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Taking Notes

Taking Notes in Class

In this section, we'll focus on how to take notes during class and we'll introduce you to some different methods to help you take those notes.

Keep an open mind and try out a couple methods this term to see what approaches work well for you!

Remember: there's no "right way" to take notes—there's only a way that's right for you!

Understanding What's Important

Introductions and Conclusions typically occur in the first and last 5-10 minutes of the lecture.

The introduction outlines the main topic and the conclusion will wrap up ideas and often reiterates the main points.

When you hear a point being repeated, it's almost certain to be important.

Repetition can be

  • Word for word,
  • Re-phrasing or re-wording a point,
  • Elaboration of a point, or
  • A series of examples.

Linking expressions are words and phrases that can signal the importance of a word or a phrase (aka you should take a note about it!)

Some examples include:

  • Repetition words: In addition, also, in other words, etc.
  • Emphasis words: Specifically, most importantly, especially, etc.
  • Number, list and order words: Firstly, second, ultimately, etc.
  • Summary words: In conclusion, to wrap up, for these reasons, etc.
  • Amplification words: For example, in other words, that is, i.e., etc.

Elaboration provides more information about a topic and can include more information to support the idea, an argument for or against the topic, or some history and implications.