Editing Lecture Notes

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1. Review and organize notes immediately after class

A. The best time to supplement notes with lecture insights is immediately after the lecture ends. Students typically do not have time to write these insights while listening to the teacher’s lecture. It’s also a great time to clarify confusing lecture concepts with the teacher or a teacher’s assistant. If these individuals are unavailable after class, look up questions in the textbook or other sources.

B. Students also get a better idea of how well they comprehend lecture concepts by conducting immediate reviews. It’s best to review notes within a day following class. If not, you’re recollection of lecture concepts will slightly diminish, which will result in extra studying in the future to get caught up.

2. Annotate rather than recopy notes. Utilize these tips to effectively annotate notes:

A. Underline main concepts and phrases

B. Signify important paragraphs, sections, or concepts by starring them

C. Write insights developed from reading textbooks and other course materials within notebook page margins. It’s useful to include page numbers, so you can refer back to assigned readings while studying your notes

D. Track important concepts and create summaries:

  • On a single page within notebook margins, jot down important concepts, dates, historical figures, formulas, etc. Information on this page must be understood to perform well on tests. Having it easily accessible will save time.
  • On the same page, write brief summaries for information contained within the margins. Writing summaries tests your understanding of topics and serves as effective test preparation since you’ll more than likely be required to answer essay questions on tests.

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