Learning Resource System

Reading and Note-taking

Reading the textbook is helpful in learning the lessons.  There are reasons as to why you are told to study the lesson because it will help you pass the class in your current term, the next term, and even become more proficient in your field.

Being prepared for class means reading all of the material available to you beforehand.  The textbook should be your primary source, but the PowerPoints that the instructors provide will give you further insight into how to read the book and what key ideas you should focus on while reading. 

For a closer look, see the Note Taking Prezi.

Everyone has a variety of ways to utilize study tools in order to prepare for an exam.  Be sure that you can find an effective way to generate study aids to enhance your studying experience.

Read the following and look at the demonstrations: “Review Tools for Tests” http://www.studygs.net/tstprp5.htm.

There are common problems that students have when taking notes.  We will go over these problems in order to view the remedies that people have taken.  You may find that one of these obstacles about note taking fits you.

Common Note-Taking Problems

(Adapted from McWhorter, College Reading & Study Skills)

Problem Solution
“My mind wanders and I get bored.” Sit in front of the room.  Be certain to preview assignments.  Think about questions you expect to be answered in the lecture.
“The instructor talks too fast.” Develop a shorthand system; use abbreviations.  Leave blanks and fill them in later.
“Some ideas don’t seem to fit anywhere.” Record them in the margin or in parenthesis within your notes, and think about them later during editing.
“The lecturer rambles.” Preview correlating text assignments to determine organizing principles.  Reorganizing your notes after the lecture.

“Everything seems important.”

“Nothing seems important.”

You have not identified key concepts and may lack necessary background knowledge – you do not understand the topic.  Preview related text assignments.
“I can’t spell all the new technical terms.” Write them phonetically, the way they sound.  Fill in correct spellings during editing.
“The instructor uses terms without defining them.” Write the terms as they are used; leave space to record definitions later, when you can consult the text glossary or dictionary.
“The instructor reads directly from text.” Mark passages in the text; write the instructor’s comments in the margin.  Record page references in your notes.

Now that we have rid ourselves of the negative ideas we have about note-taking, we can move forward with developing a note-taking system.  You may try taking notes directly on the course Power Points.  However, you may not have room to write everything, and it may not be an effective way to record your ideas.

Review: “The Cornell Note-Taking System”


And make sure you're taking care of yourself! See the Stress Management Prezi.

There are many concepts and vocabulary that you will be required to know. Even though your study sessions should be in a place that is quiet and conducive for you to learn the material, you may also find it useful to always have your class material in your back pocket (in your phone or other electronic devices that allows you to download an application).

Go to www.studyblue.com and create an account.  You can organize it by the course you are taking, so it can be a quick reference for yourself.  Begin by putting your vocabulary into the system.  You can always go back and quiz yourself through various modes: multiple choice, true/false, and fill-in-the-blank.