Master the art of note making
Good note making is more than just recording what you read, hear and see. It is about engaging with information in a way that generates a deeper understanding, allows you to make connections between things and enhances your thinking.
When you make notes, think about their purpose (e.g. store information so you can easily retrieve it, find patterns, understand a complex text) and choose a note making approach that suits your needs.
Rather than including every detail, learn to summarise and synthesise material in your own words, and draw connections between new and known information. Also think about how this information can be applied in your assessments and real-life situations. This way your notes become a learning tool you can use to continuously improve your understanding.
Seven tips for efficient note-making View
Focus on capturing the most important points rather than including every detail. When making notes from articles, remember to note their main aim, argument or contribution.
Summarise and describe information in your own words, rather than copying large amounts of words. When the original wording is important, use quotation marks in your notes to distinguish it from your own words.
Organise your notes visually, and create your own diagrams or illustrations to help you understand and recall material.
Don’t forget to record your own evaluation of the content as well as your questions and comments.
Draw connections between the content and what you have learned about the topic elsewhere.
Maintain academic integrity by recording the sources of information in your notes.
Review your notes and see how they help you apply knowledge in your studies and real-life situations. Continue to improve your note making strategies as you gain more understanding and your learning needs change.
The best strategies and styles of notes to use are the ones that work for you! Experiment with different strategies to see what you feel comfortable with and use it consistently. Pick an approach that you find helpful and easy enough to maintain throughout your studies.
There are a variety of styles and systems for making study notes. View the slides below to explore some of the options available.