AP Language & Composition

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Hawthorne Biography
Scarlet Letter Criticism
In Depth...Machiavelli Biography
Ripped from Your Papers #1
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Vocabulary Lesson 1
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Vocabulary Lesson 3
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Ethos, Pathos, Logos - The Foundation of Argument
AP Language & Composition
Your Study Habits
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AP Prose Style Chapters 7-12
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Cornell Notes How To
Creative Writing

Cornell Notes Mean Higher Grades in All Classes! 





Cornell Note Taking

Questions – Vary 3 Levels of Questions


L1: What can I do to keep from being bored during lectures and keep focused on what's being said?

A. Be Active

1. Sit toward the front of the class.
2. Sit away from friends who may distract you.
3. Sit up.
4. Make an effort to concentrate as completely as possible and understand what is being said.
5. Listen first before writing.
6. Reflect and think about what is being said.
7. Respond to what is being said.
8. Always be thinking of questions: How does this relate to other points in the lecture, in the book?
9. When you don't understand something, stop the teacher and ask.

L1: What format should I use to take notes?

B. Cornell Note taking format.

1. Use lined paper and mark a wide left margin.
2. At the top of the page note the date, class, and topic of lecture in pen.
3. During the lecture, write in the right column.
4. After the lecture, develop question in the left column

L2: How can I take down all that's being said?

C. Use shortcuts and clues.

1. Write notes in your own words. Develop a shorthand or abbreviations system.
2. Write in phrases
3. Write quickly but legibly--your notes do not have to be immaculate.
4. Take down new vocabulary and definitions.
5. Try to write down the outline the teacher is using, looking for organization.

a. A lecture is like a paper; it has an introduction, body, and conclusion.
b. Write down the main points and their supporting evidence.

6. Leave plenty of space and go back and add details (from your memory, other people's notes, and the textbook.
7. Sometimes there is no organization. Take down what you can and sort it out later w/a friend, teacher, or your textbook.
8. Be selective.

a. Too many notes destroy the value of note taking.
b. If you find you are not writing fast enough, it really means that you are writing too much.

9. Keep up with the speaker by writing only the important ideas such as places, dates, names, descriptions or events, contributions, examples, new ideas, important books, causes, effects, evaluations, new terms, and definitions.

L2: How can I capture the most important points?










L3: Why are Cornell Notes useful in studying any subject for any career or learning a new skill?

Lecturer says: "Hippocrates, a Greek who is considered to be the Father of Medicine, was born on the island of Cos in 460 B.C."

You write: Hippocrates (Gr.) Father of Med. born 460 B.C.

           a. Use abbreviations for long, familiar words.


Lecturer says: "George Washington was not, in a sense, our first president."

You write: G. Wash. not 1st Pres?


b. Paraphrase. Turn complicated sentences into simpler, easier to understand sentences.

Lecturer says: "Hawthorne is being studied afresh and found to have something to say that is relevant to our condition."

You write: New studies of Hawthorne show his relevance.


c. Write dates and other figures and names as soon as you hear them, then go back and finish the point you were writing. This is important so that you will be accurate and not have to ask the speaker to repeat.

Lecturer says: Mark Twain in love with Olivia Langdon, and they married in 1870."

You write: Twain marries Olivia Langdon in 1870


d. Skip several lines between subjects. Skip one line or indent to break a given subject into various parts. Give your topic lots of space to stretch out, so you can add material from textbook or other students' ideas later. Invent new titles for each new topic. Organize!

e. Underline important dates.

f. Be as neat as possible while still writing quickly. Usually cursive is the quickest form. Produce notes that can be shared. Rewrite if necessary.


Put the lesson/notes/lecture in a short paragraph form (3-5 sentences) that really capture the essence.


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