Note-taking

Notes are concentrated, personal records of spoken or written information. You will eventually develop your own style and pattern of note-taking. You will find that other people’s notes make little sense to you, so do not rely on a friend to go to the lecture and take notes for you.

In any lecture, try to strike a balance between making notes and listening carefully – try to understand the main points of the lecture and, at the same time, try to make sufficient notes to enable you to recall each of these points afterwards. Note-taking requires you to select the essential information and to organise it properly. Your notes will be the springboard for an essay or exam answer.

Good notes usually include headings and sub-headings, underlining or highlighting, and clear layout on the page. It is a good idea to leave a wide margin at one side, so that you can add extra points later – references, details from your reading, and notes from discussions.