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What is the Cornell Method of note taking?
- A method of recording, organizing and using the notes you take in in class or from your textbook or readings
- A time-tested method with a great record of success, developed at Cornell University.
What would I use the Cornell Method for?
- Recording information from lectures or texts
- Recording comments, questions, or thoughts about this information
- Summarizing the main ideas in your notes
- Integrating notes from lectures and textbooks or readings
- Studying your notes for tests and exams and testing your understanding.
How does the Cornell Method work?
- Divide the page into three sections:
- a large column on the right side of the page
- a smaller column on the left side of the page
- a short row at the bottom of the page
- The column on the right is used for lecture or text notes
- Record your notes during the lecture as you normally would, and review after the class to add in any missed information
- The column on the left is the “cue” column
- Record questions here based on the main ideas in the lecture notes
- Test your understanding by covering the lecture notes and answering the questions in the cue column
- The bottom section is used for a summary of the notes on that page
How can I adapt the Cornell Method?
- Skip the cue column, but summarize the main idea of each lecture
- Skip the summary, but use the cue column to pose questions related to ideas in the lecture
- Instead of putting questions in the cue column, record main ideas
- Use the cue column or summary section to record your thoughts about the material
- Use the cue column to take brief notes from the textbook or record important related page numbers in the textbook
Example of the Cornell Method of note taking