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Taking Notes

PowerPoint Slides

If your professor makes their lecture slides available before class, you can use those to take your notes!

This is one of the easiest note-taking methods, though it does require a bit of prep to either print our or download slides before you head to the classroom.

How to Use PowerPoint Slides

How to Take Notes Using PowerPoint Slides

Using Your Laptop or Desktop

  1. Download the PowerPoint slide deck from SLATE: Click on the PowerPoint file in your SLATE course, download the file, and save a copy to your computer.
  2. In the PowerPoint file, click on the Notes section: You can find the Notes section at the bottom of each PowerPoint slides. Your professor might have added a few speaker's note here to help them remember key points they wanted to talk about in class. Use this area to write your own thoughts, questions, or comments during the lecture.
  3. Save often!: Make sure to save your work frequently during and right after class—losing your personal notes


Printing Out Slides on Paper

  1. Download the PowerPoint slide deck in SLATE: Click on the PowerPoint file in your SLATE course, download the file, and save a copy to your computer.
  2. Print out your slides on paper: In your PowerPoint file, click on File > Print. Under Slides, select Notes Pages. You can pick how many slides you'd like to appear on a single page, and there will be additional space where you can write your own notes. Most people use the 3 Slide option; however, if you tend to write a lot of notes, the 2 Slide option would be ideal.
  3. Bring your print out to class: Make sure to pack your papers before you head to campus for class!

Pros & Cons of PowerPoint Slide Notes


  • Combines course content and personal notes in one place.
  • Helps students pay more attention during class by reducing the amount of note-taking required for studying.
  • Easy to download slides and set up a note-taking routine online or on paper.


  • Relies on professors consistently uploading PowerPoints slides before class.
  • Students will need to use other methods like the Cornell Method or Outline Method to prepare effective study notes.
  • Students could overestimate how much content they will remember from the lecture and not take enough notes in class.

When to Use PowerPoint Slide Notes

Use PowerPoint Slides to take notes when

  • You want to focus more on overall discussions in class and less on taking detailed notes.
  • You want an easier way to review your professor's notes and your own notes at the same time.