The Cornell Note-Taking System
Taking effective notes while reading a text or listening to a lecture is an important part of active reading. This resource will teach you about one strategy for effective note-taking called the Cornell Note-Taking System. After you read, try reading it again and practicing your active reading by implementing this system.
The Cornell note-taking system was designed by Dr. Walter Pauk more than 45 years ago. It is named after a well-known Ivy League university in the US and is used in universities worldwide. It has five steps:
- Read a chunk of text and decide what is important for your notes.
- Use the heading and subheadings as your outline headings
- Double-space between headings
- Under the headings, number your details
- Use phrases or short sentences to summarize the information
- Put smaller details under the numbered details as bullet points
- At the end of the notes, write a summary paragraph
- Copy the headings from the Notes to the left column
- Reread your notes and write study questions: "Why...?", "Name the reasons for..."
- Define keywords
- DON'T write too much!
- Explain the information in your own words (cover the right column)
- Answer the questions you wrote in the reduce column (left)
- After you finish a section, check the record column (right) and see if you missed anything
- Mark the information you want to return to later
- Think about the information you have recorded, reduced, and recited
- LIne up the Recall columns and write a summary of the main ideas
- Write mnemonic devices, graphs, charts, pictures on the back of your pages
- Review your notes after the reflect step
- Keep reviewing your notes throughout the course
If you would like to have a template for taking these notes, you may download this Microsoft Word document.
Source: Essential Study Skills
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