Study Strategies Essay

1198 words - 5 pages



Learning Strategies: Note-taking and Other Ways to Learn
Learning Strategies: Note-taking and Other Ways to Learn
During the course of a college education, students are inundated with an enormous amount of information. Finding a way to wade through all that information and figure out what is important and what is insignificant is essential to being successful in college. One of the ways that students can achieve this goal is through efficient note-taking. Taking notes helps to gain a better understanding of the concepts being discussed and helps retain the information being presented (O’Hara, 2005, p. 64). There are several strategies that when employed will greatly ...view middle of the document...

66). Jotting down questions and ideas will help to think critically about the assigned reading. Look for connections that can be made from the reading assignment to content from another class or from content that was discussed earlier in the current class (O’Hara, 2005, p. 66). Pay attention to the headings and subheadings of each of the sections in the chapter. After reading a section, write a summary of the main ideas (“Reading texts”, 2011). Summarizing the sections of the assigned reading strengthens understanding of the topics being covered.
It is important that notes not be just a copy of the reading materials or lesson notes. There are no connections made or critical thinking occurring when words are copied verbatim from a book or lesson notes. Writing a summary of the ideas presented instead of copying notes verbatim leads to a deeper understanding of the main ideas of a topic. How are effective notes written? There are several methods that can be used to take effective notes.
One way to take notes is by outlining. Outlining is a method that was taught to most students as the primary way of taking notes (“Directing your thinking series”, 2011). This method involves labeling the main idea on the left-hand side of the page with a roman numeral then adding any supporting details underneath it. Indent the supporting details under the main idea, and label them with a letter. If there are details that add support for the supporting details, indent them underneath the supporting details, and label them with a number. This method makes it extremely easy to see the main ideas immediately, and all the supporting details are simply found neatly under the main headings.
Another note-taking method is mind mapping. In mind mapping, a visual representation of the main ideas of a topic is created. Mind mapping is a note-taking strategy that is effective for visual learners (Jackson, 2011, p. 60). For each chapter, write the main idea in the center of the page and add supporting ideas around the main idea, connecting the supporting ideas to the main idea with a line. Add any more ideas and thoughts as support for the supporting ideas, connecting them to the supporting ideas with a line. A complete picture of the topic being discussed is achieved by continuing to connect supporting ideas to the main idea.
Another note-taking strategy is the Cornell method. This method helps organize notes and highlights keywords and idea. Using the Cornell method requires a little bit of...

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