Taking Notes While Reading
There are many options for marking text and taking notes while reading. Choices you make will depend on your background with a subject, your learning style, your purpose, and your time.
Mark Directly on the Text:
- Underline, circle, or highlight key words and phrases.
- Annotate margins with symbols, abbreviations, or summaries.
Use a Separate Document or Medium:
- Write or type important points or passages.
- Generate bulleted lists.
- Create structured outlines with numerals and letters. Summarize sections in your own words.
Cornell Style: Take notes on the right two-thirds of the page. List key words in the left column. Summarize the entire page in the space at the bottom.
Make Flashcards: Transfer information to index cards or electronic flashcards for easy drilling.
Create a Graphic Organizer:
- Organize information visually.
- Differentiate main ideas from support in an appropriate format: concept map, table, flow chart, hierarchy, timeline, or Venn diagram.
Dictate: Record important points or passages as audio files.
Generate Your Own Q&A: Formulate questions from headings and key words before you begin. Then seek answers as you read.
Here are few tips to follow:
- Preview the assignment before you begin.
- Finish reading each section or page before marking on it and taking notes.
- Include your own thoughts, opinions, and questions.
- Be selective. Don’t transcribe large sections of text. Use highlighters sparingly.
- Stop frequently. Use the ends of sections as cues to summarize.
- Seek connections. Look for contrast and overlap with other materials.
- Talkwith your professor about the role of the assignment.
Download PDF: Taking Notes While Reading
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