Check out this YouTube video from Crash Course for a good note taking overview.

Printer-friendly handout from the Academic Resource Center


Effective note taking is an essential learning skill for college students to implement before, during, and after class sessions. An organized, efficient system of note taking is important for several reasons.

  1. The faculty member may present material that is not found in your readings, but is critical for you to learn.  Class sessions will make connections to prior knowledge and introduce new material. Your classmates will also make important and interesting points and you will think of new ideas during class sessions.

  2. The information presented within a class session may be used for future assessments and assignments.  Effective note taking will assist in preparing for upcoming class activities.

  3. Actively listening and taking notes during class increases your comprehension and retention of the material. The act of taking notes helps you learn!

  4. Reviewing the notes immediately after class and several times later on adds additional opportunities for clarification and retention.  Frequent review of your notes helps significantly in remembering what you have learned!