Friday, July 31, 2015

More Note-Taking Principles

A new academic year begins soon. Jerz's Literacy Blog gives some good tips relevant (not just) for students. I especially like number 5: Review and edit your notes.

“Ideas won’t keep; something must be done about them.” – Alfred North Whitehead (1861 – 1947), English mathematician and philosopher

Academic skills centers and other authorities on effective study skills consider reviewing and editing class notes to be the most important part of notetaking and essential to increasing learning capacity.
  • It is extremely important to review your notes within 24 hours.
  • Edit for words and phrases that are illegible or don’t make sense. Write out abbreviated words that might be unclear later.
  • Edit with a different colored pen to distinguish between what you wrote in class and what you filled in later.
  • Fill in key words and questions in the left-hand column.
  • Note anything you don’t understand by underlining or highlighting to remind you to ask the instructor.
  • Compare your notes with the textbook reading and fill in important details in the blank spaces you left.
  • Consider rewriting or typing up your notes. (Ellis).[1]
By the way, if my previous post suggested to anyone that I have something against versioning, let me point out here that I am not opposed to it. I prefer applications that have this feature built in, like ConnectedText. Git and other systems are an option as well. But there needs to be a clear difference between different versions. Intermingling new and old versions or drafts is the problem, as far as I am concerned.


1. Some of these tips deal specifically with notes taken on paper, of course.

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