More Steps to Better Notes
• DON'T CONFUSE NOTE TAKING WITH LEARNING
Recognize and accept that note taking is a way of gathering information necessary for learning.
• ESTABLISH A NOTE TAKING GOAL BEFORE CLASS.
Determine what type of information you need. For example, if your syllabus says the topic for the day is "factors leading to the uprising," your goal will be to look, listen, and gather carefully any information about those factors, i.e., how many factors, their respective impacts.
• LOOK FOR VERBAL AND NON-VERBAL CLUES AS TO WHAT INFORMATION THE INSTRUCTOR PERCEIVES AS IMPORTANT .
If the instructor writes the information on the board, repeats it, leans or move forward toward the class while stating it, raises his/her voice, asks if there are any questions about it, PUT IT IN YOUR NOTES with a note to yourself that it is important.
• DEVELOP A SHORTHAND SYSTEM.
You can keep up with the pace of the lecture and understand what you wrote when you review the notes later.
• USE YOUR NOTES AS A STARTING POINT FOR LEARNING.
You spent time and energy gathering the information, the raw material. Now, spend time and energy thinking about it, checking it for accuracy, expanding on it, analyzing, synthesizing and extrapolating it. Your notes are now tools for learning.