|WAC / Engineering & Technology|
Tips for Taking Class Notes
Every person has a different way of taking notes. How you do it greatly helps your studying and time management skills. The following are some note taking strategies
1. Dictation-Transcription Strategy
This is literally where you write word-for-word (or close to it) what the instructor says. If you are a student who prefers writing most of the lecture, then this strategy is for you. Here you would simply take notes from the top of the page to the bottom, writing in short paragraphs the content of the lecture. If you prefer this method, it is recommended that you learn shorthand or use common abbreviations.
NOTE: It is important that when you use abbreviations now that you remember what they stand for later. This will help you save time and energy when you are reviewing your notes.
2. Outline Strategy
This method uses an outline as a template. Use headings and key words to remind you of the main points and key issues from the class lecture.
Example of Outline Strategy
3. Two-Column Strategy
This note taking style divides your page into two columns with a vertical line separating the left column (one-third of the page) from the right column (two-thirds of the page). Most of the main ideas, points, and examples will be written on the right side of your page. The left side is used for writing key words, questions to assist you with better understanding the main ideas, pictures/sketches of the building, product, instrument, or item that these main ideas represent, and for adding your thoughts on the main points. Two examples of the 2-column strategy are shown below.
NOTE: Left and right column sizing should be based on amount of writing, size of sketch, and handwriting size.
Sketch from http://cityofsound.typepad.com/blog/architecture
Not sure which strategy is best for you? Try them all. Find the one that works best for you by combining strategies or editing steps to customize a technique that meets your needs.
Revised April 14, 2008 by firstname.lastname@example.org