Notes in All Directions


Are Your Notes Sending You in All Directions?  

As the professor is talking, the notes make so much sense.  Yet, when you begin to study they seem to go in circles and there isn't a complete sentence among them!  Notes like this can leave a person feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, and like a failure.  


Cornell Notes Can Help!

Cornell Notes refer to a system for effective note taking that uses columns and a rewriting process. The Cornell Notes system involves in-class and after-class activities.    How to Divide Your Paper for Cornell Notes

In-Class Activities

Notes Section:  This is the largest section on your paper.  It's usually set up where a person is accustomed to writing notes on a piece of paper.  It usually takes up the right-most 3/4 of the page. 

Questions Section:  This is the remaining part of the paper on the left-hand side of the page  This column is used for you to write questions about the muddiest point (or the content that is the least clear to you) after class.  

  • As you write your "muddiest point" think about the relationship or connections that may exist between the content.  
  • How does this information connect with what you already know?


After Class Activities

Summary Section: This section of the page is used after class to write a summary of the notes that you took in the notes section.

After Class: Effective note taking does not end with the end of class.  Within 24 hours of taking the notes, go back and rewrite them, clarifying information, and marking content about which you need additional information.  

 Cornell Notes Example


Want to keep your notes electronically?  Here are a couple of templates to help you get started



Want Additional Information?

The VLC has multiple resources and opportunities available to provide assistance to you.  Virtual Learing Center

Schedule a time today for your personal session.  

In person: The VLC is located inside the Center for Learning & Teaching

                SEM 2G3 (Across from the Math Lab)


Phone:  (405) 682-7838