Taking Lively Notes
Is your lecture too dry for you to maintain your interest? If you are struggling to listen to your professor, try making your note-taking more of an exciting task for you. Here are a few tips to help you take lively notes in, or outside of, class.
Your life isn’t all black and white, so your notes shouldn’t be either. Add some color! When taking notes, have a variety of colored pens, pencils, or highlighters nearby. Then, designate a color to each aspect of your notes (pink for vocabulary words, purple for equations, etc…). The addition of colors will not only make note-taking more enjoyable, but it will also make the different aspects more pronounced when you are studying your notes.
Another tactic to use when note-taking is using indentations. For example, you could center the title of the chapter on the top line, on the next line position your important heading as far left-aligned as possible, and then indent your corresponding information. Doing so can help you distinguish the noteworthy headings in that chapter or lecture and the various information that explains them.
Even if drawing isn’t your forte, try to draw some visual aids in your notes. I’m not talking about drawing the Mona Lisa by any means, but sketch some graphs, charts, or shapes — which professors often give as examples. Like the cliche, “a picture’s worth a thousand words”, so are your sketches. These images can help you remember the information and think even more creatively about it.
When you hear something in the lecture that relates to a favorite movie, story, song, object, or anything else, write it down! Connecting new information with familiar topics will help you to better understand and remember the new material, especially when studying your notes and taking a test.
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