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Note Making Styles

Last updated date: 12th Apr 2024
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Free PDF of Note Making Styles

Taking down notes is an important activity for students. There are different reasons behind taking down notes in a classroom. However, the most common reason is recalling the information gathered and to prevent forgetting the important points. Note making styles are crucial, especially when students are getting ready for their exams. So, note-making helps them greatly with their exam preparation. 

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Taking down a note in the correct way is not as easy as it sounds. It is not that you simply jot down everything that you hear. Note writing format is all about summarizing the core concepts as precisely as possible in your own words. 

What are the Advantages of Note Making ?

At a glance, note making helps you in the following ways.

  • Understand what you are learning and clarify the thought process.

  • Stay active and get engaged with the lectures, revision, and reading.

  • Identify and select the key ideas.

  • Revise the study-materials before exams.

  • Organise the noted points, ideas, and make connections.

  • Plan and structure various assignments.

Therefore, understanding the note making format is pivotal for all as it helps us in many ways.

What is the Format of Note Making?

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The question here is how to implement note making. There is not one, but many formats available for note making. 

Outline: The outline method is one of the best and popular note making methods among college students. It helps in structuring the notes in the right way, and this further helps in saving significant time for editing and reviewing. When it comes to note making format, the outline method plays an important role, especially for the newbies. This method is the easiest and, thus, is preferred by many. You can also add bullet points to represent various topics and subtopics.

Split: Split is also a good method for note making. In this method, a blank page of your notebook is divided into a couple of columns (split). The first column consists of the standard notes, and the other follows the summary. This is one of the most common note making formats used during lectures.

Diagram: In the diagram method, notes are represented by various free-hand drawings based on the subject. The primary topic is connected to related ideas. This method is easy to understand because of visual communication.

Mindmap - A map usually works here to present the main points. Images and texts are parts of this Note writing format. Here the information is linked in a proper sequence. It is similar to a flowchart.

Prompt Format – Question and answer are usually highlighted here in this note writing format. The idea here is not to make the notes lengthy. This is an easy way for the revision of the notes.

How does Note Making Work? 

As you read through this section, you will get a clear idea of note making. 

The Generic Format of Note Making 

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This may not be a piece of useful advice for many, but writing down examples in the notes can also help a lot. If you do not know how to do note making or if you are looking for an easy note making format, make sure to include the examples in a couple of ways. Also, you should add-

  • Heading

  • Subheadings 

  • Points

  • Sub-sub headings

  • Keywords

What are the Procedures of Note Making? 

Maintaining a simple procedure for note making is important for the understanding of students. The procedures of note making include reading the passage carefully and underlining the sentences which you feel are important. This will help in making headings and subheadings. To get a fair idea, you can also make a rough note, initially. An important point to remember is, organizing the points logically and in a sequence. When re-writing the note in your own language or words, make sure that idea or message is not changed. This clarifies how to implement note making.

Important Points for Note Making 

  • Avoid writing long sentences, especially in headings and titles.

  • Never  away from the topic or the message.

  • You can ignore information which is not that important.

  • Be specific and clear.

  • Use appropriate indentation.

As a thumb rule, you do not have to think much when taking down notes. Just have a fair idea of the methods, so that note making becomes easier based on the situation and purpose.

Note making is a technique of  recording important points from a lecture, meeting or reading. There are three main note making styles: outlining, mind mapping and spider diagrams. Each has its own advantages, procedures and important points. Let's take a look at each style in more detail.

Outlining is the most popular note taking style. It involves breaking down information into headings and subheadings with key words and phrases. Advantages of outlining include that it is easy to follow, helps you focus on the topic and can be used for revision purposes. The procedure for outlining is as follows:

Mind mapping is  a useful tool to use when you have a lot of information to process. It involves drawing an image that contains the main topic in its centre and radiating out other images/ideas branching off from it. The advantages to mind mapping are that it is great for visual learners, helps you think more creatively, aids memory retention and can be used as revision notes or presentations.

spider diagrams  are similar to mind maps, but use lines instead of circles. They are good for visualising information and seeing relationships between ideas. Advantages of spider diagrams include that they are easy to create, can be adapted as you go along and help with problem solving.

Importance of Note Making

It is important to note take because it helps with memory retention. It also allows you to focus on the lecture, meeting or reading without getting distracted by your surroundings. Finally, it can be used as revision notes and help turn information into knowledge which will stay in your brain for longer and  improve your grades.

Here are Some Benefits of Note Making

  1. Note Making allows you to understand and retain information.

Note making is a skill that we all use in everyday life, whether it's from watching a movie or TV show, reading the newspaper or listening to someone speak at an event., you will become better equipped for future learning contexts where these skills are required of you. These include lectures at university/ college , meetings with colleagues and presentations . In addition, practice makes perfect - if you keep up with this task over time while regularly applying the same techniques each time (outline headings before going into detail; draw images instead of words), eventually it will be second nature.

  1. It helps you focus on the task at hand.

When we are taking notes, our minds are focused on what is being said in front of us and not wandering off. This is especially beneficial when attending long lectures where it's easy to get lost if you're not concentrating fully on the speaker. Furthermore, having concise and well-organised notes will help reduce any anxiety or stress that may come with preparing for an assessment.

  1. You can use them for revision.

The best way to learn and remember information is to revise it regularly. This involves reading over your notes, highlighting the key points and practising exam questions. Not only will this method help you get a better grade on exams but it'll also free up more time.

Best ways to Study Note Making:

There are a few things you can do in order to maximise your learning when it comes to taking notes.

  • Get into the habit of making notes on a daily basis, even if it's just for five minutes. This will help improve your skills and make the task less daunting when it comes to actual assessments.

  • Outline headings before going into detail; draw images instead of words. As mentioned earlier, this will help with memory retention and understanding/ recalling information at a later stage .

  • Try different note taking techniques (e.g mind mapping, spider diagrams) until you find one that works best for you. Everyone learns differently so what may work for someone else might not work as well for you . 

  • Take practice exams and revise your notes regularly. This will help embed the information in your mind and improve your grades on final assessments.

FAQs on Note Making Styles

1. How many words should my notes be?

Again, there is no right or wrong answer to this question as different people have different styles of note taking. However, it's generally recommended that you aim for around 300 words per lecture.

2. When should I take my notes ?

Ideally, you should start taking notes from the beginning of the lecture. However, if you're unable to do this then try and make up for it by writing more during the summary or main points section.

3. What should I write in my notes?

This question can be broken down into two parts: what to write and how to write it. As far as what to include, your main focus should be on key points, definitions, examples and any diagrams/ images that are related to the topic. As for how to write it, use concise sentences and avoid copying everything word-for-word.

4. What is the best note taking style for me? How do I take notes effectively?

There is no one 'best' note taking style, as everyone learns and absorbs information differently. However, outlining, mind mapping and spider diagrams are all popular styles that can be adapted to suit individual needs. The procedure for effective note taking is as follows: read through the material before attending the lecture/meeting; attend the lecture/meeting and take notes in a clear and concise manner; review your notes after the lecture/meeting has finished; use your notes as revision tools prior to exams.

5.  How do I revise my notes?

There are a number of revision techniques that can be used to aid memory retention, including highlighting key points and writing practice questions.

 6. What is Note Making?

Note Making is an important part of every student's life and how it is done impacts greatly the studying process and future results. If the notes are messy, reviewing them may become difficult. Also, finding specific information just before exams and tests can be problematic. This is the reason students should maintain an easier and simpler form of note making to make the learning process more effective. English writing skills are also necessary for note making.

This will help you get a deeper understanding of the information, improve the revision period, and speed up the overall process instantly. Maintaining an apt format for note making is an art of discipline. It helps to organise studies, and thereby, maximises the chances of achieving good marks. Note making must be done based on thinking, perception, and sometimes in an accurate way while sharing information. Taking down notes is not an act of complication; rather, it is smart thinking and expressing the same through words.

7. What should a Note Contain?

There are specific points that should be kept in mind while you make notes. Apart from the format and methods, a note must contain the following points to make it easier for revising or learning. These points are given below.

  • Source information.

  • Headings to identify the topics.

  • Key points, new ideas, names, examples.

  • Adding triggers to make the note memorable (like colours, highlights, and others).

  • Reading through the short-forms and notes so that it can be followed later.

Make sure to add a set of symbols and abbreviations to speed up, when you are taking down notes. A common example of short forms is "esp." especially. Abbreviations are helpful to quickly jot down the points discussed in a lecture or meeting. Poor note-making can sometimes cause unintentional plagiarism. To prevent this from happening, try making quotes, summaries, and phrases. This will make the note look different from others without compromising the comprehensible approach. Furthermore, short columns of notes make it easy for understanding, even if someone else is reading or learning based on the information gathered.

8. What is the difference between Note Making while Reading and in Lectures?

Even if you have a set of lecture slides in front, note making has special importance. The lecturer usually offers more information than what is provided in the slides. Collecting these, through note making, is not only smart but also helpful in the long run. You can also note down any personal query that you have in your mind. So, the difference is in control between note-making during lectures and reading. When reading, students usually have control over the process and speed. It is not the same in case of note-making during lectures.