Note Taking: Quoted Tips and Important Guidelines

Comm Skills
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Note Taking is one of the emerging learning domains in professional writing. Working in the corporate or organised service sector gains more importance after being a significant segment in the academics at schools and colleges. The collection you make, based on your observations, must be a smart one to re-visit.

Your Notebook and "Good" Notes

Structure and organization are keys to maintaining accurate notes. Following is a list of guidelines and tips for setting up a notebook and keeping your notes intelligible. 

Setting Up Your Notebook

  • Keep a separate notebook or separate section of a notebook for each course. This will help you stay organized and avoid misplacing your notes.
  • If the course requires different types of notes (i.e., lecture notes, notes on outside reading, lab notes, computation notes) arrange them on opposite pages for cross-referencing.
  • Notes for each lecture should begin on a new page, with the date and page number.
  • Make your notes brief: a key phrase for a sentence; a word to represent a phrase.
  • Abbreviate whenever possible.
  • Put notes into your own words.
  • A formula, a definition, and specific facts demand exact wording.
  • Number items, bullets or use indentations to distinguish between major and minor points.
  • Highlight unfamiliar vocabulary and unclear areas. Take notes as completely as you can and check your text(s) for clarification.
  • Develop questions to ask your friends or instructor to help clarify information or concepts.
  • If you miss something completely, leave a blank space and locate the information later.
  • Develop a coding system or scheme to mark your notes.
  • Use technical abbreviations instead of writing out the whole word.
  • Use technical symbols instead of writing out words. 

Tips for Effective Listening: The Core of Note Taking

  • Sit near the front of the room.
  • Find a reason to listen to the speaker. Ask yourself, "Why is this important?"
  • Listen for more than just facts; try to understand the big picture.
  • Recite key ideas to yourself.
  • Take more notes than necessary.
  • Attentive Listening and Reading
  • Avoid outside distractions and internal noise.
  • Anticipate what the speaker is going to say next.
  • Try to select main ideas and supporting details (mentally organize).
  • Prepare for lectures beforehand.
  • Listen first, then write; leave spaces to fill in gaps in your information.
  • Formulate questions to look up later or ask the instructor.
  • Put aside personal bias and listen to the content of the speaker's message.


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About the Author
Author: Parveen Sharma Website:
'You Create Yourself' is the belief that drives the EklavyaParv! It is a Life Long Learning Mission with firm belief in the trilogy of Enhance-Empower-Encourage. We share learning contents on Communication Skills, EdTech, Life Skills, Blended & Innovative Learning and Insights about Education. Parveen is an EdTech Evangelist and has been working in the field of Innovation-driven Education for more than a decade. He writes and delivers training on EduSoMedia, E-Learning, OERs, MOOCs, EdTech, ICT, Blended and Flipped Learning, Academic Intervention, Classroom Makeover, Employability Enhancement, EdTech and Teacher-Student Learning. EklavyaParv is the celebration of his belief in the Learning Spirit of Mankind! Currently he is working at Amity University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.