#1
Hey, I just started my AP World History class and while it has been a lot of hard work it has definitely been very interesting so far! Anyways, I was wondering if anyone here has any tips on taking notes from the lengthy(text-wise) chapters. Since I have to hand write all of my notes (my teacher sees it as preparation for the AP Exam, where you have a small amount of time to write a multiple amount of essays), I was thinking of ways to make them more efficient and shorter while keeping the main points. Does anybody have any tips on taking efficient notes on lengthy, densely worded chapters?

Thanks to all who reply!
#2
You could organize them based on headings, and also focus on detail. If you can learn in your mind what the big picture is then you can use the notes for detail and you will have less to study and less to worry about. You could also try getting a used copy of your book off of eBay or another website and then highlight the main points in the actual text. It's much easier on your hand and requires less work, but still allows you to separate the most important details from the less important ones.
#3
I've found my note taking has evolved a lot since I started college, and even class-to-class in some cases. Organization is the best thing, but if your teacher is the kind that just stands there and talks it can be hard to stay organized when they aren't. Try to develop your own shorthand and organization for notes (I use a line, a circle, a triangle and a square, in that order), and try to write down things that are important and that will jog your memory of the details, as opposed to every little thing.


Or just scribble furiously, whatever works.
When you were born, you cried, and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a manner that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.
Kabir
#4
Quote by Castlebravo
You could organize them based on headings, and also focus on detail. If you can learn in your mind what the big picture is then you can use the notes for detail and you will have less to study and less to worry about. You could also try getting a used copy of your book off of eBay or another website and then highlight the main points in the actual text. It's much easier on your hand and requires less work, but still allows you to separate the most important details from the less important ones.


Wow, thanks! I had never thought of using the notes for detail. Since I've been pretty good at retaining the big picture, this will definitely help me cut down on the work.

Just curious, are you in college/have you taken AP classes?
#5
Textbook notes always take a while. I'm one to take meticulous notes out of a text book because it will help to keep it in the noggin. When I do textbook notes, I write in a draft form.

first line: paragraphy summary / main topic discussed in paragraph
second line: indented 5 spaces. first detail supporting topic.
third line: indented 10 spaces. any additional information to support first main detail.
fourth line: indeted 5 spaces. second detail supporting topic...
etc.

That's my textbook note taking habit.

As for in-class notes, I tend to have a notebook that is set up for the cornell note taking method. A notebook opened up has two sides, the left side (which is the back side of the perviosu page) and the right side. The cornell method splits the left and right sides as input/output.

On the input side, you take notes from the class. Just the main topics, and item which are discussed. Then on the very far left margin on the left page, you write questions regarding the notes taken to jog your memory when you are reviewing. Then at the bottom you write up a quick summary of what was discussed, and such.
On the Output side, this is where I will typically put in examples and assigned work. If the assigned work is to be turned in, then I would do it on a seperate sheet of paper and skip that side then put my examples into my notes section on the input sheet.

If you Google "Cornell notetaking method" you will get a very concise example and explanation of the process.


I find that my textbook notes usually help a lot more then in-class notes. Just remember that in many cases, the more accurate your notes are, the more accurately you can jog your memory. If you take very general notes and just skim through the text without analyzing the words while you are notetaking, then you are just wasting time. Everyone has their own way of taking notes, but to understand anything you have to take the time to fully comprehend the information being given to you. So if you are a visual learner, I would attach images along with your notes to help you remember important details, or if you are an aural learner learner then be sure to read out loud while taking your notes. Also, don't be afraid to try new methods of note taking as well. Often times for complex ideas, I would read out loud while linking an image to the idea along with my draft-style notes. Then afterwards I would read through my personal notes and think of questions regarding the logic.

A lot of my teacher will say that my style of notetaking is rather tedious, however I personally haven't found an easier method of textbook notes, maybe you will find something easier that will work for you.
BTW: Don't write in full sentences unless it is absolutely neccesary. Just go straight to the meat of the sentences it will reduce the amount you write aleast in half.


tl;dr You only really have to read the top 5 blocks to understand my point.
Last edited by kaplac at Sep 4, 2008,