How to take useful notes while reading as a way to engage with the printed word, summarize, and aid the learning process. So taking notes when reading, writing for pleasure, or as a way to relax. Like when reading a novel, a newspaper or magazine is usually a passive exercise.
When you are starting, reading should be seen as an active exercise. In other words, you engage with your text to maximize your learning.
One of the most effective ways of actively engaging with your reading is to make notes as you go along, linking points, pulling out key snippets of information, etc..
By writing notes in your own words, you will be forced to think about the ideas that are presented in the text and how you can explain them coherently. The process of note-taking will, therefore, help you retain, analyze, and ultimately remember and learn what you have read.
Here is what not to do.
It is essential to understand that useful no staging means writing notes on what you have read in your own words. Copying what others have said is not note-taking and is only appropriate when you want to quote an offer directly.
- It can be tempting, especially if your reading material is online to copy and paste straight into a document.
If you do this, then you are unlikely to learn why you have read as copying is not engaging with the text.
- Use online sources as appropriate.
- Summarize, rewrite and or paraphrase and always reference.
Here are some helpful steps for note-taking. There is no magic formula for taking notes when reading. You have to find out what works best for you.
You’re note-taking skills that will develop with practice. And as you realize the benefits, here are some tips.
Highlighting and emphasizing
A quick and easy way to be active when reading is to highlight and or underline parts of the text. Although the process of highlighting is not note-taking, it is often an essential first step. Of course, this is not a good idea if the book or journal does not belong to you.
In such cases:
- Make notes on a photocopy or use sticky post-it notes or similar.
- Highlighting keywords or phrases in the text will help you focus your attention on what you are reading and make it easy to see critical points when rereading.
- Think more carefully about what the key concepts and ideas in the text are the bits that are worth highlighting.
At a glance, you’ll be able to see that you have already read pages or sections on the text. When you come across words or phrases which you are not familiar with, it may be useful to add them to a personal glossary or terms. Make a glossary on a particular document of notes so you can easily refer and updated it as necessary. Write descriptions of conditions in your own words to encourage learning further.
Making written notes.
Also, highlighting is a quick way of emphasizing key points. It is not a substitute for taking proper notes. Remember, your primary purpose for note-taking is to learn and prepare for some form of writing.
When you first start note-taking, you may find that you take too many notes or not enough, or that when you revisit them, they are unclear, etc. you will need to work on these areas.
Like all life skills, taking useful notes improves with practice.
Here are some tips.
It is essential to keep your notes organized and well-structured so you can easily find them later.
- Use a notebook, set up folders on your computer, keep your notes in good order.
- Use headings or documents to separate different themes and ideas.
- Use bright colors to highlight the essential points in your notes. You may find it useful to have a simple system of color-coding using different colors for related areas.
- Always keep a record of your information source. This is generally good practice so you can easily find the information again in the future.
- When referring to a book record that offers name, the date of publication, the title of the book, the relevant page number, the name of the publisher, and the place of publication.
- When referring to a magazine or newspaper record, the name of the offer of the article, the date of publication, the title of the article, the name of the publication, the publication number, and the page number.
- When referring to Internet sources, record at least the full URL or Web address and the date of access.
Page by page notes
The simplest and most direct way of taking notes. It is to read page by page notes at the start of your records, write the full reference of the book or journal that you are taking notes from.
- Write the page number in the margin of a notebook and write down in concise phrases the points of a strike you as relevant for each paragraph.
- If a particular point reminds you of a personal experience or something similar, but you have read, write these down.
- If a particular sentence or quotation appeals to you or seems to encapsulate the essence of a point made by the offer, or highlights the subject you are starting, transcribe it ultimately inside quotation marks.
- Remember to record exactly where the quote came from. As you work for the text, highlight and make notes on things with which you disagree. Starting with reasons why.
As well as a speech by page notes. You should compile a summary at the end of each section or chapter. A review is, by definition, precise. It aims to bring together the essential points and to simplify the central argument or viewpoint of the offer.
There are lots of different styles of writing.
Academic writing, in particular, tends to be cautious and, therefore, lengthy. The offer will usually expand on their ideas, putting them into context, and aiding understanding. The point of summarizing a piece of text is to cut out any padding and, therefore, expose the vital underlying points.
You should be able to use your summary in the future to refer to the points raised and use your explanation and examples of how they may apply to your subject area.
How to organize your notes.
Depending on your circumstance, you may find you accumulate a lot of notes. Notes are of no use to you, if you cannot see them when you need to, and spending a lot of time sifting through piles of paper is a waste of time. How you organize your notes will depend on whether they’re physically written on paper or digitally stored on a computer or a combination.
Some quick ideas of organizing and storing notes include folders, binders, and cards.
Over in the traditional sense, the type you may find in a filing cabinet or on a computer. Folders are an easy way of keeping related documents together. Folders are particularly useful for assembling information and material for written assignments. Keep all relevant items in an envelope, either hard copies or digitally.
Sometimes useful to including those to yourself in your folder as you plan a written assignment.
Loose-leaf ring binders can enable you to assemble all your page notes, chapter summaries, mind maps, and a lot of other printed materials in your location.
And the last way of organizing your notes effectively.
This comes in various sizes and types and enables you to keep a sketch of what you have read. The card can be particularly useful when planning a writing assignment. Try ordering them or arranging them on the floor like a giant mind map — a low tech way of linking together your ideas and thoughts.