The Cornell Note Taking Strategy

Walter Pauk’s note taking technique may save your life—or your grade—or both your life and your grade. It’s possible. It was created during the 1950’s for students at Cornell University and it is one of the most widely used note taking systems in the United States.
There are six steps in the technique:
  1. Record
  2. Reduce
  3. Recite
  4. Reflect
  5. Review
  6. Recapitulate

During the lecture, record as many facts as you can. Don’t worry about writing every word that you hear or being grammatically correct. Learn to write using key words and to leave out unnecessary phrases. When the lecture is over, write out complete sentences with your key words.

After the lecture, write down key words, phrases, and questions in the narrow column to the side. These can be used as a study guide for tests and will help organize your notes.

While you study, cover up all except your reduced section. Read each key word or question out loud and say the rest of the information from memory. Saying the notes out loud and in your own words will force you to think about the meaning of the information. This will help solidify the information into your memory.

Take the time to ponder what you have learned. Fit the information in with what you already know and question the information. Why is it important to know? How can you use the knowledge?

Review your notes frequently throughout the semester. Regular, short reviews will help more than a long cramming session. Recite your notes out loud every time you review.

After you have reduced, recited, and reflected, write a short summary of your notes at the bottom of the page. The summary should be in your own words. You can use the summary as a guide for studying larger sections of notes.


Class Title and Date

Main Notes:
Main ideas and concepts

Key Words
Repeated, stressed info

Key Phrases
Diagrams and pictures

Brainstorming written on the board


Important dates and people


Summary of your notes in your own words

No comments:

Post a Comment