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
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
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
1. Use lined paper and mark a wide left margin.
At the top of the page note the date, class, and topic of lecture in pen.
3. During the lecture, write in the right
4. After the lecture, develop question in the left column
L2: How can I take down all that's being said?
C. Use shortcuts
1. Write notes in your own words. Develop a shorthand or
2. Write in phrases
3. Write quickly but legibly--your notes do not have to be immaculate.
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,
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.
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?
says: "Hippocrates, a Greek who is considered
to be the Father of Medicine, was born on the island of Cos
in 460 B.C."
write: Hippocrates (Gr.) Father of Med.
born 460 B.C.
a. Use abbreviations for long,
says: "George Washington was not, in a
sense, our first president."
write: G. Wash. not 1st Pres?
Turn complicated sentences into simpler, easier to understand sentences.
says: "Hawthorne is being studied afresh and found to
have something to say that is relevant to our condition."
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.
says: Mark Twain in love with Olivia Langdon, and they married in 1870."
write: Twain marries Olivia Langdon in
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!
Underline important dates.
Be as neat as possible while still writing quickly. Usually cursive is the quickest
form. Produce notes that can be shared. Rewrite if necessary.
the lesson/notes/lecture in a short paragraph form (3-5 sentences) that really capture the essence.