Mind Map Note Taking Templates

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                   ROBERT BLAKE

Effective Learning Programme For International Students,
          Student Learning Development Centre

Keeping Useful Records Of Your Reading: Introduction

Spend a few moments talking with your
neighbours about the type of reading you did
on your previous course[s].

See questions on slide 3

Keeping Useful Records Of Your Reading: Introduction

• What type of reading did you do before you
came to study at Lancaster?

• What reading strategies and speeds did you

• What note taking strategies did you use?

Keeping Useful Records Of Your Reading : Introduction

Spend a few moments discussing your current
reading load and the type of reading on your
current course – see slide 5

Keeping Useful Records Of Your Reading : Introduction

• What type of reading do you now do?

• What reading strategies and speeds do you
now use?

• Has there been any change in how you read?

• How do you take notes?

       Taking notes from reading

First of all why do we take notes
from our reading?

               Taking notes from reading : why take notes?

• To remember the main points in the text and jog
your memory later on
• To give you quicker access to important facts &
knowledge in an easier format
• To link new knowledge to what you already know
• To help you understand what an author is saying
• To make a record of points you may use in an
• To ensure that you are always clear about the source
of ideas –to avoid plagiarism.
Adapted slightly From Fairburn. G and Fairburn. S. [2001:98] Reading at University: a Guide for
Students.Buckingham: OUP

         Keeping a Record of your reading

There are two aspects of keeping records of

1. Recording the content of your reading

2. Recording where it comes from i.e. keeping
   a full set of bibliographic details of each
   source you read

               Taking notes on the content of reading

When taking notes

• Do you keep the book open and take notes as
    you read or do you read first & take notes on
    the 2nd or3rd reading
• Do you take notes with the book closed?

Fairburn. G and Fairburn. S. [2001:101] Reading at University: a Guide for Students.

                   Taking notes on the content of reading

How do you take the notes?
• Are they linear?
• Do you use your own words or copy bits of the
• Do you distinguish your comments from the
• Do you take pictorial/diagrammatic notes?
• Do you take keyword notes?
Adapted slightly from Fairburn. G and Fairburn. S. [2001:101] Reading at University: a Guide for Students.

         Ways of taking notes from your reading

Ways of taking notes:
• Reading & underlining/
  Labelling & heading pages
• Linear notes
• Key wording
• Diagrammatic/pictorial notes

*Adapted from Fairburn & Fairburn 2002

     Ways of taking notes : Reading & underlining

Reading & underlining is a quick way of -
identifying important information.
Weakness: you aren’t processing the meaning
so effectively by converting the ideas into
keywords or rewriting it in your own words.
Ways of extending underlining: writing notes
in the margins [summary, questions, comments],
identify key bits using asterisks & writing
headings at the top of each page or important
pages to summarise content      *

                   Ways of taking notes : Linear notes

Linear notes follow the logic of the
original article & use numbering and sub
heading to lay out the text.

*See Fairburn & Fairburn 2002

  Ways of taking notes from your reading: Key wording

• Key wording- write only the key
  words & cut out the smaller
  grammar words: articles,
  prepositions, auxiliary verbs

*See Fairburn & Fairburn 2002

      Ways of taking notes from your reading

Diagrammatic/pictorial notes-

some people think visually & prefer to lay out

notes visually using mind maps or flow charts.

See the example in slide 16

Practising Note Taking Strategies- mind map notes

An example of notes in the form of a mind map [Buzan]

  Remember to put examples
  *See Fairburn & Fairburn 2002


                       Recording your reading: what to record

Don’t just copy very lengthy notes, this delays the
real work of answering specific questions from
reading until you start writing an assignment.
Your notes should record:
• the main points of what the author is saying
• what you think about what the writer is saying
To ensure this it’s helpful to use SQ3R* to make
note taking easier & more effective.
*See Fairburn & Fairburn 2002:99 ** See Rowntree [19xx]

    Recording your reading: what to record SQ3R

• Surveying- to get a general idea of what it is about
using headings, diagrams, introductions,
conclusions/summaries, topic sentences, key words
• Questioning – making questions about what you want
to get from the text
• Reading the text differentially, faster in some places
which don’t deal with your questions, more slowly in
other places where you need to understand material
relating to your questions
• Recalling- reflecting on what you have learnt - mind
maps may be useful here
• Reviewing-i.e. check your knowledge & what you
still don’t understand - need to reread

      Recording your reading: critical reading

• You can use the Surveying and Questioning
  from SQ3r as a strategy for reading critically
  and making critical questions in reading
• Imagine having a conversation with the
  writer or gently interrogating them
• Read the Web page on Critical Reading for
  Critical Writing as a means of identifying
  main arguments or analysis with supporting
  facts rather than merely noting facts

Keeping Useful Records Of Your Reading: using forms or templates

Some past students have designed forms on which to
record their reading. See the 2 examples [handout]
• Example 1 combines:
recording details of the source,
space for notes & space your own comments- space
for your comments critical feedback & questions
• Example 2 shows a similar reading record form
made for reading for exam revision
You can design a form to reflect you reading needs
        Practising Note Taking Strategies

You can use subordination to identify the
    importance of information:

•    key information on the left hand side

•    detailed points in the middle

•    comments & questions on the right hand side

Use also headings, colour & space

          Keeping Useful Records Of Your Reading

The most important message about note taking is to
choose a method that is appropriate for the subject
you are studying and reflects your learning style.

Work out a method that suits you.

      Note Taking -Practising Strategies

Abbreviations & symbols are invaluable in
allowing you:
• to reduce the time taken on writing notes
• therefore giving you more time to
understand lecture contents & to concentrate
on the main points of the lecture
• to take notes actively using you own
             Note Taking - using symbols
What symbols would you use for these words?

   statement/answer is correct
   statement/answer is wrong
   question; is the statement correct?
   or (this/that = this or that)
   ditto (means the same as the words immediately above the ditto
   does not equal, differs from, is the opposite of
   leads to/results in/causes
   does not lead to/result in/cause
           Note Taking -using abbreviations

•   e.g. - for example             •   Imp important
•   i.e. - that is                 •   Sit.    Situation
•   etc. - etcetera: and so on     •   Eval evaluation
•   N.B. - Note                    •   Analy analysis
•   Q. - Question
                                   •   Diff/diff.y difficult/difficulty
•   no. - Number
                                   •   Diff.t        different
•   probs.- Problems
•   p./pp - page/pages
•   1st    - first
•   max. - maximum
•   c.      -about/approximately
•   ref.     reference
•   thro‘/thru      through

Keeping Useful Records Of Your Reading: Distinguishing your voice

 How are you going to distinguish your voice from
 the voice of the author you are reading?
 • Use of quotation marks for 100% copying of
 extracts-essential +page numbers
 • Practise paraphrasing or summarising notes i.e.
 note taking always in you own words, except
 where taking occasional quotations
 • Mark your own comments [colour or brackets,]

 Keeping a record of your sources-bibliographic details

It’s essential to record the main bibliographic details
and probably to do so on each page of your notes
•Year of publication
•Title of book [if Journal –journal name, article name
pages edition]
•Place of publication
•Page numbers noted
                                  Card Index/Endnote?

  For further advice on Keeping Useful Records Of Your Reading

• See the SLDC web pages on effective reading:
• Read Reading at University: a Guide for Students by Fairburn. G
and Fairburn. S. [2001:] Buckingham: OUP
•Effective Learning Programme, LU. Feb 05 Critical Reading
Lecture to be given by Romy Clarke
• See Toronto University’s Web page on critical reading for
critical writing
•See Andy Gillett’s Uefap site: Reporting - paraphrase, summary
& synthesis http://www.uefap.co.uk/writing/writfram.htm


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