Taking Notes

  • Reviewing your notes right after the lecture so you can fill in examples and facts that you did not have time to write down.
  • Keep a separate “Questions” page or section with a running list of questions to be answered. As they get answered, cross them off lightly so you can still see the original questions.
  • Annotate your notes!
    • Underline key terms, statements or important concepts.
    • Use margins for references to websites, page numbers or lecture notes.
    • Keep a key (or index cards) of important names, formulas, dates, concepts, etc.
    • Use asterisks, !#†or other symbols to indicate importance.


Cornell Note-Taking System featuring a heading of topic or lesson name, date with a left column reading: cue, column, main, ideas, points, questions with a wide right column with an area to outline details


Cornell Note-Taking System example featuring: a heading of Battle of Iwo Jima. U.S. History December 4, 2019. Left column:  Combatants, goal, landing, defences, Mr. Suribachi, flag raising, summary. Wide right column: US Marine Corps vs. Imperial Japanese Army. Operation Detachment. Obtain control of 3 airfields      Strategically located on flight route to Japan for bombing runs. Pre-landing bombardment, amphibious landing, High slopes, Navajo code talkers. Network of bunkers and pillboxes.  Banzai charges, flamethrowers. 2nd raising -Joe Rosenthal photograph  six Marines from E Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Marines, image used for propaganda. Major five-week battle, helped solidify view that Japanese homeland invasion would be deadly due to Japanese refusal to surrender (sets up argument for atomic bomb).