Great note taking takes practice. You have to find a method that works for you, and that may change depending on the class that you’re taking (for example, a science class versus a humanities class). Here are 5 methods that are proven to be successful. Read over each one and decide if there’s one that might work for you.
These styles are described in the format you would use to take notes in class. You might find that a comfortable method is a combination of 2 or more of the ones listed here, and that’s fine. Figure out what works for you and stick with it!
Class Topic: How to Outline Notes
I. The first level is reserved for each new topic/idea and is very general.
II. You don’t have to use Roman Numerals, Letters, and Numbers – try only indents, dashes, and bullets!
III. Outlining requires listening and writing in points in an organizational pattern based on space indentation
ii. It may be more challenging in classes that aren’t structured or sequential in nature
1. Write everything from the lecture into a sentence, and make a new bullet/number for each sentence.
2. Advantages: the method is easy and most people use it at some point; it helps you record ALL the info; it does not require organization.
3. Disadvantages: it may be difficult to keep up with it in fast lectures; it does not lend itself to easy editing to add additional numbers, bullets, etc. You may need to organize it after class.
4. This method is helpful in lectures with lots of content where you need to take extensive notes.