Note Taking


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An Introduction to Note taking

Main areas in which you will take notes:

  • From books
  • From lectures

The same key principles apply to both. The way you go about it may be different.

It is important to remember that note taking involves thinking as much as writing.

Key Principles

  • Look for the main point
  • Put it down in your own words

Differences between Lectures and Reading

Reading…you have time to read the material through.

Lectures…you don’t have this time but you may be guided by the lecturer.

Why do you take notes?

There will always be a specific purpose in the note taking.

Reasons for taking notes:-

  • To remember the main points from lectures or discussions
  • To build up information for an assignment/essay
  • To summarise a chapter of a book so that you can refer back
  • To help you to concentrate upon reading or speech
  • To make sure that you understand what is said or written
  • To record main facts for revision

Notes can help with:-

  • Concentrating
  • Remembering
  • Keeping a record
  • Summarising
  • Reorganising material
  • Highlighting key points
  • Planning

How To Take Notes

From books:-

If you are taking notes from a chapter or section of a book/journal/webpage you have 3 main aims:-

  • To find the main point.
  • To write this down in your own words.
  • To make your notes as short as you can without losing the meaning.

Notes from text can help you:-

  • When you have borrowed a book and will not have access to it later.
  • Be a more effective reader as it will aid concentration.
  • When material needs re-ordering or reorganising.
  • When you record a sequence for later use e.g. how to follow a practical procedure.
  • To keep a copy of the source for your referencing records.

From Speech:-

  • Listen for the main points and take your clues from the lecturer/speaker.
  • Do not write everything down.
  • Always go over lecture notes in the evening after you have made them.
  • Make a summary of the main points for future reference.