- What does taking notes mean?
- Benefits of taking notes
- How to take notes effectively?
With the advancement in technology, and most of the reminders set in your handy mobile phone, taking notes may seem to be an outdated process.
However, all is not lost when it comes to taking notes. It is still as important as it was a few decades ago, especially for students.
Many still ask the question- is taking notes effective? The answer is yes.
Taking notes is very important because, among several benefits discussed below, it is also a record of information that can be used at any later stage for reference.
Taking notes not only benefits students but also professionals alike. Enumerated below are the benefits of taking notes. Whether it is for a student or a professional, taking notes is important.
Here Are Some of The Reasons Why Notes Are Important
1. You Never Miss a Point
Many times, the brain may forget a small minute detail, but a written piece of paper has all those minute details. One of the benefits of taking notes is that you never miss any detail.
To bring a little humuor, have you ever watched the movie memento released in the year 2000?
Its popular Bollywood version, Ghajini released in 2008 is also based on the same lines. The movies base themselves on the concept that the mind may forget, but written notes will always jog your memory.
2. Increases Attention of A Student
Taking notes while the lecture is going on, requires the student to be attentive as well as sharp and quick. Here it is beneficial for students to take notes in shorthand writing or points.
Shorthand writing is a symbolic method of writing that is meant for speed writing. It is a quick and fast method of writing and is usually used while writing down something which is being dictated at speed.
3. Improves Organisation Skills
One of the reasons why notes are important is that it improves organisational skills for students. When you take notes you are prioritising content.
You write notes according to their importance. This will automatically develop your organisational skills.
4. Creativity at Its Best
When you ask what is the importance of taking notes? The answer would be that you become a more creative person.
Usually, when you take notes while the lecture is going on, it has to be quick otherwise you may not be able to keep up with the speed of the lecture.
In such cases, students take notes in a style which only they can understand. Students may use different symbols to depict a long word.
These symbols might be the student’s creations. Notice how taking notes can improve your creativity.
5. Encourages Active Learning
There are two types of learners in a classroom – An active learner and a passive learner.
An active learner is always alert in the class whereas a passive learner may not directly pay attention to the lecture but may absorb the concept of the material taught remotely.
One of the benefits of taking notes is that it encourages reactive learning amongst students. Students pay attention in class while taking down notes. Active learning keeps the mind alert at all times.
6. Lessons Beyond the Classroom
Another reason why taking notes is beneficial to a student is because the notes you take back in class are brought back to the home and referred to again.
This takes the classroom teaching beyond the premises of the school or college.
7. Condensed Information
The importance of writing notes when studying is that you condense the material into shorter points making it easier and quicker to study at a later date in time.
These notes allow you to browse through the entire lesson with just a reference to a few words in hand.
8. Improves Learning Capacity
While taking notes, you are also absorbing what you write. You are not writing mechanically, but you are understanding while you write.
This means that you indirectly study the concept while taking down notes. It becomes easier for students during their study time.
9. Improves Listening Skills
When you take notes during a lecture, it is evident that you are closely paying attention to what the teacher is saying. This means that you are attentive. Taking notes improves the listening skills of students.
10. Helps to Overcome Distractions
Often in a class, while the lecture is going on, you may be distracted by several things. It could be the sound of a car passing by, your classmate dropping a pencil, or a cough in the class. Any of these events could cause a slight distraction to your attention in a class.
However, when you take notes you tend to be less distracted because your focus is on listening to the lecture while trying to simultaneously jot down the points. This is why taking notes is beneficial to students.
11. Helps to Continue the Writing Process
When you jot down short notes or points in a class, it becomes easy for you to refer to these notes and extend your writing into larger paragraphs and answers. The notes help to jog your memory.
Now that we have seen the numerous benefits of taking notes and we have answered the question – Is taking notes effective? We should now dwell upon the question- How to take notes effectively while reading and during the class.
How to Take Notes Effectively While Reading?
While reading or studying, it is advisable to jot down the points in the paragraph that can give you a clue about the whole paragraph.
For example, while talking about the cellular structure of an organism. The whole paragraph may contain details of the types of cells, the structure of the cells, characteristics of the cells.
While taking notes, you will jot down quick points that will remind you about the content of the lesson. Based on the same example, your notes will probably look like
- Cell-smallest unit
- Discovery- Robert Hooke; Anton Van Leeuwenhoek
- Types- Prokaryotes, Eukaryotes
- Cell structure- membrane, wall, cytoplasm, nucleus
The entire lesson on cells you were able to condense into a few points that can remind you of the details in the lesson.
1. Use Your Language
As mentioned above, taking notes develops creativity amongst students. One of the best ways of how to take notes effectively is by using your symbols, language and words. This way it will be easier for you to understand your creativity.
Again, if you want to use a tried and tested method of taking down notes, you can adopt the Cornell method of taking notes
This is a note-taking system developed by Walter Pauk in 1950. This note-taking system is envisages a systematic method of condensing and organising notes
In this method, the note page is divided into two columns. One column for notes is large and usually on the right side of the page. The other column on the left is narrower and meant for keywords.
Accordingly, students take notes in shorthand format on the notes-taking column. These notes can be in the form of symbols, small sentences or abbreviations.
Long sentences must be avoided while taking down notes in a classroom. The corresponding keywords about the notes are written in the smaller column on the left.
2. Be Neat. Not Haphazard
To take notes effectively it is advisable to keep a separate book for notes for each subject. This way, your notes don’t get mixed up.
And you can refer to notes in a more organised manner. Also, even though notes may have to be written quickly, you must write it neatly and in proper order so that it makes for easy reference while you study later.
For notes to be effective, it has to be written neatly and in a manner that you can understand later.
We can conclude that taking notes is an effective method of improving the academic quality of a student. Not only does it benefit students but also professionals.
Especially in meetings or discussions, professionals can take down notes for effective reference later.