Note-Taking Guidelines

  • Attend all classes. It will enhance the chance you will get a passing grade.
  • Read all of the assigned material before class. You will better understand the lecture.
  • Learn the terminology used in the textbook.
  • Sit near the front of the classroom to help you avoid distractions like windows, doorways and other classmates.
  • Be prepared with the necessary supplies. Pens, paper and a divided notebook to keep notes organized.
  • Don’t try to write down everything the instructor says, choose only the important topics or ideas.
  • Put ideas into your own words.
  • Organize notes into some type of logical form.
  • Be sure your notes are legible so that when you review them you understand what you have written down.
  • Use abbreviations. There are many standard abbreviations but you may also come up with you own.
  • Try leaving space between concepts or ideas to help make them stand out or give you room to add more information when you review your notes.
  • Don’t be too concerned with spelling or grammar, just be certain you will be able to read your notes at a later time.
  • Be sure to put a page number on your notes especially if you are using loose leaf paper.
  • Try not to doodle or play with your pens, it will break your concentration.
  • Use color coding to distinguish different types of information and to organize notes.
  • Make sure you mark important information that the instructor says with an asterisk, arrow, etc.


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