Cornell Notes: The Best Note Taking Method5 minutes read

How’d you like to learn how to double if not triple your note-taking efficiency?

Note taking is an effective skill both inside and outside your classroom. At your workplace, or at a seminar, efficient note taking enables you to document and absorb tons of information.

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Dr. Walter Paul of the Cornell University came up with the idea of the Cornell Notes method. Using the Cornell notes taking strategy, you can organize and understand your notes better than ever before. As a result, you can get better grades with ease.

If you’re like me and find it extremely difficult to get yourself out of your warm, cozy bed in the mornings, here are four simple habits that help you rock your mornings.

 

Note-taking

Here’s How You Can Cornell Your Way to The Top:

Phase 1: Do your Homework

By homework I mean, getting your notes ready. The Cornell note taking method requires you to draw kind of an off-center I, (the alphabet). Leave around 25% of the page’s space to the left of the I.

Cornell notes structure
This is how Cornell notes look like.

Make sure you have all the stationery you need to take notes. You don’t want to look around for a pencil at the cost of losing out on the valuable stuff your professor says.

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Phase 2: Get Down to Business

Get the best seat in the house! Sit in front of the class. It doesn’t matter what they think of you. You want to get better grades, so you must pay the price. Consequently, you will be able to see the board better and hear your teacher clearer, which aids in your note-taking.

Write the date and the name of the chapter or subunit at the top of the page. Therefore, retrieving lost portions becomes easier.

As the class commences, start noting down on the right-hand side of your page. Look to capture ideas, not stories. Condense your points as much as possible. Use abbreviations whenever possible. Use arrows, zigzag lines or anything to help you get a gist of the concept. If a particular figure or an equation is found elsewhere (on a textbook or YouTube) give yourself hints such as, “The Bernoulli Formula: look it up. etc.”

Learn to paraphrase. You don’t have to write down exactly what the professor says. As long as you get the core notion, you’re doing well.

Your objective is to connect ideas, not paint a rosy picture of the lecturer’s words.

When you can’t stay apace with your teacher, leave a few lines. Try to focus on the concept on hand. As a result, you can maximise what you learn from the class. You can copy from someone else’s notes later.

Skip lines when you begin to jot down a new idea. This will help you make better sense of your notes in the future.

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Phase 3: Consolidate

Get to work ASAP. Consolidate on your notes when the portions are still fresh in your head. Hence, this process becomes less painful.

Work on your rough ideas. Build on your leads. Look up other resources if you have to. Upon doing that, the right-hand side of your page will have all the information you acquired.

Now on the left-hand side, write down questions relevant to what you learned. When you try to frame a question from the text you just wrote about, you understand it better. You can figure out various ways the same content could appear on your test. Most importantly, your revision becomes more efficient.

Now at the bottom, summarize the page. Ask yourself, “If I were to teach my friend this idea or set of ideas in a sentence or two, how would I do it.” Flex your writing muscles and come up with the most concise version of what you have written. Therefore, your summary must deliver all of the core ideas while remaining impressively short.

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Phase 4: Revision

Revision helps you with retention. Revision also takes the stress off of you before your tests. You can remember better and comprehend more too. As a result, your learning becomes both fun and beneficial.

Read through your notes, and this time try to answer the questions without glancing at the right half of your page. Read through the summaries and understand how your ideas are connected.

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To Cornell or Not to Cornell

The Cornell notes taking strategy places emphasis on understanding rather than rote learning. As a result, you ask yourself how or why something happens. This helps you gain real knowledge that you can apply in practical applications.

Revision becomes a mere flicking through pages thanks to the Cornell method. Your summaries help you understand stuff super-fast.

Make Cornell note taking a habit, and you will reap the rewards in no time.

Here’s a super easy way to form long-lasting habits with ease.

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