Taking Good Lecture Notes

There are many good methods for taking good class notes. I define good notes as those that can help you study for and successfully complete exams as well as helping you retain the class content after the end of the semester. One of the best methods is called the Cornell Method. With the Cornell Method you divide your note-taking paper into three areas: a note-taking area, a cue column and a summary area. During class you only using the note-taking area leaving the other two areas blank. Then during the review sessions you have space to add the main ideas, questions, and prompts that will help you remember what was said in the clue area and a summary of the main ideas in the summary area. For complete instructions for using the Cornell Method see Taking study-worthy lecture notes on the Lifehacker blog.

Although it is easy enough to use the Cornell Method with regular note paper, there are several sites online that have either pre-made templates or instructions for making your own Cornell Method template, for example the Cornell Method PDF Generator and Productivity Portfolio’s Word Template for Cornell Notes.

Use the Comments section to give us your best note-taking tips and techniques.


1 Comment

Filed under Study Tips

One response to “Taking Good Lecture Notes

  1. Peggy Pavlik

    Interesting to see you post this. We taught our high school students to use the Cornell method (which we learned from the AVID program). The elements are key to good learning, especially the summary. Don’t skip the summary. It is how you make the learning your own. And, if you do the questions on the left hand side right, you have an automatic study guide.

    Good to see my big sister and I are on the same page!


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