Good note-taking is a skill and because it's a skill you'll only get better the more your practice it. Two solid note-taking strategies are the Cornell Notes Method and the Dialogic Notebook. We discussed these strategies in class but here's a video I created on my iPad that goes over these two strategies and the Reporter's Trick heuristic.
If you're wondering what a "heuristic" is, it's simply an invention strategy. A heuristic, especially the one I talk about in the video below, helps you to generate ideas about any topic that you want/need to write about. There are many types of heuristics, just like there are many types of note-taking strategies. But I encourage you to try these three out. When you feel comfortable with them, experiment with them. Try labeling the columns in the Cornell Notes or Dialogic Notebook something else that's more relevant to you. Try drawing pictures in your notes. I do, and that helps me out tremendously since I'm a visual and kinesthetic learner. I absorb more information when I see things and when I simply try things out. Frequently, when I'm stumped on an idea or how to say something, whether it's writing or planning a class lesson, I'll get up and walk around or do the dishes (if I'm at home) and let the problem marinade in my brain. Next thing I know, I've got an approach that I can use in my work. If you're a physical person, try doing something like that as you think and reflect on whatever's giving you a bit of trouble. Or, for classes where you need to learn a lot of terms and ideas, try writing out flash cards and then quizzing yourself over them as you move around your home or on campus. The point is to find something that works for you. You're the only one who can succeed in your goals because they're your goals. But don't forget to rely on your support network and ask for help when you need it!
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I teach writing, literature, leadership, and the occasional sociology course at a North Texas community college.