Notemaking and Study Skills

Much of the "trick" to learning from class lectures and reading assignments is keeping your brain actively involved in what's going on.  Many students get quite good at making teacher eye contact and copying notes without ever really thinking much about the meaning or importance of the lesson content.  The Cornell notemaking technique helps to ensure that your brain stays actively involved during a lesson and then later gets a chance to ask questions, interpret facts, and make connections to background knowledge.  All of this will help you to both understand and retain the most important information in any class.  Making notes using this system may seem a little unnatural at first--and it definitely requires more mental energy than copying notes from the board--but once you have practiced it for a while, you will see the benefit in your improved test scores.

To get acquainted with the system, begin by watching this eight minute instructional video from Dartmouth University.  This Ivy League school recommends the Cornell system for its students, some of the best and brightest in the world:
To help get you started, I have provided you with some instructions, an example, and a template that you can print out and add to your notebook.  Later, you may simply want to use ruled notebook paper, drawing your own partitions as in the Dartmouth video example above.
Finally, here's a clever resource.  It's a Cornell Notes PDF Generator.  If you would like to have your own personalized Cornell Notes forms, click the link and enter the required information.  Once your form has been generated, you can save the PDF file to print more forms at any time:
Now that you are more familiar with a notemaking strategy that works, let's move on to techniques you can use to improve your reading skills as the relate to studying.
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Steven Heffner,
Jan 26, 2015, 7:18 AM
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Steven Heffner,
Oct 2, 2011, 5:39 AM
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Steven Heffner,
Oct 2, 2011, 5:39 AM
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