Why take notes?

Notes are important to help you find your focus and guide your reading after lectures.
They will also help you with your writingParaphrasing and summarising are the most successful ways to incorporate other people's ideas into your writing, and maintain Academic Integrity. Start by taking good notes from your readings. 

How do I take notes?

  • Head page with the topic, subject, lecturer, date and page numbers 
  • Leave lots of space so you can add information at a later stage 
  • Write key words in full the first time and then use abbreviations (remember to be consistent)
  • Write down phrases rather than whole sentences

What do I write down?

  • Search for structure in the lecture
  • Focus on outlines given at the start
  • Try to determine which material the lecturer emphasises by focusing on their:

Vocal cues
Verbal cues
Pauses or postural cues


Good notes are: 

  • Easily read, clear and easily understood (by you, even in three months time)
  • Brief 
  • Organised to suit the way you learn
  • Relevant to your needs.

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