• How to take Reading Notes & Lecture Notes

    Reading a text for comprehension can be a challenge for many students.  Here are a few suggested methods that will help you to take good reading notes.  Remember, you may use your reading notes on your reading checks, and they will be the basis for all lectures.

    How to Identify the Important Stuff:

    Get an overview. Read the summary (usually the first paragraph of the section) and conclusions (last paragraph of the section) first for a big-picture view.

    Make note of section titles. Chapters will be broken down by content or theme; make note of these. Again, build more elaborate notes on these while you read the piece.

    Big ideas: what are the main ideas (key concepts) reflected in the introduction, conclusion, abstract, and section titles? Be sure to record all relevant details of the big ideas in the text as you read the entire piece.

    In your textbook, at the beginning of each section, there is a guide for reading which identifies the key concepts of the section, as well as the vocabulary for the section.

    Follow visual cues: main ideas will often be bolded, italicized, bulleted, set in different font sizes, color, and/or spacing. Additionally, illustrations, figures, tables, charts, diagrams, and the corresponding captions elaborate on key ideas. Use these to determine the significance of concepts, and to take notes accordingly.

    What's repeated: concepts, formulas, facts, and processes mentioned more than once in the piece are likely significant.

    Date your notes, and provide a heading that describes the section’s overall content.

    Number the pages of your notes.

    Organize your notes into sections and leave space (about 2 inches) within those sections so you can add future detail/extra notes from lecture.

    Paraphrase instead of writing verbatim; writing in your own words, except for formulas, definitions, and specific facts (i.e. involving dates), which should be recorded exactly as in the text.

    Use brief yet descriptive words or phrases for concepts that act as trigger words.

    Highlight, in your notes, the key concepts and vocabulary terms with different colors.

    Write and read your notes out loud; this will aid in memorization.

    Use consistent abbreviations and symbols.

    Leave room in the margins for additional thoughts or questions.

    Before a test, Type your notes, which can be used for exam-studying, once you have clarified any ambiguities.

    Test your understanding. Textbook chapters often include a "test your understanding" portion at the end of each chapter. If your notes don't already contain the answers to these questions, go back and take additional notes on any key concepts you might have missed the first time around.

     It is my expectation that your reading notes form the basis/outline for your lecture notes.  Meaning, lecture should NOT be the first time you are seeing the information presented.  Lectures are fast pace; if a student is copying information from the lecture notes, then he/she should paraphrase in order to keep up with the lecture pace.  Lectures are designed to introduce information that supports the main concepts students learn from the text, as well as address questions and clarify misunderstandings students may have based on the reading.

    High light or underline any concepts addressed in lecture that you already wrote from the text.

    Add examples.

    Draw all pictures the teacher draws.

    If the teacher says, “This is important,” highlight or underline the concept.

    Ask questionsRaise your hand to get the teacher’s attention; listen to the questions that the other students ask.

    All lectures are on google classroom; review these prior to any tests.