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Lecture Note Taking Tips

MCB professor teaching class.

October 17, 2018

In order to be successful in classes you must know how to take notes during lecture. We will go over how to prepare for lecture, how to remain engaged during class, and how to interact with your notes after a lecture.

Prepare before class

Be there, be there on time, be up front, and on the edge of your seat. Attend lecture as you will miss a lot of content if you do not attend, that being said show up to class on time you could miss valuable information. Try to find a seat closer to the front to avoid distractions.

Be ready to take notes, get sleep and eat before class, so you can be in good mental and physical shape. Make sure you read assigned readings before class as they will help clarify and provide context for what will be talked about in class.

During the lecture

Make sure you try and get the main points, details, and examples made by the instructor. Pay attention to cues, which can be verbal or nonverbal, and visual.

Verbal cues might be as obvious as “This will be on your test”, to repeated terms or phrases. Nonverbal cues may include pointing, an extended pause, a change in volume or a glance your instructor may give.
Written cues can be presented in class outlines, PowerPoints, or boards. Written cues are made to guide your note taking by letting you know which topics are really important. When writing your notes don’t write the information word for word shorten the info. Into a smaller phrase, abbreviate other words and repeating terms as well to help increase your speed.

If you need clarification ask the instructor as it will help you in the long run and slow down the transferal of information. If you feel like you may need to record the lecture feel free to do so, if your professor allows it. Being able to listen to a lecture again allows you the chance to fill in information you may have missed.

You may think you are done with the notes, but reviewing them helps you retain information. Right after lecture when the information is still fresh in your brain revise your notes, fixing incorrect phrases, filling in missing info. To further improve your chance of missing information collaborate with other students by sharing your notes to compare notes, and fill each other in.

For more information visit the Academic Support and Advising website or visit us in person in Michener Library L-149.