Students should be aware of the writing skills that are needed to be possessed in classroom while taking notes, simultaneously while listening to the class. Here are some techniques for promoting academic writing skills.
Promoting academic writing skills
It is a common scenario that students take notes while the teacher takes class, so that they would not miss the important information. But while simultaneously writing notes and listening to the class, students might be unable to concentrate. Never hesitate to ask your teacher for a few minutes of time for notes.
Note Taking Techniques
Paying attention is an important part in the most comprehensive note taking system. To take legible and meaningful notes, you must be alert enough in your class. You can’t rely on “writing everything down” because a lot of information in a given class won’t help you actually learn the material. It is your right to ask the teacher for the clarification of your doubts, regarding any problems determining the specific relevant points in a particular class. They are there to help you understand the concepts.
Divide the space of your note book
Divide the space on your notepaper into two columns in 1:2 ratios, using the red line on the left of the page as your border. Then, when you take notes in class, use the bigger column for the notes and the smaller column on the left as a highlighting system. Write main headings and draw small pointer marks to indicate important points on the left, including the material you think you will be tested on. Once you’re done, you will be left with a comprehensive page of information that you can quickly scan for important points.
Split page method
Class notes and your textbook are the primary sources of course content and you need to learn both. While taking notes, you can combine them with the split page method. To follow this method, divide your notebook page in half lengthwise. Then draw a line along the length in the middle of the page. Take class notes on one side of the page and outline the text on the other side. When you study you’ll have both class notes and text together, combined. It helps if you add a third column for questions you need to ask the teacher.
Using Group Notes
It is difficult to keep up with a lesson while copying page after page of notes in class. You can form a group with some of your classmates and come to a conclusion of taking good class notes on turn-wise. When it is not your day to be the note-taker, you can really concentrate on what is being said in class. You might want to write down a few particularly important points, but mostly try to participate in class. When your teacher explains and you can’t understand something, don’t hesitate to ask questions before the point gets crossed. You can either photocopy the notes from your classmate, or copy them over by hand, after your class, while reviewing in your mind what happened in the class.
Tips to take better notes
Taking good notes is a skill that is just as valuable as being in the classroom. You cannot write fast enough to capture everything their teacher says in class, so it is a good idea to also use a tape recorder (if allowed). Like this, nothing can be missed while you write, and you can double-check the tape for accuracy. You may use a recorder or not, but it’s important to write down your notes as soon as possible while the subject is still fresh in your mind. By re-writing your notes, you become more familiar with the material. You mentally reinforce what was said in class. And you get practice writing the information, making it easier to write the material a second time whether it is for a test or a term paper.
Notes are phrases and abbreviations that you quickly write down while trying to follow a class. Later, when you go back to review your notes, there are times when you can’t seem to understand or remember what those key words and phrases meant; sometimes you can’t even read your own handwriting.
Re-write your notes
After you have finished class, immediately rewrite your notes. If you have written short phrases, rewrite them as complete thoughts and sentences using several modalities. You can read aloud to review your notes, just as a proof read of what you have written. Research indicates that 80% of new material can be recalled if you review notes within the first 24 hours of presentation. Also, clean written notes are easier to read and highlight as you study. If you rewrite your notes daily, you will keep the task from becoming overwhelming, you will learn good study habits that aid in memory retention and, at the same time, improve your grades.
Additional tips to simple notes
Here are some additional tips to be kept in mind while writing notes in classroom.
Instead of writing the information delivered by teacher in the sentences as it is, write in your own sentences by clubbing two or more sentences. For example, instead of “The girl came into the room. She sat on the sofa. She switched on the TV. It was her favourite program. So, she smiled.” Write the whole thing as a single sentence. Like, “The girl sat on the sofa and started watching her favourite program on TV, happily.”
Try to use Active voice in writing. Also, use punctuation marks and write in direct speech, which helps you to keep it simple and fast. Write some explanatory lines using a dash or hyphen. When you are in a hurry, use simple word. But when you recall/reread or rewrite, replace those words with your improved vocabulary.
Along with writing the notes, students should improve their handwriting also. The Effect of Handwriting on their achievement is high. Good handwriting impresses everyone.
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