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The Cornell Method of Note Taking

Having a method for taking effective notes is essential to each student's success in college.  During most classes new information is introduced, much of which is not available in the text for the class.  Writing this information down in a well organized Tutorial Note Takingmanner not only assures that you can refer to it in the future, but the act of taking notes assists with recall of the information.  The Cornell note taking method is a strategy that many students find helpful.  The method, also called the split page, or 1/3 - 2/3 method is outlined here.

  • Take a piece of regular, lined notebook paper.  Draw a vertical line about 1/3 of the way from the left margin.
  • Think of the right hand column, as "the instructor's section".  This is where you would take note during class, writing in outline, abbreviated form the information given during class.
  • Think of the left hand column, as "your section".  This is where you would make notes to yourself about the information the instructor presented.  Usually this is done after class.  It might contain a 1 or 2 word summary of the right hand column, or a reminder, something to emphasize the information.  You could also use this to write your own "quiz" question.
  • To review your notes, cover either column and try to recall the information.  You can write out your answers, repeat them out loud, or mentally.
  • A sample is given below:
3" (Left --"Your Section")

5" (Right --"Instructor's Section")

Put main ideas in this column

Take notes on what is said during class here.

Put supporting ideas - explanation, details, definitions, examples - here

Use abbrev., symbols as shorthand

Use lots of space --> easier studying Avoid outlining here and complete sentences - take too much time.

Good for test-taking

Becomes an instant review/study sheet (fold on 2" line and recall supporting ideas from main ideas)

Easy to forecast test questions by looking at main ideas.

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