Refresher: How To Take Notes
The purpose of note-making is to summarize information in your own words so you can study or do research effectively.
Do not copy directly from your textbook or from a webpage.
Tips for making effective notes:
- When taking notes from a book, read the chapter titles and the introductory and summary paragraphs before reading the chapter.
- Try to get the big picture by identifying the main ideas.
- Make notes of important information in outline form or in a new file on your word processor.
- Always use your own words, but if you quote the author, give him or her credit. (See How to Cite References.)
- Use as few words as possible-but keep it clear!
- Include diagrams, charts, and maps in your notes.
- Write terms on index cards with definitions on the back. Get someone to quiz you.
- Illustrate terms with simple pictures as a memory aid.
- Group and regroup the information (look for similarities, differences, and patterns).
- Find links between pieces of information.
- Make graphic organizers of the information.
Five Examples of Graphic Organizers:
You choose which best suits the topic and your learning style.