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October 2, 2015 - Posted by Assignment Reviews

How to Take Notes: an Easy Guide for Busy Students

How to Take Notes: an Easy Guide for Busy Students

There are many ways in which students struggle with taking notes. Some students will listen to a lecture or read from their textbook and have no idea what they should write down, and what they can ignore. Other students take copious amounts of notes, but cannot find the information that they need from these notes when it comes time to study or complete an assignment, simply due to sheer volume. Then, there are the students who take wonderful notes, but cannot keep them organized enough to be effective. Ultimately, it boils down to this. There are a few simple guidelines that you can follow in order to take notes like a pro.

Use an App to Store and Organize Your Notes

If you use an app such as Evernote to take notes, you will reap many benefits. First, as long as you have your device with you, you can take notes, search your existing notes, organize and reorganize your notes, and share your notes with others. The latter benefit is especially helpful if you are working on group projects. Note taking apps eliminate the risk of losing notes that are written on paper. In fact, the majority of note taking apps store your notes in the cloud. This means that you can access your notes even if you lose access to your phone or other device.

Use Colors to Make Your Notes Distinctive

If you are a visual thinker and learner, the use of colors can be extremely helpful in the learning process. This is especially true when it comes to taking notes. You can use colors to separate the notes you take according to subject. You can change pen or font colors when taking notes to highlight an important idea or concept. You can even use colors to divide your notes into categories such as, possible essay questions in green, items that will be on the test in red, or concepts you have not mastered in blue.

Learn Note Taking Cues

Whether you are reading or listening to a lecture, there are clues you can look for which will help you know when you should write something down. For verbal cues, listen for phrases such as 'this is really important', 'let's go over this one more time', or 'write this down'. If you are reading from a textbook, pay close attention to the information that is in bold print or underlined. You should also take care to take notes on items that are in bulleted or numbered lists. Finally, charts, graphs, pictures, vocabulary words, and end of chapter questions almost always have the information that you will need to successfully pass your next exam.

Eliminate Notes You do not Need

The final item to consider as you learn how to take good notes, is eliminating notes that you no longer need. It is definitely possible to have too many notes. When this happens, it can become confusing and difficult to wade through every thing you have written down in order to find the information you actually need. This is why it is a good idea to go through your notes and eliminate what you no longer need.

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