Friday, July 17, 2009

Note Taking Tips from Prof.M.S.Rao

"Never use a sentence when you can use a phrase, or a phrase when you can use a word" -Berkeley.

What is Note Taking?

Note taking is an art and the process of writing the content in a shorthand format in an unstructured manner without losing the essence for future reference and records. Usually, the speaking rate is faster than the writing. When any lecture takes place the entire information can not be written by the listeners. Therefore, the key and important information is written succinctly in a note book. It is a skill any one can cultivate and inculcate through right application of tools and techniques. There is also software related to this, which is known as note taking software that has several advantages.

Merits of Note Taking:

Note taking helps in absorbing and memorizing the material effectively due to the muscular movement of hand. It helps in broadening your mental faculties. It saves time and energy. It helps in bridging the gap between speaking and writing. It can be used for future references.

Dos and Don’ts during Note Taking:

1. Focus on the content not on the speaker.
2. Listen attentively to the speaker.
3. Write clearly and legibly for your clarity.
4. Write the key words.
5. Write only what is required.
6. Don’t write lengthy sentences.
7. Don’t sit beside your colleague as you may be disturbed during note taking.
8. Don’t divert your mind here and there.

Note Taking Tips:

Studies on memory have shown that, without review, 47% of what a person has just learned is forgotten in the first twenty minutes and 62% is forgotten after the first day - (University of Texas at Austin). (Reference: http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/academic/notes-tips.htm)

• Develop a positive mindset about the speaker and the content as it encourages you towards note taking.
• Be attentive and listen carefully to the speaker.
• Create and develop your own method of taking notes which helps to decode as and when required.
• Write on one side of the paper so that extra information, or ideas or insights can be added later on.
• Create your own shorthand style to note down the key content that is relevant.
• Pay your attention closely and keenly on the content.
• Divide the page into three columns. In the first column write down what was taught in the class in key words. In the second column, write down the same in an elaborate form after reading from the text. In the third column, write down the queries to be posed to the teacher, if any. It saves your precious time as you don’t have to duplicate the content freshly in another page book. In addition, this approach aligns the entire information in depth and making the information available on a platter.
• Use different colored highlighters to accord the priority of importance.
• Research reveals that we can recall what was taught in the class within 24 hours only by 80 per cent. Therefore, jot down immediately after the class what was said if you don’t find time during the class.
• By referring textbook material before being delivered you get to know idea about the topic. Secondly it will help you to jot down what is not there in the text. By this way, note taking adds value to your knowledge as you get knowledge beyond books delivered by the teacher.
• Maintain separate notebook per subject wise. It helps in organizing the things properly and also saves your time and avoiding stress arising out of searching for the content.


“A short pencil is always better than a long memory.”

Students can do well with note taking skills. It is a skill anyone can develop and hone. In schools, note taking skills should be taught as it saves time and helps in better memory retention.

Teacher should write key content and concept on the board as it helps both the teacher and students. For teacher, it helps to teach better in the next class due to the muscular movement the key facts can better be remembered. For students, it becomes easier to write and also helps in separating grain from the chaff. Therefore, brush up your note-taking skills to achieve optimum results.

The End


Reference: http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/academic/notes-tips.htm

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