There are many different methods of note-taking. Each has different advantages and disadvantages. The secret is to find the one that suits both your abilities and the lecture style and material.

The Cornell Method

Created by a professor at Cornell University, this is a very organized, systematic note-taking system. To use this method, you start by dividing your page into two columns: one wide column on the right for notes, and one thinner column on the left for keywords/questions. At the bottom of the page, you should leave 5 to 7 blank lines for a section called summary.

Your page will look something like this:

cornell method

In the right column, you take notes as you listen to or read the material. These notes can be short phrases, words and even symbols, but shouldn’t be full sentences. Once you are finished, you should go back and read your notes over, adding important questions or keywords related to the material in the left column. When you are reviewing your notes, you can cover the notes column and use these cues to help you learn and remember the material. In the summary section, you can note the main themes or ideas of the material for a quick review.

The Cornell Method is great to use in lecture situations and is very useful if you have to remember material for tests and exams.

The Outlining Method

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