Mechanics of Linear Note Making

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Students and professionals need to take notes during a lecture or a seminar. Taking down notes is essential to their learning process, and one may use either Linear or non-linear notes whichever feels appropriate for the occasion. Notes are short written facts that help in remembering things. Notes are usually written to record either a speech or a dictation while one is listening to it. They are helpful when you need to refer back and rephrase them as desired.


The Necessity for Note-Making

Since knowledge is vast, but our memory is limited, we can't remember all the information that we gather. By making notes, we can recall information even after months. Note making and summary are very useful for students to prepare for their exams in many subjects. Rather than going through voluminous books, students can refer to their notes to quickly revise the main points of a chapter or book. Note making has mainly 3 useful functions and they are as follows.

  • By Note-making and summary writing in English, we can have a lot of information at our disposal.

  • We can reconstruct what was said or written by referring to the material we create with our note making or a summary.

  • Our Note-making and summarizing process comes handy in many ways like taking part in a debate, delivering a speech, writing an essay, and revising lessons before an exam.


Difference Between Note-Making and Note-Taking

Note-taking and Note-making are two different processes used for study purposes. 

  • Note-taking refers to jotting down notes while hearing some speech (lectures, audio, videos, tapes, dictation, etc.); You write them down as the speaker speaks and the note-taker does not have much control in this process. This is because your note-taking is dependent on your ability to decipher, interpret, and write down what is being spoken. This process is done at the speaker’s pace and not that of the note-takers’.

  • Note-making is the process of reorganizing your thoughts and ideas and putting them in words. It usually refers to making notes from another source like a textbook or a website. This process allows more control to the note-maker as it can be done at their own pace.


What is Linear Note Making

Linear note making is the simplest and the most common form of note-making. The notes appear in a structured manner, one line after another. Notes are written as heading, subheading, and various points. The other parts of a linear note-making are abbreviations, notations, indentations, and keywords.


The Parts of Linear Note-Making

  • Heading - Read the passage carefully to get a bird’s eye view of it and provide a heading.

  • Subheading - Provide the important points of the passage as different subheadings. Subheadings reflect how the text is developed.

  • Abbreviations - We use abbreviations for using fewer words and maintaining precision. It is mandatory to use at least 4 easily recognizable abbreviations. Abbreviations can be acronyms (capital initial letters), contractions (the first few letters of the word), or short forms (the first and last few letters of a word). For example, PM for the Prime Minister, GPO for the general post office, Capt. for a captain, Dr for the doctor,  etc.

  • Numbers and Indentation - Indentation is the space that one leaves at the beginning of a line. The format must have an indentation. From heading to subheading to the points, the numbering should be spaced to the right. You can see how it looks in the below image. 

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  • Symbols - Symbols could also be part of your note-making and summary. Symbols save a lot of time and are easy to understand. Some of the common symbols are:

  • ‘>’  for greater than

  • ‘<’  for less than

  • ‘&’  for and

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1 - Describe the process of Linear Note-Making.

Ans 1 - To make linear notes, follow the process outlined below.

  • Read the passage carefully and understand the main idea along with supporting points. Ask yourself “what is the text about?” to get the gist of the article.

  • Create your heading with the main idea of the passage.

  • Create your subheading with supporting ideas and sub-points.

  • Use the proper layout format. 

Shown below is the note making format example.

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  • Use recognizable abbreviations and symbols wherever possible.

Q2 - Give one Note Making and summary writing example.

Ans 2 - Let us consider the passage given below.

“Conversation is surely the most easily teachable/taught art of all. To become a good conversationalist, all you need to do is to find any subject that interests you and also your audience. For example, one can talk about several hobbies that exist in the world but the important point to be considered here is that you must talk about the hobby which interests your listeners and not yourself. Your secret to popularity lies there. Talk to your family or friends about all the things that capture their interest and earn a reputation of good fellowship, brilliant mind, charming wit, and the list is endless. There is no other thing that makes people happier than you showing interest in their hobbies and areas of interest.”

Its linear note would look like:

Title - The art of conversation

  1. Conv’n—most easily tch’ble art

  2. Read. interest’g subject – hobbies

  3. Talk about other ppl’s int./hobbies

  4. Win’g reptn. as good conversationalist

  5. good f’ship

  6. charm’g wit

  7. brl. mind

Its summary could be:

‘Conversation’ is the most effortless art. To have such an attractive quality, you should pick a subject that interests your audience more than yourself. Choose a topic that can indulge your friends for a long time. To be a good conversationalist, you have to be quick and witty.

Q3 - What are the main features of a summary in Note-making?

Ans 3 - When you write the summary of your notes, follow the points given below.

  • A summary is made out of notes and not the main passage.

  • Follow the order of the notes while writing a summary.

  • Stick to the word limit given.

  • A summary should not have different paragraphs.

  • The summary should be written just after the note is made.

  • A summary should not have any abbreviations.

  • The summary must be grammatically correct with complete sentences.

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