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Notetaking Suggestions

Suggestions for Notetakers

  1. Donít write down everything your hear.
  2. Remember to use:
    1. Clear organized key words;
    2. Short sentences;
    3. Main points; and
    4. A pen rather than a pencil.
  3. A copy machine is available free of charge in the DSPS Support Services office to duplicate notes.
  4. When using pressure-sensitive paper, use a pen, place the cover between the two sheets of paper you are using and the remainder of the pack to prevent writing on more than two sheets.
  5. Please contact the DSPS Support Services Office and identify yourself as a notetaker for our records.

Thank you for taking notes for this student!

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Taking Useful Notes

  1. Use dashes for words when the speaker goes too fast. Leave space so that you can fill in details later.
  2. Use a ? if you are unsure. Verify those uncertainties later.
  3. Use symbols to call attention to important words: Underline, CAPS, circle, box, *, !, 4, >.
  4. Use parenthesis ( ), brackets [ ], and braces { } to group or set off.
  5. When the instructor says, "This is important," get it exactly and **mark it**
  6. Donít erase a mistake and donít black it out completely. Draw a single line through it. This saves you time and you may discover later that you want the mistake.
  7. Abbreviate Ė In the course of taking notes, you should develop some shortcuts, some alternatives to writing everything out in longhand. Feel quite free to abbreviate, but abbreviate only if you will be able to understand your own symbols when you go back to study your notes. Be constantly on the lookout for new and useful abbreviations and symbols to shorten your writing time and thus, increase your listening time. See below for some helpful abbreviation hints.

****REMEMBER: Twenty-four hours after learning, most students are unable to recall even 20% of the content--unless they have reviewed the material.

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Hints for Abbreviating

1. Use standard abbreviations whenever possible (found in dictionaries): abbrev. = abbreviation; gal. = gallon.

2. Leave out unnecessary letters, especially vowels: twrd = toward; rmbr =remember

3. Add a period to distinguish an abbreviation from a complete word: no = no; no. = number.

4. When in doubt, spell it out (especially with names).

5. Add an "s" to indicate the plural of an abbreviation: co. = company; cos. = companies.

6. Learn abbreviations from your field. An accountant would use: B/L = bill of lading.

7. Consult dictionaries, textbooks, etc. for ideas.

Adapted from: "How to Succeed in College" by Gerow & Lyng and "Study Skills: A Studentís Guide for Survival" by Carman & Adams, Jr.

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Some Commonly Used Symbols & Abbreviations

Term Abbreviation
amount amt
and; plus +
as soon as possible ASAP
because b/c
before b/4
between b/t
chapter ch.
characteristic of Ďcí
decrease; low; below Ģ
definition def.
ditto; same as just above ď
east E
equal to; same as =
et cetera; and so on etc.
for example e.g.
function of fO or Ďf
got lost; unsure; verify ?
greater than >
important impít
incomplete inc
increase; Ł, (up arrow)
large lg
less than <
less; minus -
maximum max
medium med
minimum min
north N
not equal to
number: no. or #
page p.
percent; divided by 100 %
point pt
question Q.
reference ref.
small sm
south S
that is i.e.
to, two, too 2
versus, as opposed to vs.
west W
with w/
within w/i
without w/o

Notetaking Homepage

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