Learning Tips #1

Characteristics of Good Lecture Notes

If you want to take lecture notes that are similar to the notes taken by most successful students, the notes you take will have these characteristics:

1. They are written on lined paper specifically A4 size because most students prefer notebooks of this size. Furthermore there are lots of files, folders, portfolio covers and cases of this particular size in the market.

2. The notes for each class meeting have a heading that includes

  • The name or code of the course
  • The lecturer’s name
  • The date
  • The topic of the lecture

Students write this information at the beginning of each class to put themselves in the proper frame of mind for taking notes on what they will hear.

3. The major points stand out clearly. They can either be highlighted or underlined and written farthest to the left side of the page.

4. The details are listed under major points in an orderly fashion, and the details are often numbered or sometimes bulleted

5. Notes include examples. Lecturers give examples to help students understand the ideas and concepts they explain

6. Notes do not repeat lecturers’ words exactly; they rephrase what lecturers say. It is not possible to write exactly what lecturers say. Good note-takers put ideas in their own words whenever possible

7. Notes include information that is put on the board. Lecturers use the board to write information that is especially important. Those who take good notes include almost everything that is written on a board.

Make sure your notes are complete. If you are aware as you are taking notes that they are incomplete, raise your hand and ask the question that will help you complete it.

Good Luck!

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