Making the Grade
How to Take Notes
In high school, you may not have learned to take effective notes. Note-taking skills are essential to college success. There are many ways to take notes in class. Find a solution that works best for you and stick to it.
Cornell offers a method of note-taking that follows a simple format for condensing and organizing your notes.
- Rule your paper with a 2 ½ inch margin on the left, leaving a six-inch area on the right.
- Take notes in the main space and skip a few lines each time the instructor makes a new point.
- Complete the sentences as much as possible after class.
- For every main point, write a cue or reminder word in the left margin.
- To review, cover your notes and leave the cues exposed. Say the cue, along with all you can remember of the main notes. See if what you said matches your notes.
If you can say it, you know it.
Download the Cornell method steps from Dartmouth’s Academic Skills Center.