English Resource

This resource is designed to help students and graduates around the world tackle academic college English assignments, even if English is not their native language. Enjoy the abundance of guides, manuals and samples written for ESL students.

How Do You Start A Research Paper: Tips And Examples

Properly Taking Notes

There are many ways that students can take notes in school. Note taking is an important part of the learning process. It is what enables you to move information you learn from your short term memory to your long term memory. It is what enables you to retain the information, store it, and retrieve it later. Studies also indicate that taking notes by hand is one of the best ways to do it, because it engages your tactile learning area of the brain.

But, if you are unable to take your lecture notes by hand, or you really prefer using your computer, then you need to follow these note taking rules in order to make the most out of it:

If you use a computer with a touch screen, this can be quite helpful. If you can find one like this, you will alleviate one of the biggest issues associated with taking notes on a computer: the inability to write down your notes quickly in any place.

For example: when a teacher is giving a lecture, they may jump in a natural fashion from one topic to the next. When writing by hand, you are able to write down their comment anywhere on the page, returning to another part of the lecture if the professor returned to it. But if you are typing, you have to stop, move the cursor back to where the idea was first presented, and by then you have lost your train of thought and your typing rhythm. But if you can integrate a touch screen feature, you won’t have this issue. You can just touch where the lecture is backtracking and continue on with your notes. This may seem trivial, but it can save you quite a bit of hassle during the lecture.

Tip: Get rid of distractions. When you are in a lecture, turn off any sound. Even a small alarm can be quite a distraction… and am embarrassing one at that. Shut off any pop up notifications, because these will catch your eye while you work, and it will draw your cognitive attention far from the lecture at hand, making it a challenge to get back on track. It is best for you to familiarize yourself with your particular computer, to get to know where all of the settings are, and to learn how controls and reminders can be alleviated, silenced, etc… You will be very glad you did.