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Note Taking: Cornell Method

This method is designed to be efficient, eliminate rewriting notes and provide a structure for review all at once. It requires that you set up your note paper ahead of time (a few seconds at most) and review afterwards. Examples of this method can be downloaded and printed from the English Companion website.

Use notebook paper, preferably loose-leaf.

Use only one side of the paper to avoid difficulty in reading and to allow you to lay the notes out later.

Draw a vertical line 2-1/2 inches from the left side of the paper.

During the lecture:

Take notes in paragraph form to the right of the margin.

Skip lines to show end of ideas or thoughts.

Don't be concerned with complete sentences or getting everything down; strive for short phrases, the "meat" of the lecture, key points and examples.

After the lecture:

Read your notes and make them more legible if necessary, preferably within a few hours.

Use the left column to jot down ideas or key words that give you the idea of the lecture.

Try covering the right portion of your notes to see if you recall the more specific ideas and concepts of the lecture.

Use the left column as your review outline.

 

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