Cornell Note-Taking System

7 Steps:

1. Divide a piece of paper into two columns with one column twice as big as the other.

a. The smaller column should be on the left side. It is used for major concepts, vocabulary, or questions.

b. The larger column should be on the right side. It is used for the actual note-taking in lecture.

2. Leave about two inches (5-7 lines) at the bottom of the page empty.

3. Take notes in the right column during class avoiding long sentences. Paraphrase and use abbreviations.

4. Record relevant questions or key words in the left column as soon as possible. Recording these will help keep the main points and the lecture fresh in your mind.

5. Review notes within 24 hours and come up with questions and write them at the bottom of the page. Ask yourself “What’s the significance of this? How are they applied? What kinds of questions could I be asked about this?”

6. Also briefly summarize the notes and put them in the bottom column. This will help increase understanding and recall.

7. When studying the material for an exam, use the left column questions and words as cues for remembering relevant information while covering up the actual notes. See if you can recall the notes.

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