» Note Taking Styles

Toggle Section

Outline Style

Outlines work particularly well when the material being presented is well organized and when the information moves from main ideas to support detail.  In an outline style of note taking, each point being recorded is separately numbered or lettered.

Phrase Style

When the manner in which the lecture is presented approaches a situation much like storytelling, jotting down phrases may be the best technique for note taking.

Vocabulary Style

Many courses (particularly at the introductory level) deal exclusively with the development of new vocabulary.  As you take notes, one of your main objectives is to list the new vocabulary items and to spell them correctly.  Although you may just list the words and definitions in your notes, these terms will have to be integrated with textbook notes and other materials.  You need to have these definitions handy so you can formulate questions about concepts involving these words.

Drawing/Graph Style

In many of your classes, your notes will be essentially non-verbal.  Some obvious examples include diagrams, mathematical formulas/problems, drawings, and all sorts of charts and graphs.  These pictorial representations are most important because they condense and summarize information that is difficult to write out.