8 Tips for Taking Notes from Your ReadingHeading off to college is kind of like leveling up in a video game. In high school, the tests and courses were smaller bosses that you could take down with low-level equipment. This is a whole new adventure, my dude. One of the tools you have at your disposal is your notes. Maybe in high school you were pretty good at taking notes, and now you just need to upgrade them a little bit. Never fear! Your guide to taking awesome, effective notes is finally here.
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How (and Why) I Take Notes on Books That I Read
Note taking while reading is a skill. Some people come about it naturally, but most have to be taught how to take really great notes. Whether you are already in school or you are returning to school for the first time in awhile, knowing how to take good notes while reading is absolutely key to your success. Studies have shown that taking notes improves both your comprehension and retention of information aka: how much you remember and how much you understand. By writing down what you are learning, you internalize more and can better recall facts and details. The type of notes you take depends upon the setting.
And taking notes while reading can supercharge all of these things if you do it right. So we never really learn a system for taking notes that we can use as adults. The first step to taking notes is to figure out why you are taking notes. Learning something new as an adult is a function of consuming information what you read and how you read , the information you retain, and your ability to put what you learned into practice recognize patterns. For this, I use a simple three-step note-taking process that scales up to books a year. Like almost everything in life, there is no magical answer that fits everyone.
In many high school and college classes, instructors assign reading material that may be extensive and challenging. You might need help reading a work of fiction for your literature class, or a non-fictional biography for your history course.
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Graduate study entails a great deal of reading. This is true across all disciplines. How do you remember what you've read?
Notes extend your memories. Notes you keep, therefore, act to expand your memory. Notes enhance your focus. Even better, notes can facilitate deeper processing of the material, which has been shown to improve memory than when you pay attention only to the superficial details. Taking notes while listening is generally easier because, while listening, your hands and eyes are free to jot down notes. On the other hand, switching away to take notes while reading inevitably interrupts the reading flow.