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The Cornell Notetaking System Diagramed and Explained

---- 2 1/2 inches ----

Reduce ideas and facts to concise jottings and summaries as cues for Reciting, Reviewing, and Reflecting.


 ---- 6 1/2 inches ----

Record the lecture as fully and as meaningfully as possible.



  1. Record. In the Notetaking Column, record as many meaningful facts and ideas as you can. Use telegraphic sentences. but, make sure you will be able to gain full meaning later. Write legibly.
  2. Reduce. After class, summarize your notes by writing in single words and short phrases in the Cue Column. Summarizing clarifies meanings, reveals relationships, establishes continuity, and strengthens memory. Also, this thinking and writing of cues sets up a perfect stage for studying for exams later.
  3. Recite. Cover the Notetaking Column with a sheet of paper. Then, looking at the words and phrases in the Cue Column only, recite aloud and in your own words the full lecture.
  4. Reflect. Professor Hans Bethe, nuclear physicist and Nobel Prizewinner, said, "...creativity comes only through reflection." You reflect by asking yourself the following questions, for example. What's the significance of these facts? What principle are they based on? How can I apply them? How do they fit in with what I already know? What's beyond them?
  5. Review. Spend ten minutes every week reviewing your notes. If you do so, you'll retain a great deal for current use, as well as, for the exam, which comes later.

Summary. Leave space at the bottom of each sheet for a summary.

Using Words and Phrases in Cue Column Illustrated

  Biology 101 -- Prof. Fairbanks -- Sept 18th
Water affects weight A. Importance of water in controlling weight
  - helps metabolize fat   1. Water helps body metabolize stored fat.
    2. Studies show:
Increase water = decrease fat     a. Increase water intake = fat deposits decrease
Decrease water = increase fat     b. Decrease water intake = fat deposits increase
Kidney - liver relationship   3. Why? Kidneys can't function at capacity w/o enough water; so, some of the kidney's work is dumped on liver.
      a. Liver's job is to metabolize fat.
      b. If liver does kidney's work, too; can't complete its own work
      c. So, liver metabolizes less fat, thus more fat is stored.
Water affects hunger     d. If there's sufficient water; then liver & kidneys do their complete jobs. Furthermore, this leads to a natural loss of hunger, which means the intake of fewer calories.
Daily = 2 qts   4. How much water
      a. 2 qts every day = 8 large glasses (8 oz.)
Overweight = 1 extra glass per 25 lbs.     b. If overweight, one additional glass for every 25 lbs of excess weight.
Water keeps body's fluids in perfect balance. Water enables kidneys to function at maximum level; thus, freeing liver to metabolize (burn) stored fat. To achieve weight loss, drink 8 glasses (8 oz ones) of water. More if already overweight.


Textbook Study Skills

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