Taking Lecture Notes: The Cornell Method
|---- 2 1/2 inches ----
ideas to concise jottings and summaries as cues for reciting
| ---- 6 1/2 inches ----
Record the lecture as fully and as meaningfully as possible.
||This sheet demonstrates the Cornell method of taking classroom
notes. It is recommended by experts from the Learning Center at Cornell
|Line drawn down paper
||You should draw a line down your note page about 2 1/2
inches from the left side. On the right side of the line simply record your
classroom notes as you usually do. Record on one side of page only and write
|After the lecture
||After the lecture you should read the notes, use your textbook
to fill in any information you missed and underline important information. Mark
any items that are unclear. Ask another classmate for their notes.
|Use the Recall Column Key
||The recall column on the left will help you
when you study for your tests. Jot down any important words or key phrases in
the recall column. This activity forces you to rethink and summarize your notes.
The key words should stick in your mind.
||The Five R's will help you take
better notes based on the Cornell Method:
||1. Record any information given during the lecture that you believe will
||2. When you reduce your information you are summarizing and listing key
words/phrases in the recall column.
||3. Cover the notes you took for your class. Test yourself on the words in
the recall section. This is what we mean by recite, say the words out loud. This
multi-sensory approach will improve your recall.
||4. You should reflect on the information you received during the
lecture. Determine how your ideas fit in with the information.
||If you review your notes within 24 hours, you will remember a great deal
more when you take your test.
|Notebook & Paper
||Remember it is a good idea to keep your notes in a 3-ring
notebook. Also you should use only full-sized paper. You will be able to add
handout materials easily to your notebook.
||Abbreviations and symbols should be used when possible. Abbrev. & sym.
give you time when used auto.
||Record a brief summary in your own words at the bottom of the page
within 24 hours of the lecture. This gives you the opportunity to check your
overall comprehension and strengthen memory.
Walter Pauk, Cornell University
Return to Top