In the field of observation, chance favors only the
Louis Pasteur, 1822 - 1895
Classroom learning series Taking notes in classroom lectures
You can develop your own note taking system and study strategywith the five "R's" of note-taking:
Record * Reduce * Recite * Reflect * Review
Get a good loose-leaf notebook: This will enable you to add,
delete, and re-sequence pages and materials.
Begin each session's notes with a cover page for later summaries and test
A typical notes page:
Class/subject or title or number (e.g. 3/34)
Guest speakers' names,
including your fellow students' contributions
After the class Summarize:
key/cue words phrases questions
Link to information from your textbook, Websites or other sources that helps
you understand or study the material
1. Record/take notes in class here:
identify the main points
capture the main ideas
Use outlines or
Use words and pictures and graphs or whatever it takes to get the information
down quickly. Avoid quoting unless it is very necessary.
3. Place notes in this
section when reviewing/studying (see 5 below)
Review from memory what you have learned
Using the left hand margin's key words and questions, talk through, or
illustrate definitions, concepts, etc.
Create your own examples
4. Reflect: Think over!
How does this relate to what you knew before?
essay terms and find
the best ones that refer to your studies: Apply, Compare, Diagram, Evaluate,
5. Review the notes you took
At your next study session
Before reading new material
When studying for tests
Make notes on your "notes page"
Multiple pages of notes for one lecture:
summarize each page at its bottom,
summarize the lecture on a cover or end page
"Retrieval practice" will help you understand a lecture
especially soon after. Strategies include:
Write out questions for follow up
Create flashcards on important concepts
Isolate important concepts--create flashcards.
for concepts to get another explanation
Discuss the material with others
Schedule time for "retrieval practice" to solidify your knowledge/understanding. Classroom learning series
Adapted from Walter Pauk (1989) and the Cornell Notetaking System (Dartmouth
College, Hanover, NH)