By: Julia H.

When you think of note taking, what of you think of? Do you think of endless pages of boring, pencil-colored notes? Do you think of 1 piece of slightly crumbled paper, torn out of your binder, written in size 32 font?  None of those are easy, fun, or organized ways to take notes. Note taking is a crucial skill that you should learn in middle and high school and take with you to college and the rest of your life.  But how will note taking actually help you?  Note taking will help you so that you can study for tests and review information that you learned each day.  However, note taking is not simply writing sloppy words on a random sheet of paper torn out of your binder.  While note taking is spontaneous and quick, it also requires a lot of organization and technique.

The three main techniques that I am going to write about are color-coding, double-spacing, and writing the title and date.  All of these are important in their own way, but to have the best results possible, you should use all three techniques.

To start off, color-coding is a really easy way to be extremely organized. Just choose 3-6 colors of pens and/or highlighters and use those to write your notes.  This helps you be organized and when you are reviewing your notes, you can easily tell which subject is which. For example; if you were in social studies, you could use red for vocabulary, orange for important people, green for important dates, and black for the less important notes. The next tip is double-spacing.  This will help you stay organized because you will be able to easily read your notes. When you go over notes so that you can study for a quiz or test, you want to be able to easily read your main topic, vocabulary words, and details – easily. The final tactic is putting a title and date on your notes.  This will help you remember when you took the notes and what they are about.  If your teacher asks you to look back to the notes you took on “September 8th” or “about the Earth’s crust,” you will be ale to flip right to the notes.

There are also three other tips that will help support your note taking. The first “mini-tip” is to jot down quick notes about the topic, and then ask your teacher if you have any questions about the main idea. Another mini-tip is to not be afraid to rewrite your notes after class, or when you get home. This is helpful so that you can write your notes quickly and be able to take as many notes as possible without worrying about how neat your page is. It will also help you study that subject when you are rewriting it. The final tip is – to just listen. While note taking is extremely helpful, sometimes it pays off to just sit back, ignore distractions, and listen to your teacher.

Overall, note taking is easy and it is a fun and simple way to get better grades! Taking notes should not be stressful and should be an easy way to be more successful in school and in life.

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