How to Be Effective in Taking Down Notes

Focus is the key to taking down notes effectively. Only take down notes that are new to you. What’s the point of writing down the things you already know? Furthermore, take down key points that are relevant and can be used later on. That being said, there are two major things you need to understand when taking down notes namely –

  • New
  • Relevance

Taking down notes effectively means you have actually done the reading yourself. The information you need to take note includes –

  • Dates for your notes to be in chronology and understand the entire event
  • Names for you to associate the events or ideas better
  • Theories which essentially are the main key points
  • Definition of things that is new to you
  • Points of arguments and debates such as pros and cons, criticisms of an idea and both sides of the coin.
  • Illustrations and exercises

There are still things you need to take down. If your professor hardly writes on board then everything he writes in there should be written down unless the information is deemed self-evident or known. Also, listen to what your professor is saying. Anything relevant to the subject or topic that is not found in any printed document, text or books should be written down.

Your classmates may give information that is relevant as well. Try to capture their comments or questions. This will help you understand the entire topic later on.

Lastly, write down all your questions as they occur to you. This will help you remember to ask the professor and get you the answers you need.