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Taking Notes in Class

Taking notes in class requires a clear system that will be easy for you to use. This system is easy to follow and will work well!

- Be prepared to take notes when class begins.
Have your notebook open and pen in hand.

- Avoid any distracting conduct.
Talking, eating, drinking, etc. will be a distraction to you and other students!

- Participate constructively in class discussions.
- Ask questions.

More Details

Pay attention to what the teacher is presenting.

  • Listen for what is emphasized.
    Look for words like "to summarize...", "the main point is..."

  • If something is written on the board, you should probably write it down!
    Be alert for all important information.

    If something is repeated, it is probably important!
  • Make sure you identify and understand the important information.

    Listen and watch for all material presented in alphabetical or numerical fashion.

    Write notes in a concise, organized manner.
    • DO NOT try to write down every word.
    • Write down the main ideas, content, and information.
    • Develop your own way of abbreviating words.
    • Listen carefully when a teacher elaborates on important material and then briefly summarize it in writing.
    • Write class notes in an outline form.
      • Do you notice how I have put the main topic in bigger letters?
      • Then there are five main ideas that are numbered.
      • Under the numbered ideas are lettered ideas.
      • This is a standard outline format!
    Generally, using a tape recorder in class is not a good idea.
    • It is a very inefficient way to study.
    • It is very time consuming!
    • It is a poor substitute for good notetaking.
    • It is almost useless for reviewing for a test.
    • Please note that some people find that using a tape recorder does help them.
    • Generally speaking, I do not recommend it, but everyone is free to use whatever learning technique or strategy that works for them!
    After Class
    • It is a very good idea to go over your notes after class.
    • This is when your memory is still fresh!
    • Make sure you have identified the main ideas.
    • Underline or highlight main ideas, concepts, and information.
    • Make sure you know what the assignment is.
    • Write it down in your assignment notebook or in your notes.
    • Taking ten minutes after class to review your notes will save you much more time later!
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