Nonsmoker (1990) believes that “it is during the note-taking stage that students reach the highest level of comprehension” (p. 42). Effective note- taking skills promotes increased learning and memorization ability Cones & Mort, 1994). Basic note taking skills are taught starting in elementary school ( All kinds of Minds, 2013). Students are taught how to transcribe notes placed on the board, this simple technique is referred to as “sentence writing” (All kinds Of Minds, 2013). It isn’t until Middle or Junior High School that students are taught actual note-taking cuisines (Bosh & Pillar , 2005).

In High School students learn the importance of good note-taking, and how note taking promotes a better understanding of material and improves grades (Remain & Seaside, 2011). Effective note-taking from lectures and readings is an essential skill for university students as well Cones & Mort, 1994). It allows students to gather information from lectures, books, or any other situation that they will later have to memorize or use in order to successfully complete their academic program (Boca & Pillar, 2005).

Good note taking allows a permanent record for revision and a register of relevant points that you can integrate with your own writing and speaking Cones & Mort, 1994). It is a useful technique in studying content, developing language skills, and learning tasks in general (White, 1996). Taking notes during a lecture will require a different note-taking method than taking notes from a handout of a book (Massey University, 2012). In a lecture the student may not have the opportunity to take down all the information given by the instructor (Boca & Pillar, 2005).

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The average writing speed of a student is around 0. 3 to 0. 4 words/ second, whereas a lecturer speaks at a rate of around 2 to 3 words/ second (Boca & Pillar, 2005). Students are at risk of missing important information if they are not also good listeners (Remain & Seaside, 2011). When taking notes from written material the student should pay close attention to key words and important details that may be useful in triggering memorization (All Kinds of Minds, 2013). In both cases these methods are helpful only when utilized properly.

Finding the right teeth for the task is the key to success. Graphic organizers are a preferred method of note taking (Massey University, 2012). In graphic organizers, concepts are presented in a visual format, that is, the relative location of concepts and the relations among them are represented in a graphic format (Remain , 2011). In fact, they show, rather than describe, the organization of concepts (Robinson & Sahara, 1994). The Cornell Method is the most effective graphic organizer (All kinds of Minds, 2013).

Massey University (2012) explains: It is based on two columns: one intonating the keynoted or concept, and the other containing the description or notes associated with the keyword or concept. This method can be used while listening to the lecturer. In the right hand column, list the main ideas or write a paragraph and then on the left hand side note the keyword or concept that relates to the section of notes. At the bottom of the page write paragraphs summarizing the information contained in the notes. (Para. 1).

According to Kennedy (2000), “Cornell Notes are a simple and efficient way of recording and reviewing notes – it’s easy for pulling out ajar concepts and ideas”. It’s simple, it’s efficient and it saves time and effort because you “do-it-right-in-the-first-place” (Kenny, 2000). Outlining, involves writing a series of topics and sub-topics, and identifying them by indenting the text, numbering the lines, or using a dash or bullet point (Massey University, 2012) Advantages: it’s more organized than writing paragraphs and still records most of the information (Kenny, 2000).

Disadvantages: it’s hard to determine major/minor points and it’s hard to edit and review with clean-up (Kennedy, 2000). Massey University 2012) describes mind mapping as “a diagram in which ideas, concepts and images are linked together around a central concept, keywords or idea. ” Mind mapping maximizes active participation, affords immediate knowledge towards understanding and emphasizes critical thinking. (Massey University, 2012). According to Kenny (2000), Mind mapping helps to visually track the lecture. When using this system relationships can be easily seen and requires little thinking.

This method of note taking also allows for easy editing after the lecture. As a disadvantages, the student ay not hear changes in content from major points to facts. (Para. 3). “Charting is effectively a table of rows and columns” states Massey University (2013). The top row normally classifies the concept with descriptions or keywords listed in the row below (Massey University, 2012). According to Kenney (2000), “This system will help pull out the most relevant information. ” It also reduces the amount of writing while providing an easy review for memorizing facts and studying comparisons and relationships (Kenny, 2000).

This system can be a hard system to try to learn (Massey University, 012). The student will need to know the content that will be covered during the lecture before it begins (Kennedy, 2000) In conclusion, good note-taking reduces the risk of forgetfulness. It also helps to distinguish where the ideas came from and the personal concept about those ideas Cones & Mort, 1994). Good note-taking requires students to mobile their attention abilities. Students must be prepared and focused. Students must listen or read actively, pulling out important details and attaching new information to prior knowledge.


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