Note taking is an important study skill which, unfortunately, is not taught in most of the academic institutions. Taking down notes not only helps to organize the instructions or information given in the classroom, but also makes it easy to study and remember useful points during exam preparation.
Effective note taking is not only just a mechanism of storing and retrieving information without much brainstorming, but is also a learning process that help students develop a better understanding of what is taught in the class. There are several standard formats for taking down notes,but this article will discuss the format and usefulness of one of the most popular ways of note taking ‘the outline method’.
As shown in the illustration, this form of note taking makes it easy for the students to focus on the important details of a topic and also enables them to structure their college assignments in a more efficient way. However, there are few things which should be taken into account in order to write notes effectively. First and foremost, it is necessary to start noting the main points as soon as you start listening to a lecture or reading a book so that you don’t miss out on any vital information.
Secondly, you should watch out for any info, fact or quote taken directly from any source and put it in quotation marks (in case of a quote) or include title of the source or page number of the book. This way you can easily track down the source of the info later when you are writing your essay or term paper.
Using the Outline note taking method in the classroom has a specific purpose. There is an ocean of information flowing out of class you just don’t have enough time to write every single detail down. If you did, how would you retrieve it from mountains of notebooks and scraps of paper? It makes so much more sense to simply jot down the lecturer’s ideas in a logical set of headings. That will allow you to concentrate on what they are saying.
The Outline note taking technique is also the best way to summarize a chapter in a textbook so you get to see the bigger picture, and comprehend the overall message.