Many college students struggle with taking notes. Students are unsure what to take notes on during class discussion or when they are reading from their text books. Note taking, for some students, becomes an unimportant, frivolous activity which brings no academic satisfaction; however, that attitude must and can change with proper note taking methods.
The Cornell Method of note taking is by far the most popular and practical method of taking notes. This Method was developed by Professor Walter Paul at Cornell University and has been a great resource for many struggling college students. There are 5 steps a student must remember to take Cornell Notes: 1) Divide paper into two columns, the left hand column should be smaller than the right. 2) Record class or text-book notes in the right column. 3) Review notes after class and ask yourself, "do the notes written in the right hand column answer potential test questions? If so, what would that question be?" Once you have decided what the question could be, write that question in the left column. 4) At the end of class or the end of your text-book reading, write a brief summary with a summary question. 5) Test yourself by asking and answering the questions you have written.
When taking Cornell Notes remember to leave plenty of white space between your notes and questions. Doing this allows your mind to better process the information written in your notes. Another thing to remember is to use complete sentences. Often times students get in such a hurry that their notes are simply a bunch of incomprehensible words; when they (the students) go back to review their notes an hour or so later, they do not understand what they have written. A student should take a few minutes after class and rewrite their notes so that they are complete ideas and thoughts.
Using Cornell Notes in class or when reading a text for class will improve a student's ability to obtain and understand important information for college success. This method is taught in several colleges to teach students with bad or non-existent study habits. Cornell Notes will organize and clarify college class work and will bring success to any student.