Regardless of what classes you take, eventually there will be a need for you to take notes. And note-taking will be in many forms, each with its own special rules. If you’re like me, you hate taking notes more than almost anything else. But I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes, they really are needed.
First, evaluate the class you’re in. Are there quizes AND tests? If so, can you use notes on either? If so, no matter how easy a class seems, TAKE NOTES. You NEVER KNOW what teachers will throw on there.
Taking notes from a textbook
1. Textbooks suck. They’re no fun and they’re dry and they’re boring. But we’re gonna have to suck it up. First thing you have to do is make sure you’re in a place with few to none distractions. Because let’s be honest; even the laundry looks like fun when you’re reading a textbook.
2. Always write down the bolded or italicized words. These get a special text effect because they’re IMPORTANT!
3. Write down the main idea from each section. This can usually be found in the introduction or conclusion of the different sections. Writing down section tag-lines also might help.
4. Make associations. I learned this from taking an ungodly amount of Psychology notes this year. When you write down little notes to yourself about what something reminds you of, it helps you remember. Sarcasm always helps me. Examples: “The Office did kind of the dog salivation experiment… Jim reset his computer and then gave Dwight a mint a bunch of times, so that whenever Jim reset his computer Dwight would automatically hold out his hand for a mint.” ALSO ““Hell is others”- Sartre. Hee. I need to start journalling again.” ONE MORE “When I was in kindergarten, I used to pretend to yawn just to get other people to do it. Power hungry? I think so. Also… DO YOU KNOW WHAT A CHAMELEON CIRCUIT IS??”
My teacher liked grading my notes. WHO WOULDN’T??
Taking notes from a movie
1. This is probably the hardest time to take notes. Movies don’t pause for questions or notice that your eyes are galzed over. I apologize.
2. Write down things you find interesting. Maybe they aren’t particularly important all the time, but this at least keeps you involved in the movie. When you find at least a couple things interesting, you’re more likely to pay attention.
3. Write down things that sound familiar. More than likely, they’re being repeated because they’re important.
4. The longer the movie spends on a topic, the higher the likelihood that it is important. Write that stuff down.
5. Don’t get bogged down by specifics. Unless it’s a specific fact that is repeated a lot, writing down the main ideas of the discussions will be fine.
Taking notes during lectures
1. I hate lectures. (What don’t you hate, Bri? Answer: very little)
2. Basically, taking notes during lectures is the same as taking notes during movies. Only difference is that you can ask questions and your teacher will more than likely tell you what’s important or what’s gonna be on the test.
This is something I learned during freshman biology. A lot of times, especially in lower-level science classes, a teacher will give you a worksheet as busy work so that they can check their email or whatever. And most likely, it will be a completion grade. Here’s the best part: They don’t check all the answers to see if you actually did them. Of course, you should try and fill out a lot of it, because repetition is great for learning (albeit boring), but if you really don’t know something and you’re on page 2 of 14, don’t worry. Just write key words in slightly bigger handwriting and fill in the rest of the short answer space with nonsense words.*
Fun fact: I once used a swear word because I was feeling rebellious and risky. I got full marks. Boo-ya.
*Make sure you check that they don’t pay attention first. Don’t just immediately start writing nonsense, because you might just get a better biology teacher than I had.