Insights for Students and Instructors," which is part of the Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching.

Shelley O'Hara, in her book, "Improving Your Study Skills: Study Smart, Study Less," agrees, stating:

"Taking notes involves  active listening , as well as connecting and relating information to ideas you already know. It also involves seeking answers to questions that arise from the material."

Taking notes forces you to actively engage your brain as you identify what's important in terms of what the speaker is saying and begin to organize that information into a comprehensible format to decipher later. That process, which is far more than simply scribbling what you hear, involves some heavy brainwork.

Most Popular Note-Taking Methods

Note-taking aids in reflection, mentally reviewing what you write. To that end, there are certain methods of note-taking that are among the most popular:

  • The Cornell method involves dividing a piece of paper into three sections: a space on the left for writing the main topics, a larger space on the right to write your notes, and a space at the bottom to summarize your notes. Review and clarify your notes as soon as possible after class. Summarize what you've written on the bottom of the page, and finally, study your notes.
  • Creating a mind map is a visual diagram that lets you organize your notes in a two-dimensional structure, says  Focus . You create a mind map by writing the subject or headline in the center of the page, then add your notes in the form of branches that radiate outward from the center.
  • Outlining  is similar to creating an outline that you might use for a research paper.
  • Charting  allows you to break up information into such categories as similarities and differences; dates, events, and impact; and pros and cons, according to  East Carolina University .
  • The  sentence method is when you record every new thought, fact, or topic on a separate line. "All information is recorded, but it lacks [the] clarification of major and minor topics. Immediate review and editing are required to determine how information should be organized," per East Carolina University.

Two-Column Method and Lists

There are, of course, other variations on the previously described note-taking methods, such as the two-column method, says Kathleen T. McWhorter, in her book, "Successful College Writing," who explains that to use this method:

"Draw a vertical line from the top of a piece of paper to the bottom. The left-hand column should be about half as wide as the right-hand column. In the wider, right-hand column, record ideas and facts as they are presented in a lecture or discussion. In the narrower, left-hand column, note your own questions as they arise during the class."

Making a list  can also be effective, say John N. Gardner and Betsy O. Barefoot in "Step by Step to College and Career Success." "Once you have decided on a format for taking notes, you may also want to develop your own system of abbreviations ," they suggest.

Note-Taking Tips

Among other tips offered by note-taking experts:

  • Leave a space between entries so that you can fill in any missing information.
  • Use a laptop and download information to add to your notes either during or after the lecture.
  • Understand that there is a difference between taking notes on what you read and what you hear (in a lecture). If you're unsure what that might be, visit a teacher or professor during office hours and ask them to elaborate.

If none of these methods suit you, read the words of author Paul Theroux in his article "A World Duly Noted" published in The Wall Street Journal in 2013:

"I write down everything and never assume that I will remember something because it seemed vivid at the time."

And once you read these words, don't forget to jot them down in your preferred method of note-taking so that you won't forget them.

Brandner, Raphaela. “How to Take Effective Notes Using Mind Maps.” Focus.

East Carolina University.

Friedman, Michael C. "Notes on Note-Taking: Review of Research and Insights for Students and Instructors." Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teachi ng, 2014.

Gardner, John N. and Betsy O. Barefoot. Step by Step to College and Career Success . 2 nd ed., Thomson, 2008.

McWhorter, Kathleen T. Successful College Writing . 4 th ed, Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010.

O'Hara, Shelley. Improving Your Study Skills: Study Smart, Study Less . Wiley, 2005.

Pauk, Walter and Ross J.Q. Owens . How to Study in College . 11 th ed, Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2004.

Theroux, Paul. "A World Duly Noted." The Wall Street Journal , 3 May 2013.

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8 Note-taking Skills

The capacity to take and organise notes during lessons, for research and assessments, and for exam preparation is a key academic writing skill.

This chapter will cover why, when, where, what, and how to take notes.

No student has ever reached the end of a term or semester and said “gee, I’m really glad I didn’t bother taking any notes”. Note-taking is a key strategy for organising information, ideas, and what you have learned in a chronological and systematic way that can be reviewed later. Humans are not physically or neurologically wired to remember vast amounts of information long-term (unless of course you are one of the extremely rare individuals with an eidetic memory). Also, the more senses you actively use while learning, the more likely you are to remember the information, therefore, writing (or typing) engages another part of your mind.

The short answer is ALWAYS . Every lesson, lecture, library session; every time you engage in a learning activity. The fact is, you won’t know exactly what you’ll need until further down the track and it’s too late when you’ve arrived at the end of the study period and you realise that you haven’t captured enough information to refresh your memory before the big exam or assessment is due. Playing catch-up can be very stressful.

Part of good note-taking is making your notes accessible. Design specific files on your computer or device desktop or have designated partitions in a notebook. Divide your notes into weekly lectures, tutorials, assessment research, further reading. For example, if you have an assessment that involves the weekly readings or materials from weeks 1-5 of the term, then you should know exactly where to locate those materials on your device or in your notebook. It sounds like common sense, but you might be surprised how many students quickly develop poor organisation of their notes.

Important points or key ideas will generally be repeated by your teacher. They will show up on power points or in readings. Use your teachers’ speech and body language cues to identify when a point is being stressed. It is physically impossible to type or write every word that a teacher says because on average they speak about 125 words a minute. That is why it is important that you identify the key points and record them.

There is no one correct method to record notes. There is only the right method for you. Choose something that works for you and develop consistency. However, here are three popular methods:

Cornell Method

Image of notepad divided into three portions: notes made on key points, questions and comments, and summary.

In the Cornell Method the page is quickly divided into a 30:70% split. This can be done prior to class or as the class gets underway.

At the top (Title section) record the date, course/subject, and teacher/lecturer.

To the right, record the key information from the lesson or lecture. Remember to watch and listen for cues from the teacher and/or power point.

The left-hand side and summary section are used after class to help commit the information to memory and to review the lesson prior to next class.

Writing questions in the left-hand column helps to clarify meanings, reveal relationships, establish continuity, and strengthen memory. Also, the writing of questions sets up a perfect stage for exam-studying later [1] .

Summarising the class notes into your own words will create a quick reference guide for exams and help you retain valuable knowledge.

As you can see, the right-hand column has the key content as presented by the teacher/lecturer (made in dot-point form). The left-hand column has your thoughts and reactions to these ideas. Once you have had a chance to review the content and how it fits together, the summary at the bottom shows that you have mentally digested the key content and can put it accurately into your own words – a very powerful learning tool.

write an essay on the concept of note taking

Also known as concept mapping, this technique creates a visual representation of information and ideas in an organised way. It is a great way of making connections between concepts and demonstrating intertextuality and contextual relationships. It can be very helpful when trying to analyse or break down larger concepts into key features and supporting elements. Watch this quick video to learn more:

write an essay on the concept of note taking

The charting method provides a systematic overview of your notes. The page is split into rows and columns (a table), and labelled. While this method requires some additional preparation time before your lesson, consider making up a simple word document that can be edited and adapted for your purposes. You might find it saves time during class as you can quickly categorise information as you hear or see it. It also transforms into a quick reference guide when it is time to study for your exams.

The charting method is also very useful for synthesizing large amounts of information that is compared across different sources (e.g., topics, theories, readings, approaches, experts). Your job at the start is to determine the best categories to compare and contrast the sources (see blue-green words in diagram).

write an essay on the concept of note taking

  • Cornell University: Learning Strategies Center. (2019). The Cornell note-taking system. http://lsc.cornell.edu/notes.html ↵


signal hint

the interrelationship between texts; the way different texts are similar or related, or different to each other

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Essay Note-Taking Skills: Unraveling the Secrets to Academic Excellence

Essay note-taking skills - Have you ever sat down to write an essay only to realize you didn't have the needed information? Or perhaps you spent hours researching and taking notes, but when it came time to write, you couldn't remember where you had saved your notes or where to find the reference.

As a recent MBA candidate, I've experienced the frustrations of inefficient note-taking firsthand. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't capture all the essential details and ideas during lectures or while conducting research.

However, through trial and error, I've discovered effective strategies to improve my essay note-taking skills. These techniques have not only helped me retain information more effectively but have also allowed me to produce higher-quality essays.

In this article, I will share some quick tips to enhance your note-taking abilities and excel in your academic endeavours. Whether a student or a professional, these techniques will empower you to capture critical information, organize your notes, and streamline your research process.

Essay Note-Taking Skills - Quick Tips

essay note-taking skills for female leaders

Essay Note-Taking Skills Key Takeaways

1. Importance of Effective Note-Taking : Good note-taking is essential for academic success, particularly in essay preparation. It aids in understanding, retention, and the creation of well-structured essays.

2. Mastering Note-Taking Techniques : Mastering note-taking involves active listening, proper organization, and choosing suitable methods like the Cornell method, outlining, or concept mapping to enhance essay preparation.

3. Utilizing Visual Tools and Technology : Visual tools such as highlighting, underlining, and color-coding, along with technological aids like Microsoft Excel, aid in organizing and categorizing notes efficiently.

4. Paraphrasing and Ethical Note-Taking : Paraphrasing is crucial to prevent plagiarism and ensure accuracy. Proper citation and paraphrasing techniques are essential for maintaining academic integrity.

5. Post-Lecture Review and Reading Strategies : Reviewing notes immediately after lectures, employing efficient reading techniques like skimming and scanning, and maintaining focus during research contribute to better note-taking skills and academic success.

International Association of Women membership

1. Unlocking the Importance of Note-Taking in Essay Preparation

Effective note-taking is crucial for academic success, especially in essay preparation. Notes are a reference point for reviewing and understanding key concepts and ideas. Good note-taking helps with information retention, allowing you to recall important details for essay writing.

Practical note-taking plays a critical role in achieving academic success. When you take thorough and organized notes, you create a comprehensive record of the material covered in lectures, readings, and research. By actively engaging with the material and capturing key points, you enhance your understanding and retention of the subject matter. This, in turn, enables you to produce high-quality essays that demonstrate a deep comprehension of the topic.

Organized notes provide a solid foundation for well-written essays. When your notes are structured and categorized, you can quickly locate relevant information and find supporting evidence for your arguments. Organized notes also help you see the logical flow of ideas, making it easier to develop coherent and cohesive essay structures. You can create visually appealing notes and facilitate the essay writing process by utilizing clear headings, bullet points, or even colour-coding techniques.

write an essay on the concept of note taking

Mastering Essay Note-Taking Skills

To excel in essay note-taking, developing effective strategies and techniques is essential. Mastering note-taking skills involves active listening, proper organization, and capturing relevant information. There are various note-taking methods and approaches, such as the Cornell method, outlining, and concept mapping. By understanding and practising different note-taking methods, you can find the best approach for you and enhance your essay preparation.

By mastering essay note-taking skills, you can capture essential information, improve your understanding of the subject matter, and create well-structured essays demonstrating depth and coherence.

essay note-taking skills mastery

2. Sophisticated Note-Taking Strategies for Essays

2.1 highlighting and underlining: visual tools for emphasis.

Sophisticated note-taking involves utilizing visual tools to emphasize important information. Highlighting and underlining critical points in your notes can help you quickly identify and review crucial details. These techniques create visual cues that draw attention to significant concepts, enabling easier recall during essay preparation and writing.

2.2 Using Excel to Capture and Organize Key Points and Quotes in Research

Organizing research materials is crucial for practical essay note-taking. Utilizing software like Microsoft Excel can streamline this process by providing a centralized platform to capture, categorize, and track critical points, quotes, and references. With Excel's versatile features, you can easily create columns for different topics, add notes, and sort information for quick access. This powerful tool allows you to maintain a well-organized research database, enhancing your note-taking efficiency and effectiveness.

2.3 Concept Mapping: Visualizing Relationships Between Ideas

Concept mapping is a visual technique that enhances understanding and helps you connect ideas in your notes. Creating diagrams or flowcharts allows you to visually represent the relationships between concepts, themes, and subtopics. This method provides a clear and structured overview of your essay's content, facilitating the development of well-organized arguments and logical flow. Concept mapping lets you visualize the connections between ideas, enhancing comprehension and retention during the writing process.

essay note-taking skills strategies

3. The Art of Paraphrasing in Note-Taking

Paraphrasing is vital in effective note-taking, mainly when extracting information from research sources. It involves rewriting the content in your own words while maintaining the original meaning and essence. Mastering the art of paraphrasing is essential to avoid plagiarism and ensure the accuracy of your notes. By learning effective paraphrasing techniques, you can develop original and well-crafted essays that showcase your understanding of the subject matter.

In note-taking, paraphrasing allows you to capture your research sources' key points and ideas without directly copying them. It demonstrates your ability to comprehend and interpret information in your own words while staying true to the original author's intent. Paraphrasing strengthens your note-taking skills and enhances your critical thinking abilities.

4. The Role of Color Coding in Organizing Essay Notes

Colour coding is a valuable technique for organizing and categorizing your essay notes. You can easily navigate through your notes by assigning different colours to specific themes, topics, or types of information. This visual organization method enhances efficiency and helps you quickly locate relevant details during essay writing.

Implementing colour coding strategies contributes to effective note organization and retrieval. It allows you to visually distinguish between different aspects of your research, such as main ideas, supporting evidence, or counterarguments. Whether you prefer using highlighters, coloured pens, or colour-coded digital tools, incorporating this approach into your note-taking process can significantly improve your overall essay preparation.

To illustrate the benefits of colour coding, consider the following example:

This colour-coded system lets you quickly identify different information categories within your notes. When writing your essay, you can swiftly locate the relevant details and integrate them into your argument.

In conclusion, colour coding is a simple yet powerful method for organizing and streamlining your essay notes. By implementing this technique, you can enhance your note organization, improve productivity, and create a visual roadmap that leads to a well-crafted and cohesive essay.

essay note-taking skills color coding

5. The Essentials of Post-Lecture Note Review

Post-lecture note review is critical in improving your essay note-taking skills. Reviewing your notes immediately after the lecture can reinforce your understanding of the subject matter and better prepare for essay writing. There are several strategies you can employ to ensure efficient note revision:

Reviewing:  Take the time to read through your notes and highlight key points or concepts that you need to focus on.

Rewriting or Reorganizing:   If your notes are messy or disorganized, consider rewriting them in a more structured format or reorganizing them under relevant headings or categories.

Filling Gaps: During the review process, identify any missing information or gaps in your notes and try to fill them in. This could involve referring back to the lecture material or conducting additional research.

Timing plays a crucial role in memory retention. To optimize your note review process:

  • Review your notes as soon as possible after the lecture. This allows you to reinforce the information while it is still fresh in your mind.
  • Review your notes again within 24 hours of the lecture to solidify the information in your long-term memory.
  • Consider scheduling regular review sessions to revisit your notes periodically to maintain your understanding of the material.

essay note-taking skills note review

6. Practical Reading Skills for Streamlining Research

Developing practical reading skills is crucial for efficient and productive research. To streamline the research process, it is essential to employ effective reading techniques such as skimming, scanning, and active reading.

Skimming lets you skim through the text quickly to get a general overview and identify critical points and relevant information. By focusing on headings, subheadings, and the first and last sentences of each paragraph, you can extract the main ideas without getting bogged down in unnecessary details.

Scanning involves searching for specific keywords, phrases, or data within a text. It is beneficial to have a particular research question or topic in mind. By scanning the text instead of reading it word-for-word, you can save time and locate relevant information more efficiently.

Active reading involves engaging with the text actively rather than passively absorbing information. This includes taking notes, asking questions, and making connections between ideas. Interacting with the text can enhance your comprehension and understanding of the material, allowing for more effective research.

By honing your reading skills and implementing these techniques, you can save time and focus on extracting the most relevant information that supports your essay topic. Streamlining your research process through effective reading practices enhances the quality and depth of your essay content, enabling you to produce well-supported and well-informed writing.

essay note-taking skills reading

7. Maintaining Focus for Better Note-Taking During Research

Maintaining focus is essential for practical note-taking during the research phase of essay preparation. Active listening and reading skills enable you to fully engage with the material, comprehend critical points, and capture relevant information.

When conducting research, listening actively to lectures, presentations, or audio recordings is essential, paying close attention to the speaker's main ideas and supporting details. Engage with the material by taking notes, summarizing key concepts, and asking questions to deepen your understanding.

Similarly, when reading research articles, books, or online sources, actively engage with the text by highlighting important points, underlining key ideas, and annotating any thoughts or connections that come to mind. Taking an active approach to reading helps you stay focused and extract valuable information.

To maintain focus during the research process, it is crucial to avoid distractions that can hinder note-taking productivity. Digital devices like smartphones or social media platforms can easily divert your attention and disrupt your concentration. Minimize these distractions by turning off notifications or placing your phone in another room while researching.

Furthermore, create a quiet, dedicated study space where external noises, such as conversations or television, are minimized. Consider using noise-cancelling headphones or playing soft instrumental music to create a focused, immersive environment.

Additionally, establish a clear research plan and set specific goals for each study session. Breaking down your research tasks into smaller, manageable chunks helps maintain focus and prevents overwhelm. Use a timer or productivity technique, such as the Pomodoro Technique, to stay on track and maintain concentration.

By developing strategies to maintain focus, such as active listening, engaging with material, and avoiding distractions, you can optimize your research process and gather essential information for your essay.

essay note-taking skills focus

8. Essay Note-Taking Skills Conclusion

Practical note-taking skills are essential for achieving academic success and producing high-quality essays. By implementing the tips and strategies discussed in this article, you can enhance your note-taking skills and excel in your essay preparation. Developing effective study habits, including proper note-taking techniques, is critical to achieving better grades and academic excellence.

Remember that improving your note-taking skills requires continuous practice and refinement. By actively engaging in note-taking during lectures and research, organizing your notes effectively, and utilizing various note-taking methods, you can strengthen your understanding of the subject matter and retain information more effectively.

By mastering the art of paraphrasing, using visual tools like highlighting and colour coding, and maintaining focus during research, you can streamline your essay preparation and produce original and well-crafted essays. Ethical note-taking practices, such as accurate paraphrasing and proper citation, help to prevent plagiarism and maintain academic integrity.

In conclusion, practical essay note-taking skills and a commitment to developing good study habits are crucial for academic success. By incorporating these strategies into your approach, you can elevate your essay writing abilities, improve your grades, and set yourself up for success in your academic endeavours.

essay note-taking skills conclusions

Essay Note-Taking Skills FAQ

What is the importance of note-taking in essay preparation.

Note-taking is crucial for academic success, particularly in essay writing. It helps understand the subject matter, retain information effectively, and produce higher-quality essays.

What are some quick tips to improve essay note-taking skills?

Some quick tips to improve essay note-taking skills include active listening, proper organization, utilizing note-taking methods like Cornell or concept mapping, and practising effective paraphrasing techniques.

How can practical note-taking impact the quality of essay writing?

Effective note-taking provides a structured framework for developing well-written essays and coherent arguments. It is a reference point for reviewing and understanding key concepts and ideas, leading to better-organized and more comprehensive essays.

What are some sophisticated note-taking strategies for essays?

Some sophisticated note-taking strategies for essays include highlighting and underlining key points, using tools like Microsoft Excel to capture and organize information, and employing concept mapping techniques to visualize relationships between ideas.

Why is paraphrasing important in note-taking?

Paraphrasing is essential in note-taking to avoid plagiarism and ensure the accuracy of the information. It involves rewriting information in your own words while preserving the meaning and essence of the source.

How can colour coding help in organizing essay notes?

Colour coding can help organise essay notes by assigning different colours to specific themes, topics, or types of information. It enhances visual organization and allows easy navigation through the notes during the essay writing process.

Why is post-lecture note review essential for improving note-taking skills?

Post-lecture note review helps reinforce your understanding of the subject matter and better prepare for essay writing. Strategies for efficient note revision include reviewing your notes immediately after the lecture, rewriting or reorganizing them, and filling in any gaps or missing information.

How can practical reading skills streamline research for essay writing?

Practical reading skills, such as skimming, scanning, and active reading, help filter through large volumes of research materials. They save time and enable you to extract relevant information that supports your essay topic.

How can one maintain focus for better note-taking during research?

Maintaining focus during research involves active listening and reading, fully engaging with the material, comprehending key points, and avoiding distractions such as digital devices and external noises.

What are some techniques for preventing plagiarism in note-taking?

To prevent plagiarism in note-taking, you must differentiate your words from the source using proper citation formats and quotation marks. Practical techniques for accurate paraphrasing include understanding the source material, rephrasing in your own words, and giving credit to the original author.

How can improving note-taking skills contribute to academic success?

Improving note-taking skills and developing effective study habits are essential for academic success. It enhances understanding, retention, and information organisation, leading to better grades and overall excellence in essay writing.


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Note Taking, Note Making, and Assignments

  • First Online: 25 February 2021

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Note taking is a normal practice when students attend lectures, seminars, and discussions. Noting down important points is also routine when reading books, journals, and other reference materials for preparing essays, seminars, presentations, theses, and examinations. These activities are important for researchers and teachers too, if they want to excel in their profession. We use the phrases, note taking and note making , to distinguish the above two processes of hearing and reading. ‘Note taking’ is a passive process, mostly done by students or listeners during lectures, but ‘note making’ is a more active and focused activity where one note down relevant and required information after reading a book or article. Note taking and note making represent two related key academic skills students and researchers must nurture, but one has to approach them prudently for greater utility.

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948)

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Thomas, C.G. (2021). Note Taking, Note Making, and Assignments. In: Research Methodology and Scientific Writing . Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-64865-7_22

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Taking Notes

write an essay on the concept of note taking

  • Note-Taking Phases
  • General Tips & Tricks
  • Cornell Method
  • Outline Method
  • Charting Method
  • Concept Mapping
  • PowerPoint Slides
  • Sheridan Notebook
  • SQ4R Method
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  • Information Funnel Method
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Taking Notes for Written Assignments

In this section, we'll talk about specific strategies you can use to help you take notes and stay organized while you're preparing to write an essay, term paper, or any other type of written assignment.

Depending on your assignment and the instructions from your professor, you may need to take notes from a variety of sources such as academic journal articles, articles from websites, encyclopedia entries, and more.

Taking notes for written assignments can be different from taking notes to help you study for exams or tests—you'll need to have a research question in mind to guide your reading, and you'll need to keep track of which sources you've used so you can write accurate citations.

Before You Get Started

To take effective notes, you need to know what information you're looking for before you get started.

Having a general question is good place to start—but having a research question will let you find information to answer a specific question .

Watch the video below and checking out the Academic Research Guide for more information about the research process.

Once you've chosen your topic or research question, your next step will be to track down your sources.

Check out the General Research guide at the Library to

  • Learn more about Sheridan's Page 1+ catalogue .
  • Get some great Google tips & tricks .
  • Explore how to use sources effectively in your assignments.

After you find some great sources, you'll need to take notes and remember where you found the original information and ideas .

You'll need to include this information about the source by citing it, using the citation style your professor has assigned.

To make sure you have all the information you need to create a complete citation later on, you'll need to write down (at least) the following:

  • Author names(s).
  • Page numbers (if applicable).

You'll need more information to write your complete citation, but these three items will help you get started and make it easier for you to track down the rest of the details later.

Check out the Library's Citation Guide to learn more about writing citations.

  • Last Updated: Feb 1, 2024 4:28 PM
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Student Note-Taking: Level Up Your Essay Writing

Follow this real life example of how students can write their essays much easier and faster with Scrintal, a free tool used by top students and visual thinkers.

Become a Visual Thinker

write an essay on the concept of note taking

Introduction | A Student’s Perspective

As an undergraduate student with a minor in the social sciences, I’ve written my fair share of essays. I see the value in outlining, but the way I’ve learned to do it in school forces me to compartmentalize my thoughts into strict categories, and it’s harder to make connections between points without filling up the margins with messy written notes or adding asterisks and typing footnotes. Without these visual reminders, my head is swimming with ideas and it’s difficult to focus on the topic at hand.  

Even in cases where I’m writing an essay about which I’m not bursting with ideas, sitting in front of a blank document with nowhere to start is a daunting feeling that doesn’t inspire creativity or ideation. I’ve often been known to fill up a flashcard full of keywords and phrases that relate to my essay topic and can be referred to while I write.

But there’s a better solution now.

Planning | How To Plan Essay Writing With Scrintal

Before Scrintal, my essay-writing process depended on the length and topic of the paper. I would start with reading the source material, usually consisting of one or many philosophy papers that varied in complexity from op-eds to intricate and meandering textbook chapters. 

Hume and Marx were always easy reads if you could pay attention, and to write a thousand-word paper on them would be a breeze. I would start with a cheeky first sentence and from there I could write in an ordered fashion and edit along the way. A final read-through before submitting and I was done; these essays received good marks, because they started with a single source, relied on a single thesis statement, and referenced materials that were concise, well-organized, and simple to understand. 

Kierkegaard and Heidegger, on the other hand, were more complex. After a lot of Googling questions, skimming Wikipedia, and taking breaks from reading to lean back in my chair and ponder the last sentence, I could grasp the basic concept of a difficult paper. But explaining it in full, much less writing an original paper, was a whole different story. I struggled through these and made it out the other side, but it was inefficient and sometimes uninspired; I would feel like all the ideas I came up with while reading had been lost along the way in my quest to understand the next sentence, and the one after that, and the one after that. 

Scrintal changed that: I’ve written two essays using Scrintal, one being a relatively short paper that required comparing two sources and another ten-pager for which I referenced three lengthy academic articles and one 400-page book.

write an essay on the concept of note taking

For the comparison paper, I wrote notes on Scrintal as I read and highlighted in OneNote, creating connecting cards about similar ideas between the two papers as well as counterarguments. I only had to read each paper one time to articulate my ideas, and I didn’t have to write in the OneNote margins to explain my highlights; I only highlighted so I could remember which sentences to quote. This significantly cut down my ideation time and ensured I didn’t have to reread material, the latter of which always used to make me feel too entrenched in the source to be able to step back and write about it in my own words.

For the second ten-page essay, I read through sources and added cards to denote different ideas, easily connecting them to one other by linking cards. I added quotes directly from sources into my cards and each card represented a different argument in support of my thesis. Because the paper was longer and more complex, I did return to my sources to verify that the points I made were correctly described; but rather than verifying my entire paper sentence by sentence, I was able to parse through cards and make connections as they appeared, ensuring that my spontaneous ideas were not lost along the way. 

Since the writing of these essays, a new Scrintal update also allows the user to link to an online PDF file in their card and open the document in a new window alongside their card, which makes the process of writing while reading even easier. You can also do this with YouTube videos to listen and type at the same time. A great feature to add would be the ability to upload PDFs and other documents as well as videos (like downloadable lecture videos from online classes) with the same results rather than having to link PDFs available from online sources.

You can also now tag cards or change their color, which I would have used to differentiate cards based on whether they represent ideas, arguments, or entire reference summaries. These tools will definitely come into play in my future uses.

write an essay on the concept of note taking

Based on my experience, my favorite Scrintal planning features are as follows:

Flexibility of creating and marking notecards for different essay components

Ability to easily connect ideas between cards in order to remember where they are relevant

Search function, which allows me to clear my desk of cards that are not immediately needed and bring them back as required

Ability to open documents and videos in a separate window within the Scrintal ecosystem to avoid switching between different tabs

Folding and expanding cards to see the big picture of a paper and ensure everything I need to address is included in my ideas

Ideation in essay writing is the most difficult part for me. Once I know what I need to write about, the writing itself is easy; and the flow of writing is much smoother when it’s not interrupted by having to think about where to go next. Instead, my thought process and direction are easily laid out in the connected cards.

Writing | How To Write An Essay Using Scrintal

Before Scrintal, writing was either a putting-to-paper of my stream of consciousness or a laborious and frustrating ordeal, again depending on the length and topic of the essay. But the main function of Scrintal for essays is the planning, and once this is done, writing is as simple as adding more detail and transforming ideas into coherent, meaningful sentences. Even if I don’t know exactly the order in which I want to write a paper when I begin, I can collapse my notes all at once to see all the components of my thesis and decide which naturally comes after the one before. I was even able to copy and paste phrases directly from Scrintal into my essay with few changes; because these ideas were written while I was in the throes of reading, they were my first and best attempts at synthesizing what I had read in my own words and could function as efficient explanatory or introductory phrases in the paper itself. I would not have been able to do this if my ideas were written down after I had finished reading the whole source material, but since I wrote while I read, the ideas were fresh in my mind and well-articulated in my notecard.

write an essay on the concept of note taking

Conclusion | The Future of Essay Writing

My experience with the early rendition of Scrintal improved my ideation, efficiency, and attitude when it came to writing essays. Having seen the new improvements in available tools and user experience, I see this continuing to be the case. Any concerns I had while completing these two essays have since been mostly resolved: namely, I no longer have to switch between tabs to write notes while reading or listening if the PDF or video is available online, nor is it necessary to have all cards in the same color or always view all cards and their content rather than the card titles alone. 

Scrintal could not have come at a better time, because I am currently in the process of writing my undergraduate thesis, an extensive term-long assignment that is largely self-directed and requires diligent documentation of ideas. While my high school education prepared me to write essays with surprise prompts under time constraints, Scrintal allows me to formulate well-researched and thoughtfully planned papers with ease. I can choose when to focus on an idea and when to step back and see the progress of my research. I can decide when to clear my desk and when to bring everything back into the picture. I can easily explore a new idea and the substance behind it, even deleting it or moving the information to an existing card if needed. The team behind this tool values user feedback and has implemented it faster than any other company I have seen; so I have no doubt that any potential improvements will make it to my desk and further enhance my experience. 

The future of my writing is Scrintal, and I’m not going back.

write an essay on the concept of note taking

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The ultimate guide to the outline note-taking method

The ultimate guide to the outline note-taking method

Study notes are a vital tool for learners. Every day, students around the world take some form of notes during classroom learning. Whether they’re typing into a laptop, writing by hand, or just doodling in the margins, the act of taking notes keeps them engaged and focused on their lessons.

Note-taking is equally important for self-learners. When you're learning something new — whether it's how to write an essay or operate Photoshop — learning how to take notes can help you succeed.

The outline note-taking method is an excellent tool for beginners and seasoned students alike. A good outline gives structure to the learning material and makes it easier to understand, review, and retain. This article discusses why it’s important to take notes, how to use the outline method, and five simple steps to get you started.

The science behind taking notes

Outline note taking method: paper cut-out shaped as a brain

We often think of learning as a journey to find and acquire knowledge. But it isn't enough to simply receive information — we must also be able to remember it.

A few types of memory are present in the human brain: sensory memory, working/short-term memory, and long-term memory. These processes work together to help us remember new information.

By only paying attention to certain things, our sensory memory keeps us from becoming overwhelmed by all the information we encounter throughout the day. Selected information moves to our working memory, which overlaps considerably with our short-term memory.

We can only work effectively with a few items in our working memory at a time. Famous research from the 1950s estimated that our working memory can hold seven items, plus or minus two. More recent studies suggest that the actual amount is as few as four .

However, scientists have found that our long-term memory has no such restrictions; its capacity is limitless . For learners, this is key — if we want to truly learn something, it has to go into long-term memory. This is where note-taking comes in.

How taking notes aids learning

Notepads and a pencil

Studies have shown that taking notes can significantly improve our ability to learn at all stages of the learning process. There is even evidence suggesting that students achieve their highest levels of comprehension when taking notes.

Taking notes for learning has two distinct benefits, one in the process and one in the product.

  • During a learning session: Whether you're taking a class or learning independently, note-taking to process new information provides many benefits. According to the encoding hypothesis, writing notes aids memory storage, helps us organize information, and allows us to compare what we're learning with what we already know.
  • After the lesson: In addition to the process of taking notes, the end result is equally beneficial. The storage hypothesis emphasizes the product side of note-taking, emphasizing the benefits of storing information outside of the mind for future use as a learning tool.

There are several ways to take notes when learning. You can write by hand, doodle or draw visual notes , or type notes on a laptop. Choose a method that is appropriate for your environment, skill level, and most importantly, the subject matter.

Writing notes by hand is ideal for conceptual learning, which is learning focused on understanding underlying ideas. Taking notes longhand helps you remember information better than typing it because you have to interpret and reframe what you hear.

Alternatively, since we type faster than we can write, we are more likely to type exactly what we hear. As a result, we can record a lot of information with minimal processing. Because of that, this method is best suited to factual learning, in which a lot of information must be recorded accurately.

Once you've settled on your medium, there are many note-taking methods to choose from. Some of the most common include:

  • The Cornell Method
  • The Outlining Method
  • The Charting Method
  • The Sentence Method
  • The Mapping Method

Experiment with different methods, mediums, and contexts — writing by hand with the outline method in a class, typing on a computer with the sentence method at home, etc. — to see which combination works best for you.

write an essay on the concept of note taking

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Highlight, annotate or take notes from anywhere, and it's easily linked to a selected topic in your Knowledge Base.

What is the outline note-taking method?

The outline method of note-taking is a system for recording and organizing information. The system has been around for decades and is a great way to take notes that are both thorough and easy to understand. Outlining may not be new and innovative, but it has proven effective in many learning environments, from classrooms to workplaces to self-study.

To use this method, you break your material down into sections using headings and subheadings. Then, you record information under each heading, using bullet points or short phrases. This will naturally result in an outline that organizes the information in a logical, highly structured manner, identifying the main points and providing a comprehensive summary of the material.

In addition to organizing your thoughts while learning, the system makes finding information more convenient later. You can also customize it to fit your preferences. Make your outlines as simple or detailed as you like, and use color, symbols, and other visual cues to help you organize your thoughts. If you need to make a change, it's simple to go back and edit your outline.

When to use the outline format

1, 2, 3 written on a notebook

The outline note-taking method is characterized by its well-organized structure. While this is the technique's primary advantage, it can also be a disadvantage in some situations. Because of this, it is essential to know when to use this approach.

Outlines are particularly helpful when applied to well-structured material. The sequence of the material in lessons or lectures should be logical and progressive so main points are supported by facts. For this reason, outline note-taking is better suited to traditional courses. In addition, it's an ideal tool for motivated self-learners since information is organized and classified logically and at your own pace.

If lecture content is less structured, the outline method may still be beneficial, but the process may be more complicated. Math and chemistry, which often require formulas, diagrams, and graphs, are additional examples of topics more suited to other note-taking systems.

If you haven't used the outline note-taking method before, practice first when you have plenty of time to make the necessary organizational decisions. For example, studying a textbook at home can be a great way to learn this method's systematic structure. For a new note-taker, using this format during a fast lecture may be challenging if you aren't used to simplifying complex information and condensing it into an outline.

Learn the outline note-taking method in 5 easy steps

Outline note taking method: paper plane and wooden blocks

Taking notes using the outline method is easy to learn because it follows a structured format. Anyone can learn to use this simple note-taking method just by following a few steps.

Before you begin, gather your materials. Nothing fancy is required — you just need something to write on like lined paper or a notebook, and a writing instrument like a pencil or pen. Find a place to work that is quiet and spacious, and you're set to begin.

Step 1: Define the main topics

The first step is to outline the critical points of the material. The main topics you write down should be general and provide a broad overview.

The number of items you list will depend on what you're covering, but overall, it's wise to stick to a few primary concepts. By beginning with broad ideas, you have the option of delving deeper into them.

Limiting your main points will help you with your learning objectives and also with the development of your outline. Since the outline format relies on indentation, these first steps are crucial to ensuring your notes have a coherent structure.

Take action: Make a list of the main topics on the left of the page without indenting, leaving enough room for a thorough discussion of subpoints and additional information under each heading.

Step 2: Identify the subtopics

Once you have defined your main topics, you can start developing subtopics. Every main point can have multiple subtopics, and each subtopic can have its own set of subtopics.

The key with subtopics is to ensure that they are specific enough to provide direction but not so specific that they limit what you can write about. For example, the main topic could be "The American Revolution," and a subtopic could be "Events leading up to the Revolution." This subtopic is specific enough to provide direction but broad enough to allow for multiple smaller subtopics, such as "The Stamp Act" and "The Boston Tea Party."

Take action: List subtopics under their main points, leaving room for supporting information. Show their hierarchy and placement in the outline using numbers, letters, or bullet points.

Step 3: Add in evidence and supporting material

Once your main points are broken down into subpoints, the outline's main structure begins to take shape. Now you can add supporting information.

Use facts, examples, or thoughts to illustrate your points in each section. Although the critical thinking process usually requires us to separate fact from thought during learning, both are useful for effective note-taking. In fact, writing down new thoughts about what you're learning is more valuable than just copying down information because it can foster critical thinking.

To assist critical analysis, consider using different colors for categories of information like facts, thoughts, and examples. This will help you see the connections between various ideas and make it easier to find the information you need.

Take action: Add new information about each subtopic in your own words. When adding information, always indent to the right, and use indicators like Roman numerals to indicate hierarchy and stay organized.

Step 4: Provide examples and further details

After you’ve expanded your subtopics with supporting information, add more details to refine the ideas. When possible, use real-life examples to help you visualize and connect the concepts.

If you're unsure of something, you may need to do more research to gain a better understanding. Taking a class allows you to ask your teacher for clarifications. If you are learning on your own, you may need to seek out additional resources.

If you plan to reference certain materials later, you can cite them now in your notes. It's vital that you organize your research information to be easily found when you need it.

Take action: Add extra details to support your information using short, concise sentences. Continue using bullet points, dashes, or other marks to make the outline easy to follow.

Step 5: Review and revise your notes

After you've finished your learning session, put your notes away and let your mind rest. But not for too long — studies show that reviewing your notes within 24 hours is the most effective.

Reviewing notes to ensure they are accurate and comprehensive is the last step in the note-taking process. The final outline should be easy to read and understand. As you read, pay attention to any areas that require clarification. You might need to add more detail or do further research if anything is unclear.

Rewriting your notes is an excellent way to review them. Multiple studies have shown that taking longhand notes improves students' memory and retention. A recent study comparing paper notebooks to mobile devices for studying found that keeping a paper journal increased activity in parts of the brain responsible for memory, vision, and language.

Take action: Reread your notes to make sure they are clear and complete. If you want to increase your study skills, try paraphrasing your notes when you rewrite them to help you summarize what you've learned.

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Learn anything with the outline note-taking method.

Many self-learners and students alike find the outline method to be the most effective way to take notes. This format is great for conceptual learning because it allows you to break complicated ideas down into smaller, easy-to-understand sections.

The act of writing the notes aids in memory, and the final product can serve as a useful tool for studying. By following these five simple steps, you can take advantage of this proven note-taking strategy and improve your understanding of challenging concepts.


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The Power of Note-Taking: 15 Reasons Why Note-Taking is Important

Why should you take notes? Check out these 15 ways that note-taking can boost your learning and productivity

  • By Paul Holt
  • Sep 6, 2023

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  • With so much information at our fingertips through a Google search, note-taking may seem like an unnecessary and tedious task.
  • Students, educators, researchers, and professionals in any field benefit greatly from systematically taking notes that they can easily store, retrieve, and share.
  • From enhancing memory retention and comprehension to promoting active listening and boosting creativity, note-taking transforms the way we absorb, process, and apply knowledge.

With easy access to digital devices and constant internet connectivity, some may think that the practice of note-taking is no longer useful. People are fixated on speed and convenience, and the act of getting a paper and pen or even opening the note application on a mobile phone may seem like a tedious task. Why jot down notes if you can quickly do a Google search when you need the information?

If you are a student, an educator, a researcher, or a professional in any field, there are important pieces of information that you would need to remember without the help of Google. And because the human brain can only save a piece of information in memory for a few days , having notes that you took and that you can store, retrieve, and share will be very helpful.

Note-taking seems simple, but doing it systematically and methodically is essential for academic work, personal growth, professional development, and lifelong learning.

In this article, we’ll delve into the top 15 reasons why note-taking continues to be of paramount importance in today’s fast-paced world.

Table of Contents

1. it enhances memory retention..

One of the most fundamental benefits of note-taking is its impact on memory. The act of summarizing and organizing information while writing or encoding notes helps cement concepts in your mind. A study that compared recall of information between longhand note-takers and students who photograph lecture slides revealed that the note-takers outperformed the photo-takers, even with an equal opportunity to review their learning materials before the test. Though the photograph of the lecture has the complete information, the multiple tasks of listening, summarizing, and writing are more effective in remembering the information.

2. It promotes active listening.

Students taking notes in class

3. It improves comprehension.

The process of translating spoken or written words into your own notes requires understanding the material at a deeper level. According to a study from The American Journal of Psychology , note-taking facilitates deeper comprehension and critical thinking skills because people who take notes are more likely to elaborate on the material by processing and interpreting information.

4. It organizes thoughts.

5. it facilitates effective review., 6. it boosts creativity..

Woman taking notes at home

7. It supports goal tracking.

Student writing in notebook

8. It enhances learning efficiency.

For students and lifelong learners alike, note-taking accelerates the learning process and leads to better performance . It condenses extensive information into manageable, digestible chunks, aiding in better understanding and retention of complex subjects.

9. It minimizes distractions.

10. it captures nuances..

Not everything can be encapsulated in a slide or textbook. Note-taking allows you to capture the nuances, examples, and real-life context that provide a deeper understanding of a subject matter. For example, using the REAP note-taking method , you can engage with the text meaningfully by actively understanding the text and adding insights, comments, or questions based on your own reflection.

11. It allows you to personalize the study material.

Everyone’s learning style is unique. By creating your own notes, you’re tailoring the material to your preferred way of understanding. For example, if you are a visual learner, then you might want to draw your notes using visual note-taking strategies. If structuring information helps you, consider using the charting method. This customization makes the learning experience more effective and enjoyable.

Educational visual note-taking from Edweek

12. It develops communication skills.

13. it preserves insights over time., 14. it enhances meeting productivity., 15. it cultivates active learning habits..

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  1. 7 Effective Note-Taking Methods

    Explore seven effective note-taking methods, including the Cornell method, the sentence method, the outlining method, the charting method, the mapping method, the flow-based method, and the rapid logging method. Taking notes while learning is a great way to record information to review later. Note-taking can also help you stay more focused on ...

  2. Note-taking

    Cornell Notes. The Cornell Method for note-taking is designed to help you keep an eye on the broader concepts being explored in your course while also taking specific notes on what your lecturer or section leader is saying. Typically done by hand, the Cornell Method involves drawing a line down the edge of your paper and devoting one side to ...


    THE DOCUMENTED ESSAY Notetaking. Note-taking is an indispensable part of writing a documented essay or research paper. Your notes record information from the sources that you will use in writing your paper. Therefore, it is necessary to critically evaluate the texts or articles you are reading and to make reasonable choices about what will and ...

  4. The Definition and Most Popular Methods of Note Taking

    Note-taking is the practice of writing down or otherwise recording key points of information. It's an important part of the research process. Notes taken on class lectures or discussions may serve as study aids, while notes taken during an interview may provide material for an essay, article, or book."Taking notes doesn't simply mean scribbling down or marking up the things that strike your ...

  5. Note-taking Skills

    Writing questions in the left-hand column helps to clarify meanings, reveal relationships, establish continuity, and strengthen memory. Also, the writing of questions sets up a perfect stage for exam-studying later [1]. Summarising the class notes into your own words will create a quick reference guide for exams and help you retain valuable ...

  6. 10 Note Taking Strategies to Write a Better Essay

    Note Taking Mediums. 4. Go digital. One of the best things about using digital note taking methods is that you can use your laptop or tablet to write and organize your notes. This can be an especially good note taking strategy if you have illegible handwriting, and it's certainly better for the environment.

  7. Notes Refined: Mastering the Art of Effective Note-Taking

    T Note-Taking: Structuring Your Information for Clarity. Draw a 'T': Divide your page by drawing a 'T,' creating two columns. Main Points (Left): Note down the main points or concepts on ...

  8. The Ultimate Guide to Note-Taking

    This system condenses notes by organizing them into different sections on the page. To use the Cornell system, rule a 2 ½ inch margin on the left side of your paper, leaving a 6 inch section on the right. In the right side of the paper, write down important information. This is the note-taking section.

  9. Essay Note-Taking Skills: Unraveling the Secrets to Academic Excellence

    1. Unlocking the Importance of Note-Taking in Essay Preparation. Effective note-taking is crucial for academic success, especially in essay preparation. Notes are a reference point for reviewing and understanding key concepts and ideas. Good note-taking helps with information retention, allowing you to recall important details for essay writing.

  10. How to Take Notes

    Key point #1. Key Point #2. This method of note-taking works well when you have certain key points or main topics that the text focuses on. From there you can use this way of organizing to indent to add on smaller elements and sub-topics of these key points or main topics.

  11. PDF Effective Reading and Notetaking

    Select a textbook section that is about five-pages long, and includes a relatively high amount of text versus images. Time yourself reading that material for exactly 5 minutes, and note how much reading you accomplished in those 5 minutes. Multiply the amount of reading you accomplished in 5 minutes by 12 to determine your average reading pace ...

  12. Study Skills and Note-taking

    Uncover the notes on the right to check your understanding. Finally, use the space at the bottom of the page to summarize each page of notes in a few sentences. Using the Cornell system, notes would look like the following: Exercise 3. Over the next few weeks, establish a note-taking system that works for you.

  13. The 13 Most Effective Note-Taking Methods

    Best for: Recording main concepts & forming study questions Difficulty level: Easy The Cornell note-taking method, developed over half a century ago, is a tried-and-true strategy for taking effective notes.It uses two top columns (the "cue" and "note" columns), together with a single bottom row (the summary section), to record notes.

  14. (PDF) Note Taking and Essay Writing

    Spontaneous notetaking affects learning and writing operations utilising distinct types of. mental representations. This depends on the type of notes taken, the nature of the writing tasks, and ...

  15. PDF Notes on Note-Taking: Review of Research and Insights for Students and

    To provide a comparison, note-taking has been found to be as. cognitively demanding as playing chess is for an expert, as both require the retrieval of. knowledge, planning, and the development of solutions (Piolat et al., 2005). Cognitively, note-taking depends upon working memory (WM) - the memory.

  16. Note Taking, Note Making, and Assignments

    1. Preparing to take notes. Note taking will be easier, if you bestow attention to certain things before the lecture class. Always bring paper, pen, pencil, ruler, and such other things needed for writing notes to the class. Take with you an organized notebook or enough sheets of paper, which can be filed neatly.

  17. Note-taking

    Note-taking (sometimes written as notetaking or note taking) is the practice of recording information from different sources and platforms. By taking notes, the writer records the essence of the information, freeing their mind from having to recall everything. [1] Notes are commonly drawn from a transient source, such as an oral discussion at a ...

  18. 3.4 Helpful Note-Taking Strategies

    Concept Mapping and Visual Note-Taking. ... With experience in reading discipline-specific texts and writing essays or taking exams in that field, you will know better what sort of questions to ask in your annotations. Figure 3.12 Annotations may include highlighting important topics, defining unfamiliar terms, writing questions in, underlining ...

  19. All Guides: Taking Notes: Taking Notes for Written Assignments

    After you find some great sources, you'll need to take notes and remember where you found the original information and ideas.. You'll need to include this information about the source by citing it, using the citation style your professor has assigned.. To make sure you have all the information you need to create a complete citation later on, you'll need to write down (at least) the following:

  20. Student Note-Taking: Level Up Your Essay Writing

    Revolutionize your essay writing with Scrintal! Explore a student's journey, employing Scrintal's visual note-taking for efficient ideation, structured planning, and seamless essay creation. Elevate your writing experience today! ... I could grasp the basic concept of a difficult paper. But explaining it in full, much less writing an original ...

  21. The ultimate guide to the outline note-taking method

    Step 1: Define the main topics. The first step is to outline the critical points of the material. The main topics you write down should be general and provide a broad overview. The number of items you list will depend on what you're covering, but overall, it's wise to stick to a few primary concepts.

  22. 5.3 Taking Notes

    Concept Mapping and Visual Note-Taking. ... With experience in reading discipline-specific texts and writing essays or taking exams in that field, you will know better what sort of questions to ask in your annotations. Figure 5.14 Annotations may include highlighting important topics, defining unfamiliar terms, writing questions in, underlining ...

  23. The Power of Note-Taking: 15 Reasons Why Note-Taking is Important

    14. It enhances meeting productivity. 15. It cultivates active learning habits. Conclusion. 1. It enhances memory retention. One of the most fundamental benefits of note-taking is its impact on memory. The act of summarizing and organizing information while writing or encoding notes helps cement concepts in your mind.