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Reading and Writing Rocks Yellow / Lesson 2: Notetaking and Various Resources

Note Taking Methods
The Cornell Method

  • The Cornell method provides a systematic format for condensing and organizing notes without laborious recopying. After writing the notes in the main space, use the left-hand space to label each idea and detail with a key word or "cue."

The Cornell Method

  • Method - Rule your paper with a 2   ½ inch margin on the left leaving a six-inch area on the right in which to make notes.
  • During class, take down information in the six-inch area. When the instructor moves to a new point, skip a few lines.
  • After class, complete phrases and sentences as much as possible.
  • For every significant bit of information, write a cue in the left margin. To review, cover your notes with a card, leaving the cues exposed.
  • Say the cue out loud, then say as much as you can of the material underneath the card.
  • When you have said as much as you can, move the card and see if what you said matches what is written. If you can say it, you know it.

The Outlining Method

  • Dash or indented outlining is usually best except for some science classes such as physics or math.
  • The information which is most general begins at the left with each more specific group of facts indented with spaces to the right.
  • The relationships between the different parts is carried out through indenting.
  • No numbers, letters, or Roman numerals are needed.

The Outlining Method

  • Listening and then write in points in an organized pattern based on space indention.
  • Place major points farthest to the left. Indent each more specific point to the right.
  • Levels of importance will be indicated by distance away from the major point.
  • Indention can be as simple as or as complex as labeling the indentations with Roman numerals or decimals.
  • Markings are not necessary as space relationships will indicate the major/minor points.

Outline Note Taking Example

  • Example -
  • Extrasensory perception
  • __ definition: means of perceiving without use of sense organs.
  • __ three kinds -
  • __ telepathy: sending messages
  • __ clairvoyance: forecasting the future
  • __ psyhco-hokinesis: perceiving events external to situation
  • __ current status -
  • __ no current research to support or refute
  • __ few psychologists say impossible
  • __ door open to future

The Mapping Method

  • Mapping is a method that uses comprehension/concentration skills and evolves in a note taking form which relates each fact or idea to every other fact or idea.
  • Mapping is a graphic representation of the content of a lecture.
  • It is a method that maximizes active participation, affords immediate knowledge as to its understanding, and emphasizes critical thinking.

The Mapping Method

  • - This format helps you to visually track your lecture regardless of conditions.
  • Little thinking is needed and relationships can easily be seen.
  • It is also easy to edit your notes by adding numbers, marks, and color coding.
  • Review will call for you to restructure thought processes which will force you to check understanding.
  • Review by covering lines for memory drill and relationships.
  • Main points can be written on flash or note cards and pieced together into a table or larger structure at a later date.


Charting Method

  • If the lecture format is distinct (such as chronological), you may set up your paper by drawing columns and labeling appropriate headings in a table.

Charting Method

  • Determine the categories to be covered in the lecture.
  • Set up your paper in advance by columns headed by these categories.
  • As you listen to the lecture, record information (words, phrases, main ideas, etc.) into the appropriate category.

Charting Method

The Sentence Method

  • Write every new thought, fact or topic on a separate line, numbering as you progress.

The Sentence Method

  • Three Examples -
  • Example 1: A revolution is any occurrence that affects other aspects of life, such as economic life, social life, and so forth. Therefore revolutions cause change. (See page 29 to 30 in your text about this.)

  • Sample Notes: Revolution - occurrence that affects other aspects of life: e.g., econ., socl., etc. C.f. text, pp. 29-30

  • Example 2: Melville did not try to represent life as it really was. The language of Ahab, Starbuck, and Ishmael, for instance, was not that of real life.

  • Sample Notes: Mel didn't repr. life as was; e.g., lang. of Ahab, etc. not of real life.

  • Example 3: At first, Freud tried conventional, physical methods of treatment such as giving baths, massages, rest cures, and similar aids. But when these failed, he tried techniques of hypnosis that he had seen used by Jean-Martin Charcot. Finally, he borrowed an idea from Jean Breuer and used direct verbal communication to get an unhypnotized patient to reveal unconscious thoughts.

  • Sample Notes: Freud 1st -- used phys. trtment; e.g., baths, etc. This fld. 2nd -- used hypnosis (fr. Charcot) Finally -- used dirct vrb. commun. (fr. Breuer) - got unhynop, patnt to reveal uncons. thoughts.

Note taking and various resources
Note Taking

  • In classes, your teachers will talk about topics that you are studying.
  • The information they provide will be important for you     to know when you take tests.
  • You must be able to take good written notes from     what your teachers say.

  • Note Taking

  • Taking good notes is a three- stage process in which there are certain things you should do      before class, during class, and after class.

  • Note Taking: Get Ready to Take Notes (Before Class)

    • 1. Review your notes from the previous class session before you come to class. This will help you remember what was covered and get you ready to understand new information your teacher provides.
    • 2. Complete all assigned readings before you come to class. Your teacher will expect that you have done this and will use and build upon this information.
    • 3. Bring all note taking materials with you to class. Have several pens and pencils as well as your notebook.

    Take Notes (During Class)

    • 1. Keep your attention focused on what your teacher is saying. Listen for "signal statements" that tell you that what your teacher is about to say is important to write in your notes. Examples of signal statements are "The most important point..." and "Remember that . . .
  • 2. Be sure to include in your notes information that your     teacher repeats or writes on the chalkboard.

  • Take Notes (During Class)

    • 3. Write quickly so that you can include all the important information in your notes. Do this by  writing abbreviated words such as med for medicine, using symbols such as % for percent, and writing short sentences.
    • 4. Place a ? next to information you write in your notes, but about whose meaning you are not sure

    Rewrite Your Notes (After Class)


    • 1. Rewrite your notes to make them more complete by changing abbreviated words into whole words, symbols into words, and shortened sentences into longer sentences.
    • 2. Make your notes more accurate by answering any questions you had when writing your notes in class. Use your textbook and reference sources to obtain the information you need to answer your questions. If necessary, ask your teacher or other students for help.
    • 3. Check with other students to be sure you did not leave out important information.

    Extra Note Taking Tips


    • During the lecture you will write down the main points discussed on the right -hand page of your notebook while you:
    • Write down the details on the left side, and bring three pens to class with you: Carry a dark black pen to underline the key points in the lecture.
    • Use a green or blue pen (or choose another color; you can use your own imagination here) to underline points you're unclear of, and will need to review in more depth later.
    • Also, bring use a dark red pen to highlight the things your instructor says will definitely be on the exam, you should never forget, and 200 times during the lecture for emphasis.?
    • It's also useful to leave lots of - white - space  in your notebook for later editing, and adding your own useful comments such as "what in the name of heaven was he talking about here?"


    Various Resources for Gathering Research



    • A dictionary provides information about the meaning, pronunciation, and spelling of words. Unabridged dictionaries attempt to be complete by including all words currently in use in a language. They provide extensive information about the words included. Abridged dictionaries omit words that do not regularly appear in books, magazines, and newspapers. Specialized dictionaries provide detailed information about the words that apply to a particular subject such as space, math, biology, psychology, and many more. They include technical words that are rarely used outside of the subject.


    • A thesaurus contains synonyms for commonly used words. A synonym is a word that has the same meaning or nearly the same meaning as another word. For example, "simple" is a synonym for "easy." A thesaurus contains many more synonyms for a word than does a dictionary. A thesaurus can help you precisely express your ideas when writing.


    • An encyclopedia contains articles on a variety of subjects. The articles are written by experts on each of the subjects. In addition to articles, encyclopedias may include illustrations and diagrams, definitions of some words, and references to additional information. A general encyclopedia includes overview articles on a wide range of topics. A subject encyclopedia contains longer and more detailed articles on specific topics, events, or fields of study.


    • An almanac is an annual single-volume reference source that contains useful facts about a wide range of topics. You can learn about countries of the world, government, historical events, and many other topics. Because almanacs are revised each year, the information is current.?



    • An atlas is a collection of maps. The most common atlas contains maps that show the political and physical features of countries throughout the world. A political map shows government boundaries. A physical map shows - the features of the earth's surface such as - mountains, deserts, and bodies of water. You may also use a road map to learn how to get from place to place. There are also - specialized atlases for such things as weather across the world, oceans of the world, and even the anatomy of the human body.


    • The internet can also be a useful tool in gathering various research information.

    Magazines and Newspapers

    • Both magazines and newspapers are important research tools