The Cornell note-taking system allows students to keep their notes organized, be able to summarize the main points in a section of reading, and allows students to quickly identify key words and key concepts for review. 
  1. These notes can easily be used as a study guide for exam preparation. 
  2. The arrangement of information is aesthetically pleasing and easy to scan, making it easy to locate particular pieces of information. 
Major goals for the Cornell Note-taking system are to assist students in taking comprehensive notes and to be engaged in this activity rather than merely copying down something they have seen. 
  1. Furthermore, this process assists students in discerning the most important information in lessons and reading. 
  2. Additionally, the organizational benefits are considerable when students use the system consistently. 
Visual Directions


Student Exemplars 



Active Reader Strategies 

Before Reading
    1. Focus on an essential question that the text helps answer 
    2. Preview the text to determine the topic and the text’s structure and purpose (e.g., argument, narrative, explanation) 
    3. Use the title and preview of the text to activate prior knowledge 
    4. Develop questions about the text and/or its topic that might be answered when reading 
During Reading
    1. Monitor reading to ensure comprehension 
    2. Answer questions developed before reading 
    3. Annotate the text with Post-it Notes for main ideas, answers to questions, interesting or surprising aspects of the text, and parts of it that are difficult to understand 
    4. Periodically stop and reflect on what’s being read and how it fits with prior knowledge and the other parts of the text 
After Reading
    1. Respond to questions developed before and during reading 
    2. Reflect on the text, what it means, and whether it supports or refutes prior ideas and understandings 
    3. Draw conclusions and devise generalizations 
    4. Make connections to other texts, key concepts, and overarching ideas 
    5. Discuss the text with peers to ensure understanding and have remaining questions answered