Arguably, learning and education is undergoing tremendous changes, aimed at making the learning process easy and productive. Note taking is one of the writing activity that is encouraged across all disciplines and curriculum. As a matter of fact, note taking is not only an activity of Writing Across the Curriculum, but also an activity that help students learn how to write and learn. In the contemporary education system, writing and understanding techniques are practiced and taught in institutions of learning, but few students in schools are taught note taking skills. Study skills in education curriculum make part of the approaches used in enhancement of knowledge retention and learning (Mort & Jones, 1994). Basically, the study skills such as note-taking deals with activities of organizing information, taking new information, assessing information, as well as retaining information for relevancy. The skills of study include concentrating, listening, retaining, and note taking. Note taking refers to swift recording of information using figures and symbols in a way that creates a memory, which can be retrieved later. Note taking require a lot of preparation and attentiveness so as to ensure that salient points are converted into external memory. Education professionals assert that note-taking is one way of avoiding plagiarism (Blerkom, 2011).
Note-taking requires the implementation and practicing of various skills and techniques. Hence, for effecting taking of notes students need to recognize main ideas that are been passed on. In most cases, students take irrelevant notes; therefore, the information to collected need to be in point to make out relevant information. Perhaps, there are various systems used in note-taking, students basically need to have a system that works well for them. Also, for effective note taking, information received can be converted into diagram and note format. Moreover, in order to collect more information, note taking must entail the utilization of own words (Boch & Piollat, 2005).
The core aim of taking notes is to record information that is learned and to act as a reflection aid. The recorded information will develop a lot of relevance and easy to understand. Individuals also take notes in order to listen and put into test personal understanding skills. Professionals claim that note taking is significant because one is given a chance to review pertinent content later (Mort & Jones, 1994). As a matter of fact, text books can be exceedingly difficult to understand, but taking notes eliminates the complexity of reading large volumes of text books. Generally, note taking act as a disposal point of lecturers lessons.
The strategies of note taking takes two perspectives, this is because note taking is a process. The strategies contain both preparation skills and the actual note taking skills. At the preparation stage, an individual must improve in listening and attention skills. The best way to make notes is to be attentive and listen well to the lecturers presentation or be attentive in reading a book. Attentiveness and listening skills is accompanied by health needs. As a student, ensue that you are physical and mentally stable; therefore, health habits and behaviors should be part of learning g and student life (Blerkom, 2011). Apart from observing health issues, students need to eliminate external and internal distracters so as to make relevant notes. These preparation strategies and skills must be observed since it ushers a student into a conducive environment of the actual note taking process.
Conversably, after the preparation process there are tremendous strategies that need to be followed in note-taking. Students need to be systematic and selective during note-taking. In this case, during note-taking it is crucial to understand that not all the content in the book or presentations is relevant to what you want. In the initial stage, one must make clear the purpose and goals of reading a book or attending a presentation (Boch & Piollat, 2005). In case of a text book reading, it is advisable to skim the entire book and highlight relevant topics. Another strategy is the identification of function and purpose of the note-taking. The tutor in every situation is the main individual who gives directions. In fact, the purpose of the study can be received from the way the tutor stresses certain points and highlights the relevant topics. The tone of the person presenting could be a directive in separating important and relevant information from irrelevant information. Moreover, there are some words that indicate the beginning of an important point that need to be taken down.
Organization of a topic is an indicator of topic and information relevance. Hence, identifying how information is organized is another critical strategy in note-taking. Students are required to include personal thought in note-taking; this is because it helps in the reviewing process at later stages. Certainly, recording of personal though at the margins is helpful in recapping the entire topic and ideas. In some occasions, the speed of the tutor could be too fast; hence, students need to utilize the use of symbols and abbreviations that are understood to them. After note-taking, it is advisable to leave a room for coordinating the lecturers text or presentation with the notes (Blerkom, 2011).
Conclusively, note taking is the best study skill, which employs various strategies. Effective and efficient note-taking must involve conscious mind and health body. For better reviewing of notes, descriptions, explanations and use of hard words should be omitted. In case of a misunderstanding, students should ask for clarification, since asking question helps in understanding and learning the unknown. Always review the entire notes in order to determine if you have understood the learning.
Blerkom, V. (2011). College Study Skills: Becoming a Strategic Learner. London: Cengage
Boch, F & Piollat, A. (2005). Note Taking and Learning: A Summary of Research. The WAC
Journal, Vol, 16: September 2005
Mort, P and Jones, G. (1994). Note-Taking Skills. Retrieved from