Disclaimer: I have never taken a non-science college class. Meaning, I have no idea how to take notes for humanities or social sciences. Not saying this method won’t work for that, just that I can’t guarantee it will. Also, this method is not about achieving pretty notes, only structured practical notes.
What you’ll need:
- Notebook. I use a notebook. Most people I know use a notebook. Why should YOU use
won’t get as many handouts (if any) as in highschool.
won’t ask to see hw in your notebook. For all they care, your notes
could be a comic about the class. As long as you pass, you do
don’t have as many classes in a day so even if you carry around
notebooks, your bag won’t be all that heavy.
can divide it into three sections: class notes, seminar notes/work
and lab work. All in one for your studying comfort.
WILL reference that formula from 3 classes ago and when you have no
idea wtf they’re talking about, you can just flip a few
no one in your class wants to hear you snap loose leaf paper out of
your ring binder.
let’s be honest, your notes are going to get jumbled up any other
you’re taking a continuation class and you’ll need to revise from
these notes, it’s much easier to pull out a notebook than to look
through the thousands of notes from all your classes and try to
figure out which are the ones you need and what is the correct
pens, three tops. Blue for general notes, black for sections and the
other color for subsections or underlining. Go for black for general
note taking if you want to (I do it too sometimes) but blue strains your
notes: not every structure works for every subject and professor so
you should figure out a method for each one. That said, I usually
start out with a basic structure and then tweak it along the way to
better suit my needs:
- The name of the unit should be your ‘big title’. ‘ORGANELLES’
- Every ‘big topic’ (very easy to identify – usually the professor will make it really clear that you’re moving on to a different topic or it’ll be on the slides) inside the unit is assigned a number. ‘3. Mitochondria’
- Every ’big aspect’ of that topic is a subtopic. ‘3.4. Structure’.
- If there are even more sub subtopics, continue with the numeration system. Otherwise proceed to use bullet points for any enumerations. If there are enumerations inside these enumerations (wow enumerception), change your symbol for each level. Instead of bullet points you can use dashes, squares, spirals, Xs…
- The exception for this is when the enumeration corresponds to steps in a process. In that case, I number each step and circle the number.
- For each level you descend, indent your text. It’ll be easier to not get lost. Skip this if you’re working with a small notebook and you’re afraid of running out of pages.
- Sticky notes are your best friend. Does some random piece of info the professor just decided was important enough to be mentioned not fit into your very methodic structure? No problem, add a sticky note. Cute + calls attention to it, so you won’t forget.