Cornell System of Note Taking

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					Cornell System of Note Taking
                                                            Listening and Note Taking
Even good note takers need a plan for taking notes during lectures. One plan, the
Cornell system, developed by Walter Pauk at Cornell University, involves a five-stage
approach and results in notes that probably look different from those you normally take.
Refer to the back of this page for an example of the Cornell system.

Record       Prepare for this stage by drawing a vertical line about two and a half
             inches from the left edge of the paper. You may find notebooks ruled in
             this format available at campus bookstores. Use the narrower, left-hand
             column as the recall column. Leave it blank until Stage 2. During the
             lecture, listen actively. Write in paragraph or outline form as much
             information as you think is important in the larger right-hand column.

Reduce       Reduce, or condense, notes by using a text-labeling approach and record
             those labels in the recall (left) column. To condense notes, omit most
             adjectives and adverbs and leave nouns and verbs intact to identify main
             ideas and key details. It's important to use as few words as possible. You
             can transfer these cues to index cards and carry them with you for quick
             review. Reducing notes as soon as possible after class, at least within
             twenty-four hours, helps you increase recall.

Recite       Cover your notes and say them in your own words. Use the recall column
             to cue memory. Then, reveal your notes and check your accuracy. This
             review also decreases forgetting.

Reflect      After reciting your notes, wait for some period of time, then reread your
             notes and think about them. Next, read your text to supplement and
             clarify your notes. Use your text and notes to discover the causes and
             effects of issues, define terms, and relate concepts. Make generalizations
             and draw conclusions.

Review       Briefly reviewing your notes several times a week helps you retain what
             you have learned. This spaced study keeps information fresh, provides
             repetition, and decreases forgetting.

                                               B-31 Coates Hall  225/578-2872 
                                                               Cornell System of Note Taking Continued

Example of Notes Using the Cornell System

                              SHELTERS (topic)

                              Shelters are more efficient made of natural (raw)

Tropical Shelters             Tropical Dwellers
Type & Quantities             1. Frequent rainfall
                              2. Bamboo – made of
                              3. Roof sloped for runoff

Grassland Dwellers            Grassland Dwellers
Type of Weather Conditions/   1. Winds, cold nights, and severe winters
Materials                     2. Use animal hides stretched over wood
                              3. Tents are portable

Desert Dwellers               Desert Dwellers
Types & Quantities            1. Use mud masonry
of Materials                  2. Mud added to wood dries like brick
                              3. Most are farmers or nomadic

Summary                       Shelters are more efficient made of raw materials.
                              There are 3 main types of areas where shelters are
                              built: Tropical, grassland, & desert.

                                                B-31 Coates Hall  225/578-2872 