When it’s your first year at the university, you feel like you’re going to drown in an endless sea of book, journals, newspapers and other related printed material you’re required to master during the course. But there is no time to panic. It’s time to breathe in and breathe out, and prepare yourself in advance by means of note taking. The following simple recommendations on how to take notes correctly will make the reading more effective and the studying – easier.
- Keep Systematic and Selective
You take notes from the printed sources, which means not every single issue from the text will meet your requirements. Consider purpose of reading and read the relevant sections only.
- Know the Text Purpose and Function
Whether you’re required to make notes on a part of information or the whole text, make sure to point out the key purpose and function of the text in order to clarify the purposes of the note taking. This will help you to highlight the potentially useful content.
- Share Your Own Thoughts
When taking notes for an essay, seminar or a research paper, it is strongly required to also record your own ideas at the time. Provide a separate column and use it to record your thoughts. As an alternative, you can use a different color to highlight your own ideas in case you’ve included them into the text.
- Pick the Note Taking Method That Fits Your Needs
There are many different techniques developed to make the note-taking process easy. Mind-mapping, the Smart Wisdom, the Cornell System to name a few. Every technique mentioned above is useful for a certain group of students. For instance, you will love using the Cornell System that is known to use a grid and is typically associated with the brainstorming. The mind-mapping method is the best one to use when having a meeting. Of course, it is pretty time-consuming, but still – it’s strongly recommended to take your time and play with different methods to choose the most suitable one.
- Include Bibliographic Details
Do not forget to note down all related bibliographic information. The latter may include the initial and the surname of the author, the book/article title, the journal title, the publication place, the number of the pages, internet web site info like URL and so on. Plus, make sure to provide the library catalogue item in order to have an opportunity to easily relocate this or that source in case you’re required to.
Effective note taking from the books and lectures is a truly important skill for a college student. When having good note-taking skills, you will have a great opportunity to revise all relevant points that may be later integrated into your own speaking and writing. What is more, excellent note taking skills will 100% reduce the risk of plagiarism. They will also be helpful in distinguishing where you have taken this or that idea from and how useful you consider those ideas.