How to make entries


Effective note-taking is not just recording and reading. This is an important part of the learning process, which helps you to quickly learn the lecture material and record key points in a form that is more convenient for you. After you are properly prepared for the lecture, be prepared to take notes. The steps presented below are aimed not only at the effective organization of the educational process, but also on the more convenient recording of lectures and abstracts.


Prepare for the lecture


Read the topic before the lecture or class


The teacher asks the topic on home so you know what you are told in the lesson. If you read the given topic before the lesson, you will already know not only the general concepts, but also some details. Therefore, you can focus on the key points of the lecture and make a good summary.

Right before the class, quickly reread your entries on this topic. Thus, you will immediately have an idea of what you have stopped at the last lesson.


Try to find training materials and lectures online


If your teacher gives some material in the form of PowerPoint presentations or he makes brief abstracts of forthcoming lectures himself, get the most out of it! Imagine that these lectures are the frame for your house, which you will furnish and fill with your own notes.

Of course, it’s very tempting to just photograph or print these presentations, lectures and notes, without writing anything down in the class, or make a few notes for yourself on these printouts. But it is much more useful to use these materials to write your own notes. This is the best way to process information, and this is the purpose of note-taking.


Now let’s discuss the pros and cons of compiling a summary during the lecture


Many students are much easier to type than to write by hand, but there are some reasons why it is recommended to write notes by hand. The results of some studies show that students who write handouts are much better at understanding and remembering lecture material than those who type it on the keyboard. In addition, it is easy to get into the transcription mode on the laptop. This means that you are trying to have time to type everything the lecturer said instead of highlighting from his speech the most important thing and writing it down in the abstract. Therefore, writing text manually concentrates better.

On the other hand, the use of electronic technology makes it possible to format, save, edit, use and read files together, without worrying about clumsy handwriting and blots.

On laptop there are many support programs and suggestions that you can download even on the tablet:, formatting in “Microsoft Word”, other programs with which you can record lectures and take notes. There are programs that will help you organize your entries, merge materials from different sections and formats (for example, an e-mail document and a PDF file). There are programs in which you can share notes, take notes in real time. Such programs can become for you saving or distracting. Only you can judge what is most convenient for you.

Some teachers prohibit the use of electronic gadgets in classrooms (or it can be forbidden by an educational institution), so do not disregard advice on how to properly write notes by hand.


Sit in front


Choose a place in the class where there are least distractions. Then you will have the opportunity to better focus and make a good summary. Choose a place from where you can clearly see and hear the teacher. In addition, you should see the board well. You go to the class before the rest to be able to occupy the most convenient place.

If you suddenly become by distracted by noisy buddies, air conditioning, glare on the projector’s screen, gently move to another place, if this is possible, without raising noise and not distracting others. Otherwise, try to do everything possible to reduce discomfort, and next time change to another location.


Be sure to check if you have all the necessary accessories for drawing up a summary


If you write notes by hand, be sure to take with you a spare pen with a pencil and additional sheets (or exercise book). If you are typing notes on a laptop or another electronic gadget, check before starting, whether it is fully charged.

Some students like to write notes on loose sheets, which can then be inserted into a notebook or a folder, others prefer ordinary exercise books, which, in their opinion, look more accurate.


At the top on the sheet write the date and topic of the lecture


Make sure that lectures and synopses are signed, so that they can then be conveniently organized and used in preparation. Write the date and the title of the lecture at the top of each page.

If your abstract is for several pages, it is best to designate these pages as numbers. This is a very useful thing that will let you keep your notes in the right order.


Now back to the format of the conspectus


The more attention you give to the order of writing a summary, the easier it will be to understand and learn it. One of the possible options is to draw up a plan, especially if the lecture is clearly structured or presented in this way. By sticking to this format, you will write each section under a new heading. Under each heading of the section, write down the main idea (in the form of a microtheme) and an additional thought (in the form of an auxiliary topic). It’s much better than writing down every thought as a new topic.

Keep in mind that not always lectures are built in such a way that the main theme and microteam are provided in them. Perhaps, after the lecture you will have to revise and slightly change the format of conspectus.


Read the second part


How to make entries (Part 1)