Note Making
Note Making
Why make notes?
§ A useful record of important points for future use
§ Helps your understanding because it focuses you
§ Helps you think through where everything fits
§ Organises your material for exam revision
§ Keeps more information in your memory
§ Helps ideas flow
§ Helps you get started with your assignment
§ Helps planning. You can see where information goes
§ Helps memory – summing things up helps long term memory, the act of writing helps motor memory, pattern notes can be more memorable visually
§ Helps link new knowledge to existing knowledge
§ Process of reduction helps identify the essential
How to make notes?
Your note making must be active – or you will miss the vital step – making meaning for yourself
  • Keep notes brief – Reduce info to a set of memory triggers – one key word or image
  • Keep notes organised
  • Use your own words
  • Leave a wide margin and spaces – to add thoughts, ideas, questions later
  • highlight the key words – these are the ones which are most loaded with meaning and unlock your memory
  • Write phrases and not sentences
  • Use abbreviations
  • Use headings
  • Number points – then colour them – Use both sides of the brain
  • Make the page memorable – with colour, illustrations etc
  • Link up points – using arrows, dotted lines, colour, numbers, boxes
  • Write quotations in a different colour
  • Use columns – one for the notes you make and one for thoughts and questions
  • Draw a ring around floating bits of information
  • Link stray information by colour coding it
  • Transform notes into something else – a flow chart, a picture, diagram
Don’t rewrite notes – it interferes with visual recall – keep one good set of notes and a series of cue cards
Don’t just read notes – DO something with them