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Note making.

HEAT Stage 3: Making reading more manageable.

3.2 Note making


How to improve note making

Good note making

  • reduces the amount of information you have to deal with. Your notes should include main points and some examples or evidence.
  • helps you to process, organise and understand information. You can use notes as the basis for your revision. You can summarise them further.
  • gives you practice in writing in your own words. This will help you to avoid plagiarism (copying).

First you need to have a general overview and then find information directly related to your task,

Don't believe everything you read; you need to question what you are reading.


Notes from reading:

  • Always record full reference details of the source at the beginning of your notes. See the Harvard guide
  • Choose a method that suits your 'learning style' and your needs. Linear notes may suit you. See.(Linear notes ). Also try spider diagrams or column notes.
  • You could start by underlining and highlighting on print outs or photocopies.
  • Identify direct "quotations" by writing in a different colour.
  • Use abbreviations.
  • Leave spaces in your notes, you might want to add something later.


Lecture notes

  • Prepare for a lecture by referring to your course or module handbook.
  • Add your own notes to the handout (use a separate piece of paper if necessary).
  • Columns notes may be suitable for a lecture. Have a look at the example.
  • Ask the lecturer if you can record the lecture and make notes later.
  • Reread your notes as soon as possible after the lecture and make any necessary alterations.


Revision notes

  • Make cue cards which include just key words and brief phrases.
  • Mind maps or spider diagrams are particularly useful for revision. Have a look at the example.
  • A diagram allows you to summarise a lot of info on 1 page.


Top tips

  • Notes should be set out clearly so that you can easily find and use the information later.
  • You must have references for your notes, otherwise you cannot use them.


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