How To Take Better Notes

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Gabrielle Etchison, FCHS Journalist

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Having neat and organized notes is something many students struggle with, no matter what classes they have. What can you do to improve your class notes?

One of the most important factors of having neat notes is organization. According to Streaming Tutors, “If your notes suffer, it will have an effect on your studying and in turn your ability to understand the subject.” Color coding binder tabs, keeping folders, and highlighting titles and subheads notes are a few ways you can organize your notes and classwork.

During class, the best things to write down are keywords and phrases that you can define later. These should be the points of the notes and shouldn’t be more than a sentence or two.

Since many students have restricted time to write neatly and organize during class, a helpful tip is to rewrite notes so you can sort everything out. According to UNC Learning Center, “Take visually clear, concise, organized, and structured notes so that they are easy to read and make sense to you later.” When rewriting, this is an efficient approach to making your notes readable and understandable.

According to College Info Geek, here are a few note-taking systems:

  • The Outline – Make a list of key points, then make sub-points that help you understand them.
  • The Cornell Method – Divide your notes into three categories; notes, cues (main ideas or key points), and summary.
  • The Mind Map – Have the topic be in the middle, then make details about it by drawing “nodes.”
  • Flow Notes – Make doodles and arrows to connect different topics.
  • Bullet Journaling – Make your notes a bulleted list; you can doodle and sub-bullets that can help you review.

To get more information, visit College Info Geek’s page.